Hello Beautiful People!
It’s seriously hard to believe another school year is coming to an end. In just a couple months, I’ll be done my second year of university (halfway done!). So I thought I would share 10 things I’ve learned this year, just like I did last year. The year hasn’t ended yet but trust me, I’ve learned plenty already. While last year was more about adjusting to the entire university atmosphere, this year was a year I definitely learned more about myself.
10 THINGS I LEARNED IN 2ND YEAR UNIVERSITY
#1: It’s Okay to Change Your Mind
Once you have chosen your program or classes, you may feel stuck doing that for the rest of university. But that’s not always the case. If you’re unhappy and know you want to do or try something else, find a way to do it. You’re paying for your education and it’s important to make the best of it, not dread going to school everyday because you have absolutely no interest in your program or courses. I’ve changed my mind tons of times this year in regards to my courses and program and when I was able to make a change, it really helped me realize more and more what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
#2: It’s Okay to Not Know What You Want to Do with the Rest of Your Life
Speaking of the rest of your life. It’s okay if you have no idea what you want to do with the rest of your life. You may feel pressured to make a decision, but make one that you are sure of when the time is right. I actually wrote a blog post about this called “Figuring It Out and Finding Your Passion” and you can read that HERE! But to sum up the post if you don’t want to read the whole thing, finding your passion/what you want to do with the rest of your life will come with experience. Try new things, meet new people, and your passion will come to you when the time is right.
#3: Keep Yourself Busy Beyond School Work and Make New Friends
Speaking of trying new things and meeting new people…try and keep yourself busy beyond school work and classes. It may seem like you have absolutely no time, especially if you work outside of school, but in that case, try to work somewhere where you have an actual interest in what you’re doing (this may not always be possible but if it is, that’s awesome). Universities have so many clubs and services that students can be part of. Do some research and take advantage of the different opportunities that you’re interested in. This may help you find what you really love doing, or it may just keep your mind off of studying for a few hours a week!
#4: Sleep Schedules are Life
I just started sleeping on an actual schedule and although this is obvious, it is the best thing ever. Last year my sleep schedule was horrible and I always felt a lack of energy during the day and then at night I would be way too energetic. For some, this is okay. But I recommend trying to sort something out for yourself. I go to bed between 11 and 12 and usually wake up between 7:30-9 depending on the day and the time I went to sleep. I have so much energy during the day and can actually focus on class. It also motivates me to do my work during the hours I have in the day, so night time is usually free time for me (for the most part).
#5: Find Your Perfect Study Space/Spot/Place/Time
This is another obvious one, but I’ve really learned this year where I work the best. If it is quite in my house, I can usually work in my bedroom at my desk for a long period of time. However, I actually don’t have one particular study space or place, I have many. I study better if I switch it up. I go to different classrooms during school to work, the library sometimes, the dining room in our house, my bedroom, cafes, etc. I also work best during the day when the sun is shining (odd…but true). Find the time and place where you feel most motivated and least distracted. Moving around each time you study really helps though (especially if you get distracted and unmotivated easily like I do).
#6: Find Inspiration Around You Beyond the Classroom
Halfway through the year I felt extremely uninspired by everything. I never wanted to do anything outside of school, I never wanted to blog or take photos, etc. I kind of blamed that on living in a “boring city” but realized I wasn’t utilizing where I lived to the best of my ability. To feel more inspired every single day, find new things around where you live. Go hiking, go skating, find where local bands are playing, don’t just sit around feeling uninspired. When I feel inspired, I feel unmotivated to do school work.
#7: Get Your Priorities Straight, Even if you have to Miss Out at Times
Sometimes you just have to recognize that you can’t do everything you’re given the opportunity to do or invited to do. It’s okay to miss our on things sometimes if something more important needs to be done. I really learned this year to recognize that sometimes it’s better to just finish homework and not go to that party rather than having to do homework last minute, hungover. Do what’s best for you. Missing out on things might feel crappy at the time, but you’ll get over it as soon as something else comes up.
#8: It’s Okay to not Always FEEL Okay
Not really feeling okay is normal. I find that part of my not feeling okay had a lot to do with the things I talked about above such as not feeling inspired for a while, not being happy with my program/courses and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. But as life always goes for every single person, there will always be ups and downs. Do what makes you happy when you’re feeling down whether that means figuring it out on your own or with others.
#9: Don’t Put Up with People’s Crap
Honestly, this was one of the most important lessons I learned this year. The great thing about university is that if you’re unhappy with the way someone is treating you, you can find a way to never be around that person or see them again. Although this isn’t always easy, you’ll figure it out. Sometimes it’s just sitting at the other side of the classroom, not making eye contact when you walk by them (great advice Ali…), or just cutting off contact with them during school and on social media. Only be around people who make you happy. You have a choice and complaining about a person for months or years isn’t worth it. It takes way less time to just say “BYE INSERT NAME OR NAMES HERE” and move on with your life.
#10: Learn to ASK QUESTIONS Until You Understand
If you really don’t understand something, ask questions. And if you still don’t understand after that, ask even more questions. It’s as simple as that. In first year I was intimidated by the idea of asking professors or TAs questions in person and through emails. But, it’s their job to answer your questions and assist you, in particular TAs. Ask as many questions as you want (I mean don’t be aggressive about it, give them time to answer if it’s through an email), and make sure you understand the answer before you move on.
#11 (EXTRA): Compete with yourself, Not with Others (Quote from Sophia Amoruso)
Once you are actually in a specific program, you come to see how competitive a lot of people are. I’m lucky because my program is way less competitive than most. But it’s important to focus only on your own goals and success, not others. Don’t compare yourself or your work to anyone else’s. And if you don’t feel like you worked hard enough on something or for something, encourage yourself to work harder next time. This is really important not only in school, but a lesson you will need to keep in the back of your mind for the rest of your life.
I hope this post was helpful to some of you and that some of you could relate to it!