We have all heard the clichés of university graduates and people who have experienced what university has to offer. “It will be the time of your life”, “there is no better experience” and “you will make the friends that will last for a lifetime”. Some of these will be true, but some will not. The likelihood is that you will go through a full spectrum of emotions through the 3 or 4 years you will be at your respective institution. Happiness, ecstasy, sadness, tiredness and lots of laughter hopefully. As great as it is to have all these emotions, you will want to also keep some consistency and grow as a person, both emotionally and mentally. So, here are my 4 pieces of advice with which you can hopefully achieve contentment at possibly the most important part of your life so far.
1. Keep Busy!
This is something that your parents will have told you a million times already, but it is astonishing how many people still become bored at some point. This is especially important in the initial weeks of settling in. New surroundings, new people and being away from home for probably the first time. All of these things can become overwhelming for students and it is very understandable. However, it is so vital that you make the effort of keeping occupied. Even doing things that you may not like at all will be helpful for you. This year I went to a society event which looked really interesting on its website. However, it was ultimately disappointing due to the lack of a substantial turnout and it was just very awkward. I would not say that I enjoyed myself but it was still better than simply sitting in my room and being upset. So keep busy, in any way, shape or form.
2. Never be afraid to ask for help!
We have all been there. That moment when you feel you need help but social anxiety and awkwardness stops you from asking. What will other people think of us? Will it not be embarrasing? All these thoughts invade our mind and make us scared. However, it is important to realise that these thoughts are completely not necessary. People from all over the world with different cultures and backgrounds will be attending the same university as you. It is likely that the questions you have other people will also have too. So it is vital that you ask for help when you need it because it will not only aid you, but you will aid others. This youthful childishness is something we should never lose, even in our adult years.
3. Be comfortable outside your comfort zone
This is incredibly difficult to do, I will be the first to do. I am not saying to become an extrovert if you have been shy throughout your school years or vice versa. The main thing to realise in university is that there are people of different cultures and interests. You will be put in situations which you may find awkward or odd. For me, I have never had a drink and in the beginning, I felt out of place when going out with friends. But the main thing I realised was to embrace my own characteristics. Everyone will understand your likes and dislikes and so will you of others. So, keep going to experience new things and I am sure you will learn every day.
4. Be yourself!
I have left this point to last because if you read this at the beginning, you would probably click on the back button. But this is probably the most important thing to take out of this blog. Everyone thinks that you have to be different at university, but they are wrong. You have lived 18 years of your life being you, why change for the next 3 years? You will attract people through your current personality and so long as you develop personally, nothing else can be asked from you. Keep being you and the world will love you for that.
So there it is. My 4 points of advice. I hope it has helped you and made you realise that university will be full of different emotions and experiences.
Yashas Mudumbai, 20, Computer Science Student at University Of Warwick
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