University is a chance to reinvent yourself, and to quote one of the literary greats, F. Scott Fitzgerald, ‘Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall’. When you start your degree in September your life has just begun – or started all over again. This is one of the biggest advantages of higher education.
When you start your degree you’ll be at least 18 years of age, and would have completed some level of qualifications beforehand (BTECs, GCSE’s and A-Levels). But a new educational journey is about to begin when you attend your first class at university.
In the majority of cases, you won’t be with many people that you know and will start this adventure somewhat alone, in consequence, there is no other better opportunity to become whoever it is that you want to be. People from all walks of life will be starting afresh and university really is a place where pretty much everyone is accepted. Discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated so you don’t need to hold back on any part of your personality.
Your institution will be full of societies – you might be lucky enough to have hundreds! – And there will be an interest, hobby, or outlook that really represents you and you can get involved in. If you have never before had the chance to stand for Feminism, Race or LGBT issues, this will be the perfect time. You can also try to be more creative by signing up to productive and varying activities like pottery, dance or art. There really is a diverse menu to choose from. The local community may also have opportunities for you to try something unlike what you have completed before.
Classes will be full of new and exciting groups of people that will have very much similar or different experiences under their belt to your own. You won’t have to abide by any pressures that you have felt before or feel like you have to do things because your friends are. Even if it doesn’t feel like 100% of the time, your fellow students, staff and friends are all adults and most days will go a lot smoother.
Heart-warming points aside, with your new student discounts you can buy an entirely new wardrobe, gadgets and quirky decor for your room – so you’re new housemates will never know your obsession minions from the movie Despicable Me.
To really get the best out of university you should be fully committed to being yourself and not give yourself a tough time whatever happens. This is the time for you to make silly mistakes – like spilling that pasta all over your bed, being the one that hosts the ‘sleepover’ and regret it at 5 O’clock in the morning, and putting the potato in the microwave for too long. And to learn how to deal with responsibilities, such as; choosing to watch Breaking Bad over researching your essay, forgetting that direct debt due and going into an unplanned overdraft, and not remembering to lock your door when you leave your dorm. Everybody makes the same sort of mistakes whilst being a student, so you might as well make the most of it and have your mum’s number on speed dial!
One of the best things is, nobody you meet at university and thereafter will have seen you go through any of your ‘phases’ or embarrassing habits – unless you forget to delete the evidence off of your Facebook account! If you are applying to go to university next year, think about what you want to do and who you really are as they are the most important above all else, and check out some university guides, so that you’re not going in blind. Let go of all the previous pressures you may have felt at school and/or college – there isn’t any room for them in your new life! Let’s all look forward to the fall.
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