The Hindsight Thoughts of Finishing my Degree
It has been two weeks since finishing my viva which was the final submission to my integrated masters. When I first started uni, four years ago, I had imagined the end of my degree to be filled with celebration, ceremonies, and partying. However, of course it has been nothing like this. Finishing my degree has been underwhelming, but I have enjoyed being able to not feel the pressure of revising and I am extremely happy that I have completed my degree to achieve this milestone in my life. I just wanted to write a post talking about my last four years and how I have developed, what I have learnt and my thoughts on everything. Hopefully, some of you can relate or this can help you in your next years at university.
When I first started uni, I tried hard not to have much of an expectation as I did not want to be disappointed. At first, I struggled with impostor syndrome, and still do to this day, and was worried about making friends as I have always been quite introverted. Luckily, I met some amazing people who have taught me so much and accepted me straight away and these are friends I will have forever. A campus as vast as Warwick means you will meet so many groups of people from your course, societies, and accommodation. It is okay to meet all of these people and not feel at home or connect with all of them. I have learnt over the years to not try and force these friendships as what is meant to be will be and if someone wants to be your friend then it should come naturally and with equal effort from both sides. I still believe even after four years of meeting people; I still struggle to put myself out there in fear of lack of reciprocation so this is something I would say to try and not be scared of!
Another important thing about uni, in my opinion, is the importance of balance. I wanted to make sure I was not just going out every night but that I also stayed active, stayed in with my friends, saw different groups of people and tried new things. This is hard to do, you never want to feel like you are missing out on something and there are still many things I wish I had done during my four years that I did not do. Your time at uni goes faster than you can ever anticipate. Do not wait until tomorrow, do what you have always wanted to do today.
One thing I am so grateful for since being at uni is the friends I have made and what I have learnt from them. Coming from a small town in England, naturally, this was always more of a sheltered lifestyle. Meeting people with different ways of life and different mindsets allows you to see the world in more ways than one. I have made friends from all over the world and it is an amazing thing to learn about their culture, lifestyle, traditions etc. Going to uni gave me the opportunity to travel around the world and allowed me to realise there is a lot more to the world than I ever thought and so much to learn.
An aspect of university I struggled with was motivation to work hard. When I was in upper school (or secondary school), being a hard worker had always come naturally to me. However, at uni, I would definitely struggle to do my work and at some points, I had little motivation and did not feel like myself at all. I think partially this was due to feeling like ‘a little fish in a big pond’. I was always someone at school who would constantly ask questions and pester the teacher until I knew the answer. At uni, I was too scared to do this and did not want to come across in a bad way especially because I felt like I did not belong. This is something I really regret and during my fourth year, I really tried to make an effort to not be scared to ask questions, to dive into my studies and make sure I enjoy what I was learning instead of just learning it for an exam. By doing this, this helped regain my motivation back and I am so happy I was able to do this in my final year to prove to myself that I am capable of so much.
These last few years at Warwick have been difficult, sometimes scary, but also exciting and life changing. Although, it is upsetting that I did not get to celebrate as I had liked, being able to look back and think about the progression I have made since starting uni makes me realise that the whole journey has been just important as the crossing the finish line!
Thanks for reading and congratulations to everyone who has finished also!