PS: View this post in your browser to read the complete post and comment as well. Hey guys. After spending a few years in the university, and watching other people graduate- imagining how it’ll feel next year when I too graduate- I decided to write on what I’ve learned from uni; or rather, what uni has taught me, without numbering like I always do.
When I started uni for the first time in 2015; a few days after I turned 17, I thought it was like normal school. Just go to class, learn, and go back home; except I wasn’t staying with my parents for the first time ever, and I was far away from home. I thought I just had to attend lectures, make friends, read, pass my exams, and I’m out! I was wrong; because uni is more than that. So many things had to be done. You can’t just make friends with a bunch of strangers in a class of over 100 students, you can’t just focus on one subject or topic, you can’t just attend a few lectures and call it a day. It was way more complex, and stressful.
I was like a newly born baby in a world I couldn’t decipher, and I didn’t know anyone. I had to gather the courage to talk to strangers I had just met while walking in school to ask for directions to classes and even know how things worked. And for someone who hated walking, I had to take transportation most of the time because I didn’t know anywhere. My first year was simply the worse because I still hadn’t gotten used to anything or made any friend in my department. I realised that If in sec school we were taught that 2+2 is 4, in uni, we were taught how to get the 2, how to combine the 2 to get 4, what happens when you get the 4, and then get questioned if the result is actually 4.
Our thinking faculty was broadened and it felt like being in sec school we were taught ABC but in uni, we were taught Algebra as a more complex topic under ABC which we had to grasp within a few minutes. I wasn’t prepared to make friends; and I didn’t till I was half way through my second year. Uni taught me that there are so many definitions and explanations to things I never thought about; I learned to think beyond my class and relate everything to things happening around me. I learned to teach myself things I hadn’t come across and basically use maths, philosophy, and a bit of psychology to learn English (I study English lit and it’s not as easy as people think)
I had to learn to read so many things and actually understand as well as enjoy them (especially having to learn about B.C era, and 14th through 18th century poems and novels which are my favourite eras). I learned to interact more with people despite our huge differences as well as maintain a stable relationship with people. Being around people I didn’t know and vice versa, I had to learn to stop hiding and gradually, I started coming out of my shell. I’d never raised my hand to ask or answer a question; as well as walk in front of the class, until recently. I started creating a name for myself; when my course mates didn’t even know I was a student.
I also learned to be in the company of people without keeping quiet like I usually do; now I say a lot! Being far away from home, I had to get used to coming back from lectures without my sisters so we could talk about our day and make fun of people; I’ve actually gotten used to being away from them. Uni also taught me that teenage friendship is just an illusion that faded after we all went our separate ways. All the plans we made before leaving sec school was just a fantasy because I’m not friends with basically all of them and I’m not bothered because I’ve realized that I come first.
Most importantly, uni taught me to grow up and not be shy, timid, or naive. Coming across so many people from different backgrounds, religion, and social class made me see things differently. Living with my parents, I thought life was easier and I just had to worry about getting good grades and having fun with friends. I realise now that there’s more to life once you leave the comfort of your home and go into the second phase of the real world. The real world comes after graduating, going for Master’s, and getting a job.
I never saw myself getting so stressed out with uni work because I thought it was all fun and games like normal school. So, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we don’t really know anything until we experience it. And rather than plan ahead, sometimes its better to just leave in the moment, be free and enjoy every second of life. Sadly enough I learned that people die on a daily basis and we should just learn to be happy despite how hard things get. I never learned any of this in sec school but I’m glad I do now; and I’m learning a lot as well. Have you learned anything from school/uni? What did you learn? Did it have an impact on you?
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