Looking Back at Two Years of University

Going to college was one of the big worries of high school. Where was I going to go and to study what? How would I settle into a life very different from everything I had ever known? At the time it seemed very intimidating and something I apprehended greatly just because of the uncertainty of it all. There was so much doubt, worry and confusion going into my first year, but looking back now, halfway through my undergraduate degree, my attitudes and thoughts have changed. These might be helpful to any first year students going through a similar experience.

One of my biggest concerns was that everyone seemed to have it all together – except for me. It was stressful simply not knowing if I would like what I was going to study and if I was sure I wanted to go wherever those studies would take me. I talked to and met many people during my first couple of weeks. They seemed to have very well thought out plans of what their next four years at university would look like. They seemed to know what carrer path they would take and when they would do what. But it is key to remember that many, many others don’t know what all of this looks like for them yet and are just as unsure as you going into it. So, relax and take time to find what is right for you. The journey is just as important as the destination and certainly not a competition. You are better off experimenting and finding a passion than you are jumping in and committing to something you may not feel sure about.

In my first year, I was also very adamant about making sure all my classes tied in very nicely with each other and all served to fulfill a major or minor, and if not, were at least closely related to my studies. As important as it is to ensure that you are well rounded in your field of study, do not forget that electives are there for a reason! Do not limit yourself to classes only related to your degree if you have the option to take others. Use these as opportunities to discover what you like, try something new, and study beyond what it is you are pursuing, such as learning a new language or dipping your toes into a subject you were always curious about but never got the chance to take.

Like many new things, heading out to university on your own for the first time is daunting. It’s a real test on your ability to adapt and a time of serious questioning. All those things you ask yourself when you first enter college will likely still be there by the time you get out, albeit a little cleared up. Two years later I’m still not 100% on what I’m doing, but I enjoy it and I see myself doing things with it later in life that I will enjoy as well. Plan, try, talk to advisors, experience, and learn. Don’t worry so much and do your best in everything – easier said than done, I know, but well worth it in the end.

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