Part I: Growing / Maturing / Learning – OurWarwick

Part I: Growing / Maturing / Learning

This post is dedicated to not just students, but also to the parents of students. It is a reassurance, an insight, maybe would one might even stretch as to call it a ‘promise’, that university gives you more than just a debt and a degree. It is often hard, even impossible, to self reflect on our own personal growth. The greatest entrepreneurs of the world have often admitted to setting themselves goals with fixed deadlines so that, when questioned, they are able to show their progress in their work and personal lives through their careful monitoring. However, at university, many students don’t have the time to keep a diary every day to reflect upon their learnings. Moreover, when asked what they had learnt during their day, many might say something about their academic work (if they had a response at all!). However, university is just more than sitting in lectures and then rewatching them on lecture catch-up at x2 speed. University is a time for students to mature, and like a fine wine, the process takes time. I’m going to openly admit that I was a right brat when growing up. During my teenage years, I was rude to my parents, and took what I had for granted. I would mindlessly throw my clothes on the floor, keep a collection of dirty crockery in my bedroom, and the pigs would have flown before I ever offered to help my parents wash the dishes. These, amongst other unattractive traits, seemed normal to me. I would complain to my friends – who, by the bye, were exactly like me – how unfair it were of my parents to complain about my behaviour. Whilst during sixthform I had slightly improved and started to, albeit reluctantly, dry the dishes, I was still in this sheltered, self indulgent state. University came as a shock to me. Last year, I was thrown into Roots accommodation along with 14 other students, not all of whom were tidy, and not all of whom understood the idea of ‘property’. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in past posts but I will mention my flatmate again, who arrived at university claiming that he had brought no utensils whatsoever as he knew the 14 other people he was living with would bring their own. Proudhon’s words in ‘What is property?’ have now come to me as I remember him taking not just mine, but everyone’s bowls, cutlery, and even food, without asking and without apologising. I remember becoming very frustrated when walking into his room and finding my full set of plates and matching mugs all used and pilled up on his desk. I would swim through his dirty laundry spread across his bedroom floor, take back what was rightfully mine and insist he wash them up himself under my supervision. Sounds familiar? Leaving the safe family cocoon and brutally thrown into the real world might have just been my personal experience. Maybe I was extremely sheltered and pampered as an only child of retired parents, or maybe there are others out there in my position. I feel that one of the many, many things university has taught me, is how the cleanliness of a space will affect my mood. Whilst nowadays, at times, there may be a few clothes scattered around my bedroom floor, I do my utmost to keep my room a clean, welcoming space where I can relax and not feel trapped within a claustrophobic mess. It helps me gather my thoughts, and I feel a lot better for it too. Although I had to suffer a messy flatmate all of last year, I am grateful that I have learnt this lesson, and I am grateful that I am able to learn from my previous mistakes. – WRITER’S COMMENTARY: Thank youuuuuuuu everyone for reading my post! This has been by far one of my favourite to write, and I am so grateful for all the lovely comments I get from people who come up to me and say nice things about my blog! It is really encouraging and I love getting feedback on my writing, be it positive or informative, because as Dad always says, ‘feedback is the breakfast of champions’. I’m thinking of making posts like these a strong feature of future blogs, because I love writing about my growth at university. It’s a great way to reflect personally for my own mental health, but I also hope that in doing so it is helping others that may be in similar situations. I am also planning to attend a talk on Vlogging (Video + blogging) this month, which I feel will be a great idea as it will make this a lot more personal! Exciting times! 🙂

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