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Getting the most out of Uni

Kristopher Cook Student Life

It is very rare that you’ll find someone that doesn't want to graduate from their chosen discipline.

Grades are meaningless to some who yearn only for the thrill of graduating regardless of grade. Before I go into specifics, it’s key for me to document my background in this topic. For me, my first year was very much a Turing test to the vines of university living in all of its glory; prioritising nightlife and Fifa over my studies as you do.

A lot of my peers chose to follow-suit in what felt like my own bubble. I became the king of wasting time rather than applying myself to the university aspect of university living. You see, I chose a course that was very dependant on writing (something I had hated prior thanks to being told at GCSE level that I’d never amount to anything other than class clown). I only adapted to my academic surroundings in my second year after I discovered my own personal ‘why’ for being on a rather creative Media and Journalism course. From that point forward I became a chameleon, learning to blend into the vibrance of my course through active experimentation in how I could learn to write for a variety of different functions from, what felt like, the ground up.

Now I understand that we all consume information differently — there are some reading this that might find that their course gives them everything they need for post-university life and I accept that. We are all wired differently which makes this article entirely subjective to me and my experiences, although I understand the inner-turmoil one might face when trying to be the best you possible while having to juggle multiple distractions — making what I say universal to anyone currently in/contemplating university. Seeing as I’m also a postgraduate student, you could even say that this is something I still run in my head today. 

The key to getting the most both in and out of university is to simply understand why you are on your course and what you hope to get out of it. It’s that simple.

There isn’t a guidebook standard in what kind of trajectory you will face once you graduate, which if anything plays in your favour. Businesses and organisations like candidates who think outside the box, which is why it is crucial for you to do the same in terms of getting what you want out of your course by not following a hive-mind-like mentality. Self-awareness is vital here, if you think you’re just going to coast through life then that’s fine, enjoy fading into obscurity where others push forward.

I have had many different opportunities, both in and out of university, that have granted me the permission to think outside of the box. Each have had different levels of success/failure that I have then carried onto the next. At university I used this way of thinking in my final project: creating a magazine from scratch. You might have thought that this article was about giving you vapid, tried and tested ‘life hacks’ to help you through university, when in reality all I’m advising you do is to look at yourself through an alternative lens. Stop thinking about following the safe routes to your chosen destination.

The fun comes from the unknown and how you will apply that unknown into the next chapter in your life.

You might be reading this article in a lecture, or perhaps at home as a pile of textbooks begin to build a fort around the outskirts of your door barricading you in both literally and metaphorically. University can be stressful, but remember that not everyone has the opportunity to be in your position. Many of you might have chosen to continue academia to postpone the inevitability of employment, or perhaps to simply reap the rewards of university life as it plays out in-front of you. No matter your reasoning, here you stand: a student with a variety of different opportunities at your disposal. So what’s stopping you? Just take it.

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