- Campus Life
- Careers & Employability
- Local Life
- Part-Time Work
- Preparing for University
- Social Life
Blog 6 – A Candid Insight into my Uni Experience
Hiya everyone, I hope everyone is doing well. For today’s blog, I wanted to give you all a candid insight into every aspect of my university experience so far. I’ll be delving into my course, my jobs, social life and further opportunities…
So, starting with the reason we’re all at university in the first place, TO GET A DEGREE. When I was first applying for universities and looking into courses, to be completely honest, I didn’t even really consider what course would be best suited to me. I prioritised the career prospects that came with the degree after I graduate and what looked and sounded ‘best on paper’. At times during my Chemistry degree, I’ve felt really out of my depth – this links to the concept of imposter syndrome, a topic I discussed in an earlier blog. I was never the best at chemistry at sixth form, to be honest, I actually struggled with it quite a lot, to the point where I really had to reconsider, before starting university, whether or not I should even be doing this. But thankfully, I’ve found things ok so far (… and I’ve somehow survived all the way through to my final year!)
Granted, the degree is hard, but what else can one expect?! I knew what I’d signed up for and it was just a matter of how I was going to approach things and ask for the relevant help when necessary. This links quite nicely into my thoughts on my department and job opportunities within the university. Again, before starting university, I had preconceptions about what the lecturers and academics would be like. Especially for STEM-based lecturers, I always thought they’d be really intimidating and scary, because they’re so knowledgeable and intelligent, so if I had any query about their content, they’d think of me as a fool. While this may *sometimes* be the case, I’ve never really had an experience where I’ve felt like a complete lemon asking or answering a question – which is nice. I’ve only ever had good experiences with my department, and this has led to me forming good relationships with academics, which has resulted in numerous job roles within the university. This has been really valuable to me, because my department took heed of the fact that I did not want to pursue a career in chemistry in the future, so they’ve helped me in numerous different ways to add experience for what it is that I want to do later in life.
Onto social life (another key reason why most people go to university)… Now being in my third and final year of university, I look back and see each year as a new step and social chapter in my life. My first year is where I explored and experimented the most (despite COVID-restrictions). I utilised every opportunity I had offered to me in order to have the best first year, regardless of the social obstacles that COVID had caused. In my penultimate year, this is when I lived off-campus, and again, felt another step-up of independence and freedom. I don’t know about you guys, but you suddenly just feel that much older by not living in halls anymore! This was the year that I began to mellow down in terms of social interactions – academic content and complexity was increasing and I was beginning to invest my time in working and job-hunting. I find that the ‘in between years’ of your degree is when you really start finding your feet and understanding your routine and habits – this is certainly what happened to me. Second year opened my eyes to lots of different things. With my final year well underway, it sounds cliché, but I feel older and wiser in my decisions. It’s the time where studies and work have become my full focus, and I prioritise my wellbeing over socialising. Going out is important, but establishing a happy medium between socialising and working is what I’m trying to embody the most this year. ‘Going out’ for me now is not necessarily partying, drinking or clubbing, but rather going out for meals and spending evenings in with my friends. To me, each year of university is like a ‘pyramid of life’ and it’s been interesting to evaluate how each year has been different and affected me academically, mentally and socially – I would urge you all to reflect on your experiences too.