I HAVE OFFICIALLY FINISHED UNIVERSITY!
Where has that time gone? It only feels like yesterday I was writing one of my first ever blog posts about taking a gap year after finishing sixth-form! THAT WAS 2016! HOW TIME FLIES!
Last Monday, I finally received my long-awaited final grade, and I am pleased to say that I have graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University with FIRST-CLASS HONOURS in BA (Hons) Media & Communications – which as you can imagine I am absolutely over the moon with (however, my actual graduation is not until September). When I started university, my end goal was to graduate with a 2:1, but as time went on, I realised that if I kept working really hard, I could potentially get a first! And I did!!! So the hard work paid off after all, and I can now breathe again!
You may have read this title and thought, why would I want to know what you learned on your uni course? Well thankfully for you, this blog post is about everything that I learned outside of my course over the past three years at uni. University was not an easy ride, there were many ups, but also a few downs along the way, but it has helped me to become the person I am today.
YOU’LL MEET SOME AMAZING PEOPLE
Before starting university, I was very worried about making friends, as I wasn’t going to be living there. However, my coursemates are some of the most incredible people I have ever met, and I am so grateful for them, as I couldn’t have got through it all without them! If like me you are a bit worried about meeting people at university, there are plenty of Facebook groups to join where you can start talking to people on your course or in your flat and get to know them before you even start.
THE 9 AM’S ARE WORTH IT – (most of the time)
You will moan about having 9 am’s and then complain when you go to them and realised you probably could have stayed in bed. However, the 9 am’s you don’t go to, are likely to be the most important ones, so you’ll then feel guilty for not going. I went to every lecture possible, as I wanted to get the most out of my degree, and I guess it worked! Plus getting up for something early means you won’t waste a whole day.
YOU CAN DO IT WITHOUT TAKING A SINGLE BOOK OUT OF THE LIBRARY – (but please do!)
I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I actually managed to do three years of university and not take a single book out of the library. Every book that I needed for my degree I could find online on Google Scholar and Google Books. This was extremely handy, as I was living at home so did not always have the time to drive 45 minutes to take a book out of the library.
YOU REALLY DO LEARN HOW TO BE INDEPENDENT
BUDGETING AND TIME-MANAGEMENT – the two main life skills you will learn at university. Having a part-time job whilst at uni will really help you out, even if it’s just a couple of hours a week. Also, managing your time between, studying, working, and having free-time whilst also getting enough sleep can be a very difficult task, but by third year you should have it to a tee, before everything changes again when you enter the real world of full-time work. If you’re living away from home you’ll also learn very quickly how to cook, clean and iron, and not spend all of your loan on takeaways and night outs.
TIME GOES EXTREMELY FAST!
As I said earlier, the three years will fly by! Plus, if you’re on a course like mine, you’re not actually at university that much of the time. Over the course of the three years, I only had an average of 9-10 hours of lecture time per week, for only about 6 months of the year (every course is different though). The rest of the time was spent at home studying, working or being at university for other reasons such as having tutorials with my lecturers or going out. But make sure to enjoy it whilst it lasts, because before you know it, it will be over and you’ll be in the big wide world.
YOU COMPLAIN A LOT ABOUT PAYING £9000 A YEAR FOR SOMEONE TO READ OFF POWERPOINT SLIDES
Not much I need to say about this one. There are a lot of times when you have a two-hour lecture where the lecturer will just read off of the slides for the whole time. You really start to contemplate why you are paying £9000 a year, and why you drove 45 minutes for something you could have done yourself in bed. But that’s uni for you!
MENTAL BREAKDOWNS DON’T LAST FOREVER, AND IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP
There will be times where you want to just scream when your essay or project isn’t going the way you hoped. There will be times when you’re really not feeling yourself and feel like you can’t do it. There will be times where things outside of the university will be affecting you. But PLEASE don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it be from your friends, family, lecturer, anyone, just ask. I’m not afraid to say that during the second and third year I had my struggles, but speaking to people really helped to alleviate some pain or pressure and a way out of the problem at hand.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
Looking back, I’m amazed at what I managed to achieve whilst at university. Once you’ve written an 8000-word dissertation, whilst working on a live advertising brief and writing up a social media audit, you realise you can literally do anything when you put your mind to it! That being said, university was not an easy ride. I took a year out after school before heading to university, so going from zero studying to having to write essay after essay was quite a shock to the system! However, the main thing that I learned is that if you put the work in, you will get the results that you want.
YOU’LL MISS IT WHEN IT’S OVER
I spend a lot of my free time now wondering what to do with myself. When I had free time at uni, I would start to feel a bit guilty that I wasn’t working on one of my modules. Now it feels weird to have free time and actually be able to relax! However, the main thing you’ll miss is not living in the ‘adult world’ where you have to work full-time and get up early every day. Take me back now, please.
Thank you for reading! Hopefully, this post will help you if you’re thinking about going to university in the future.