People often claim that university forms the best years of their lives, but I’ve also heard many people say it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Therefore, as a recent graduate myself; I thought I’d share my personal experience at university with you.
Growing up, my parents drilled higher education into my brain and it was always discussed that they would like me to go to university. Don’t get me wrong, I was in no way a child genius and neither did I get straight A’s. In actual fact, I was very much the average student. From my parents’ view, I think they naturally wanted the best for me, and they knew going to university would not only allow to me to grow in knowledge, but also in character. Personally however, as I wasn’t the typical academic student, I hardly thought I would enjoy university. I was never really gifted or passionate about one specific subject and my grades were usually in the B’s (with the occasional A thrown in here and there).
Then came Sixth Form (which I guess would be High School for all you American/International folks) and this is where the mere idea of going to university actually became a very imminent possibility. Not only that, it became a goal that I actually wanted to achieve for myself, and not just because my parents thought I should go for it. This was mainly due to the fact that I started to really enjoy the subjects I chose for my A-Levels, and I was doing pretty well in them. I chose A-Levels Law; Psychology; Ethics & Philosophy; and I.T. – I ended up dropping I.T. in Year 13 and carried on with the rest.
I decided to apply for LLB Law and once I found out I got into my insurance choice, I was both thrilled and anxious about what was to come. As you may not know, I am a bit an introvert. During my school life however, I was pretty fortunate to make some really good friendships that I have still managed to maintain to this day. But, the reality of leaving the place I spent the last 7 years of my life and starting anew became very daunting very quickly. With that said, I managed to convince myself to let go of any feelings of anxiety and look forward to all the new experiences ahead.
I quickly noticed that you have to learn to balance your academic work and social life. At first, I spent too much time in the library and hardly any time going out with friends. During my penultimate year however, I met some really cool people and made really good friends – this meant that I actually had to spend more time in the library catching up on work and less time going out with friends!
Having been through these different stages at university, I believe that the social side of things and developing as a person is equally important in enjoying life at university. I also noticed that immersing myself in the social aspect of university absolutely helped alleviate the crushing workload. I have found that you eventually learn from your mistakes and you soon learn how to balance it all.
Furthermore, another aspect of university life is that you are left to your own devices, unlike school where you’re basically spoon-fed by the teachers. At university it is solely up to you to know what to do and how to do it. This is especially the case for deadlines – the tutors are not going to be on your case about handing in your assignments on time! This can be hard to adjust to at first, but it is untimely a good character building experience as it allows you use your own initiative and figure things out on your own.
My last year at university, I think, went by really fast. While I did enjoy it mostly, it was definitely a challenge work-wise. This was because my Third Year accounted for 75% of my overall grade so I had to get my head down and work my butt off. Not only that, I also had to balance this hefty workload with volunteering at a Domestic Violence Centre.
As you can imagine, I was thrilled when I graduated last summer with a 2:1 in LLB Law. It may not be the 1st I wanted but I was happy nonetheless. Overall, I wouldn’t go back and change my decision to go to university; it was the biggest learning and growing experience of my life.
But, while I do miss certain things about the student life, I am very pleased not to have my head stuck in a plethora of textbooks and pulling all-nighters trying to get my assignments in on time. I currently work in the legal sector, but I haven’t decided whether I want to be a practicing solicitor.
I hope this helped if you were thinking about going to university or were interested in what my time at university was like. Also, I’ll leave a picture I took of my beautiful campus – I hope you guys enjoy it!
All the best,