It seems like it was only yesterday that I was a fresher and came to Manchester, unaware of my future in this new city I’d just moved to. But here I am, now in the last two months of my bachelor’s degree, reminiscing the highs and lows of my academic career. University is not just an institution that provides you with education, but it is an overall self-development and growth experience. Here are four things I learnt while in uni:
What’s Next? I don’t know.
Being in my final year, I have been hearing the same questions again and again: “What are you going to do after graduation?”, “What are your future plans?”. I know for sure I want to pursue further education with a master’s degree but what I will do next, I really don’t know.
It might sound dreading not to have a resolved vision nor plan for your future, but I believe being confused and lost is not a bad thing. These feelings will force you to explore more opportunities until you have a clearer idea of what might be right for you. Every small step you are making will shape your future in the way it is meant to be. So, don’t be discouraged and stress over big decisions, because everything will fall into place. Start with the little steps!
Your degree is not everything.
Until recently, I have always thought that your degree will define your future career opportunities, but I was totally wrong. What you learn academically will help you build your technical expertise and general knowledge. However, it shouldn’t be an excuse nor a limitation stopping you from broadening your horizons. In fact, University is not all about learning in classes and doing coursework. It is a place for you to grow as an individual and to gain transferrable skills that can be applied in any field. It would be your first time away from home and being exposed to a new circle of people. You will learn how to be independent, self-sufficient and how to build and maintain professional/personal relationships.
Don’t just study, have fun!
Studying is the main duty we have as students but don’t limit yourself to just that. From an employer’s point of view, you will be not different from other candidates who have the same grades. Your extracurricular activities – either volunteering or part-time jobs, are what will make you stand out among others because they are unique to you. For instance, joining societies is a great opportunity to meet new people and to improve your interpersonal skills, as well as your emotional quotient.
Don’t underestimate yourself.
Being a chronic procrastinator, I usually overestimate my physical and mental capabilities in executing a project. However, I also see myself and my peers underestimating ourselves in many occasions. We believe we cannot do something because we do not have the experience, the skills or, simply, the guts for it. Being the person who knows oneself the best, we are more than aware of our countless flaws and they are exactly the reason why we often forget about our strengths and assets. Just remember, you are actually not as bad as you think you are. Just do it!