Four things I learnt from university

Starting university next week? You might want to read this first...

Marie Tan

Published: 25 July 2016, 6:58 PM

The past few years in university have shaped and changed my perspective on life.

Sure, I have learnt a lot during my formative years in secondary school, but it was the years leading up to adulthood that left a huge impact on me.

Here are some things I wish someone had told me before I started university.

1. Hall life may not be for everyone

If you’re headed to Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore, some seniors might encourage you to stay in hall because it is convenient, fun, and offers you a “true university experience”.

However, after staying in hall for almost two years, I realised maybe hall life is not for everyone.

I received countless of flyers for events and campaigns in hall.

Once you’re in hall, a lot of socialising is involved. While it may be fun at the beginning when you are all new and eager to make friends, it will be tiring in the long run for those who cannot keep up with that level of commitment.

There are always events going on and it may get a little difficult to keep up with all of them.

2. Schedule classes you can actually wake up for

While some universities allow students to schedule their own classes, having that freedom is not always a good thing.

Planning a timetable that suits your lifestyle is the key to surviving the semester.

I once made the mistake of scheduling classes that began at 8.30am. While it seems perfectly doable at the beginning of the semester, trust me, it will get to you at some point in the semester. You might end up skipping the class in its entirety.

Which leads me to the next point…

3. Go for ALL your classes!

Skipping class is just like snacking; it gets increasingly addictive.

I am not proud about it, but I have definitely skipped my fair share of classes over the past three years.

Going for class is half the battle won.
Remember, you are paying huge sums of money to attend these classes each semester, so do not let it go to waste!

4. It is okay to feel like you have no clue about what you are doing

Nobody said university life was going to be easy. Okay, lots of people do say that, but it does not always apply to me.

After attending some classes, I still feel rather clueless, especially when I compare myself with my peers who seem to have no trouble understanding what the professors are saying.

But I have learnt to accept that because we all have different experiences and skill-sets. And just because the others seem like they know what they are doing, they could be struggling in their own way, just like you.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

These three years have taught me far more than just things related to my major, such as learning to embrace challenges that come my way, and accepting that they are part and parcel of this experience.

So, as you embark on your university journey, do focus on the bigger picture.

Because there is more to life than your GPA.


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