University life, like any period in your life, is filled with both joys and sorrows. You need to come to the realization that you are not in high school anymore and that realization will become your key to succeed and achieve happiness in your university life.
My younger brother is starting university this September and I wanted to share with him some of my experiences – some of them very trivial and others not so much – in order to help him tread the rough waters that is university life.
Let’s face it, most of us who got into university are pretty smart but a lot of us don’t do well academically. This is not necessarily because we are not working hard or working smart. It is simply that we don’t excel as much as we want to.
You will always feel that since you are in university, you must definitely be in university mood. However, after every term ends, you will realize that the term, was in fact quite easy and that you could have done better – at least that was the case with me and a lot of my friends. In order avoid that, you have got to do a couple of things, you have to reflect what you did right and what you did wrong and then correct the mistakes. You have to find out what worked and then try making it even better while eradicating the bad ones. Another thing which I found very useful was that you got to think about what could possibly go wrong the upcoming term and have a plan to deal with such problems.
Let me tell you my story, my dad always used to ask what I was good at and what I wanted to do in my life. I did not have a clue and that is not necessarily a bad thing as we discover more about ourselves as times passes. So whenever he used to ask me I remember mumbling to him something, anything to avoid that question again, not because I was rebellious but because I really did not have an answer.
So I started university and needless to say I continued with just my high school attitude and did alright as in, I passed every course the first few terms. What I found myself doing the term I did very poorly was I started playing online games, in my case SWAT 4. I played it quite often and I was quite good at it too, not the best, but good enough to join a clan1 and pretty soon I was leading the clan. I was up very late everyday and missed a lot of my classes and consequently did very poorly in my academics.
It took me about 3 years in university to realize what was going on, as I had still looked at things from a high school perspective but I later understood that in university, it is what you do in your spare time apart from school that defines you and it is what ultimately differentiates you from everyone.
I then realized that it was not the game I was addicted to, but the aspect of managing people and getting immersed with that culture. In a way, I felt great joy in taking care of things that really interested me much more than the game itself. University life is definitely not a piece of cake at least not to most of us and you might end up with pretty high marks by putting in a lot of hours but for what exactly? What did you learn? What do you really want to do with your life? Know that your grades won’t automatically translate to actually achieving what university should be about like how your high school grades just led you into university. This realization is exactly what I am talking about; finding yourself, your passions and then crushing it2!
1 a clan is a group of people who play together as a team in a online games
2 And by “it”, I mean university, not your passions and definitely not yourself, you need to live!
Credits: I wish to thank Samuel Martey Jr. and Ankur Pandya for their their inputs and also for proofreading this post