Today’s blog, readers, is inspired by an article posted on a WordPress called ‘ThoughtCatalog‘ and the article is titled ‘50 Tiny Things Every 20-Something Needs To Realise‘. This article appeared on my Facebook after a friend had shared it and upon reading it – it made me feel so much better and I wanted to share it with you. Now obviously, I’m not going to take credit for their list because it’s amazing and all credit goes to them – however, this being a student blog and the majority of students being in their ’20-Somethings’, I figured it was worth sharing some of my personal favourite from the list and explain why they are important to remember for you as students.
Therefore, let’s begin!
- Your parents only want what is best for you.
I feel this one is extremely important, straight off the bat. A lot of students struggle with choosing courses because their parents want them to do a certain one or go to a certain university and students they feel like they don’t have a control over a part of their life, they should. You have to understand that these parents are just trying to do what THEY think is best for you. They want you to do well and succeed.
You also have to keep in mind that a majority of our parents generation did not actually attend university so have very little ideas about how it all works and that’s terrifying for them. Then, in this day and age, they read up about it online and suddenly think they have control over this decision for you. I must stress enough, university should be YOUR decision and YOUR decision only. Every aspect of it. You’ve got to do what you are comfortable with, what makes you happy and most importantly, what you think is right.
Every student has silly arguments with parents of university, finances and such – just remember, they are just trying to look out for you but they do find it hard when you are far from home and have very little understanding around the whole process.
2. You aren’t fifteen anymore / Talking about someone behind their back isn’t going to make you look any cooler.
I’ve combined these two because they go hand in hand. From answering queries and threads on ‘The Student Room‘ I’ve come to understand that a lot of potential students thing university is going to have the same ‘ground plan’ as every other year of education. INCORRECT. Students at university are (on the whole) mature and grown up. You are not going to be judged because you do not drink, no one is going to question what you wear or how you live your life because they are young adults!
Don’t get me wrong, there can still be drama. Petty arguments and fights and clique(y) groups but not on the immature level of other educational levels. The ‘clique’ groups that form are out of comfort and general people you get on with and the petty arguments and fights can be from stress, drunken antics and more but yes, remember, you are not fifteen anymore, don’t act petty – you’re meant to be grown up and do not talk about someone behind their back – sure, it’ll happen and I’m guilty of it too, but it doesn’t make you look cooler – if that’s the intention you are seeking.
3. People grow apart.
This is an unfortunate truth that you are going to have to accept. People do grow apart and that includes friends you’ve made in first year – they may not be your friends by the end of third year. I’ll share some advice that our lecturer shared with us in first year:
“The friends you have now, may not be the ones you keep. You’ve all made friends because you’re scared and in the unknown and some friendships form out of that. Some of the people you think you hate now, you’ll grow to love and those who you think you love now, you’ll grow to hate and you have to expect that.”
And without a doubt this has always stuck with me. It’s incredibly important and extremely true. That is life. People come and go and just because you have ‘years of friendship’ behind you – that does not count for anything. Remember that time dictates nothing. You will grow apart from people you think you’d be close to but let it happen – that’s okay. People grow up and grow apart, that’s life.
4. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
Everybody you come across at university is coming from somewhere you aren’t. Everybody is coming from their own stories – everybody is walking away from their pasts (someone people are running). Don’t assume anything about anybody until you’ve had the chance to know them because you have NO idea what people have been through. Look at your own life, think about what you’ve been through and think about what you are trying to hide. Others are the same. Student life is hard, extremely hard at times. Support each other – you do not know what goes on in peoples heads or behind closed doors. Bare that in mind.
5. You are not as alone as you think.
There are A LOT of students (if not, all students) that feel alone all the time, or a lot of the time – or at least at some point through university life. That’s why it is very important to remember that ‘you are all in the same boat’ – there has never been a truer saying. Sure, if you look at the last one I said everybody is coming from their different pasts but at this current moment and time, you are all in the same boat. New city (maybe), new friends, new course, new lecturers, new work, new accommodation, financial troubles, work stress, social life and so much more. It all gets to us and affects us all in different ways. Just remember you are not as alone as you think. There is always someone there to talk to – be it a flat mate, a course friend, a lecturer, student support or a Welfare Officer – just remember who is there to talk to, even when you feel most alone because nobody is ever truly alone.
