This past week I’ve finished my first semester at university. These are the lessons, summed up, I’ve learned from it:
1. Always be prepared. You do not want to be the person in the workshop/seminar who doesn’t know what to say. Or says something completely wrong because you haven’t done the reading, or enough reading. Believe me.
2. Show up on time. Walking into a packed lecture theatre isn’t fun. Neither is walking into a seminar/workshop group in mid-conversation.
3. Make sure to sign the register. Don’t let your attendance drop on a technicality.
4. Don’t be afraid to speak out and have opinions. All opinions are valid and even if you’re technically wrong/are contradicted, you’ll still learn a lot.
5. Similar to above, don’t be afraid to do your own thing. Original thoughts are the whole point of university, not to simply follow the crowd. And if you stay true to what you think and believe you’ll have a lot more confidence.
All of these are lessons I’ve learned in the last three months. Even though I went into the semester with good intentions, I was unprepared. Because there is no way to prepare for a completely new experience. It’s not the same as college, even though the assessments are still (mostly) be essay, it’s a completely different way of working. I’ve spent most of the time feeling quite out of my depth.
I am, however, determined to take these lessons forward into the next semester after Christmas – along with whatever I learn from my first set of essay feedback and grades.
It’s been quite a ride. Emotional. Challenging. Inspiring.
Long may it continue.