Let me be honest: I have no idea what to write for a first blog post. Most people tend to provide some long-winded introduction about themselves but that’s not my style. So instead I’m going to talk about one of my favourite topics (yes sarcasm completely intended): university.
It’s been just over a week since I’ve started and already some things have become clear in my mind about my next four years at university. Other then the fact that my bank account will likely become non-existent due to all the spending I’ll do, there’s both good and bad ahead.
Regardless of my balanced statement above, there are a few alarming things I noticed just from spending a few classes with the class of 2020. Some might be a by-product of my tendency to over analyse the life out of everything but they’re still pretty valid.
Everyone is better than you
Whatever prestige and power you thought made you special in high school is nothing compared to the accomplishments of the people you will work with in university. You got a 95% average? Chances are someone in your class will have a 98% average. You got published in a magazine? The person next to you runs the magazine. There will always be people more smarter, athletic and all around more experienced than you. It’s pretty scary as a first year from a small high school.
Time management needs to be on point
Between several hours of classes, homework, exercising, hanging out with friends, jobs and maybe even extracurricular activities, there’s plenty of things to keep you busy. The problem however lies in what to do when your prof piles on nine readings and an essay all due the next week. How on earth do you find time to hang out with your friends and work at least 12 hours a week? The answer is apparently simple: time management. But let’s face it as a first year, the only thing you manage properly is your instagram and maybe your ability to fall into bed when you get home from class. Time management is a skill that only the most addicted of workaholics seem to perfect. The rest of us just need to get by.
Money suddenly becomes more valuable then you think
With great power comes great responsibility. With great careers comes the need for lots of cash to pay for it. Tuition, drinks, textbooks and special events are some of the few things that will rob your wallet without mercy. Of course, many people think that the best way to combat this is through budgeting or keeping track of how much you spend. Let’s be completely real though; no one does that. At least not for an extended period of time. Your best bet is to get a job and make some more. Only…it’s not easy as a student with no degree and minimal experience to get a job. Just pack a lunch and stick with it. Or ideally live your life off free events and food. That works better.
Freedom is sweet
The most you could get away with in high school was skipping. This is coming from me, the queen of all things rule breaking (more on that in a later post) and doing what I wanted. But in university/college no one cares. You’re using your money to pay for your education so what you do is completely up to you. It’s a welcome relief not to be called out on your absences or being berated for not showing up in “proper attire” for the umpteenth time. You can easily pop on the train and end up in another part of the city if you really wanted to. It’s all up to you.
But responsibility sucks
You’re an adult now. That means understanding that you are in every way responsible for what you do, how you act and how to live your life. It’s a horrible concept. I came out of high school with little understanding on how to grocery shop on a budget, and suddenly everyone expects you to know how to file your income tax. The learning curve is steeper than a parabola (you know that stupid semi-oval you spent 3 years on?) and while there are people who can help, much of it is practical application.
So there you have it; my fears and observations in a nutshell. No doubt I expect half of this to change in a span of a year but right now, most of this seems pretty darn valid. Hopefully I’ll learn how to pay my income tax without simultaneously screwing up my career. Hopefully the world implodes and I won’t have to pay tuition fees. But most of all, I hope this is best four years of my life. God knows I can’t go back once I’ve experienced it.