6. Making a mistake is not the end of the world / Trust your gut.
At university, a ‘mistake’ can be a multitude of things. Maybe you got drunk and did something you regret, maybe you missed a lecture and shouldn’t have, maybe you didn’t get a good grade on something because you didn’t study as hard as you could have and the list goes on. Maybe, and I know this is true for some students, going to university is the mistake – wrong course or wrong university etc and that is fine. It is not the end of the world and there is plenty, I mean PLENTY, of pathways to take. Do not feel trapped. Do not destroy yourself because of a mistake, learn from it and move on. Also, this is why I added ‘trust your gut’ – if it feels right, do it – it may end up not being so but at least you went with what you thought was right. Always trust your gut feeling.
7. You have to work at what you want. It’s not going to come to you / Work hard in school. It will be worth it.
Congratulations! You are at university – you’re one of the elite and yes, you can still class as getting into university as being one of the elite. You’ve dossed through first year (some of you) because the ‘grades don’t count’ and what not but don’t stop working when you get to university – if you’ve got a goal, aim for it. Work for it. At the end of the day, you’ll get a degree out of this and make sure it’s a bloody good grade – show that for three years, you worked hard. You really put your all into what you want to get where you want to go. University is hard work and do not give up.
8. You’re allowed to feel lost at this age / You’re allowed to not know what the heck you are doing.
Again, these are two that nicely fit together. Is the .gif below you?
Well guess what? That is fine. At this age, you still have a long way to go. Ask some of your lecturers their journeys and you’ll be surprised. They didn’t just walk into being a lecturer, they’ve worked fast food places, they’ve worked supermarkets, teaching assistants and other random jobs that have nothing to do with what they ended up doing. There is a long journey and there is not a straight path to that – you are going to go in a million different directions before you end up there but you can do it. Don’t panic!
You do NOT have to have your life figured out yet.
Guess what? Even the ‘adults’ (yes, I know we’re adults) don’t have their lives figured out yet! It’s one massive guessing game and everybody is in the same boat as you. You can have a rough idea of what you want to do because there is always going to be a bump in the road or a change in the route. You will be fine. It will be okay.
9. Your dream career may not be what you are going to do for the rest of your life.
Whatever you think your dream career is now, that may not be what you are doing to go. For example, when I came to university, I was certain that I would be a drama teacher. 100% certain in my decision and I was pretty certain I knew how to get to there. (I didn’t). Now, I want to lead my own theatre group or set up my own company around educational or corporate drama. How do I get there? I only have a very rough idea and that’s all I need right now. It may not be what I end up doing in my life – we’ll just have to see but don’t be upset if you get to a point and you realise your dream job isn’t what you are doing because that is fine. You’ll find something better along the way.
10. Mental health isn’t something to joke about.
I feel like this one should be pretty self explanatory but nevertheless, I’ll mention it anyway. There is a great number of students that suffer with mental health at university – there is a good majority at every university and there are varying degrees of these mental health and you may never know that some people are suffering from mental health – hence why it is very important to note that it is nothing to joke about and as I mentioned previously, you do not know what people are battling so keep this in mind.
Bare in mind (and I believe I’ve mentioned it before) but there was a test that showed that students have the same mental readouts and stress levels as ‘mental’ patients in the 1950s… that’s scary. Knowing that at least 90% of the student population would have been deemed ‘mental’ and locked away is scary – shows how times have changed and how little they understood human beings back then but as I’ve said, it’s nothing to joke about and a lot of students do live with a mental health issue – so don’t joke and think before you speak!
And finally, I’ll end this ‘Part One’ on one of my favourites…
11. You are still so, so young.
YES! Yes we are. In the grand scheme of things we are still extremely young. Bare in mind in the past twenty odd years of your life since being born, a few of them you had no idea of the world around you and was just adjusting to being a living, breathing human and discovering your could walk, to going to an education you had no choice in and basically going through the motions of growing up. You are now an ADULT. The next 20 years and beyond are ALL yours. You call the shots, you make the decisions. We are still SO young. Travel, fall in and out of love, eat what you want, run, walk and see everything! Just live and enjoy yourself! Remember how old you are and remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said:
“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.”
Now enjoy a drunk Ron Swanson because I have been binge watching Parks and Recreation and it’s now my favourite thing in the world…