Although it doesn’t feel like it I am now two-thirds of the way through my time at university and boy have those two years gone quickly.
Despite this, I feel like I have learnt a lot during my time at Lincoln. Amongst the obvious things like living alone and cooking for myself, I’ve also learnt to become more organised and confident.
It’s such an important life skill. Aside from having to manage my time with homework and revision in the past, I’ve never had to organise myself properly.
It’s a completely different kettle of fish when you’re living away from home and looking for the responsible adult in the room, only to realise you’re now the adult and you have to be organised.
As well as getting myself to get to uni on time, doing seminar prep, writing assignments and many more uni-related tasks, there is also organising when to buy food, what to cook, how much money I’ve got to spend and when I can relax and visit friends.
I’ve found that making a note of what I’ve got to do every day really helps me organise myself into what I need to prioritise and what can wait for a few days.
I probably go a bit overboard with the to-do lists but it’s so satisfying if I break stuff down into bite-sized pieces such as ‘make bed’, ‘cook tea’, ‘write essay intro’ because then there are more things to cross off when they’re done. Therefore I instantly feel more productive and motivated to keep going.
I have also learnt to be more confident in myself. If you follow the Student Life social media accounts @UoLStudentLife, you’ll notice that I occasionally pop up doing takeovers – that is the sort of thing I could have never imagined myself doing when I was in high school.
I don’t feel like there is a sure-fire way to being more confident but more it is something that develops over time and everything in your life affects it.
Some people are born confident, and others are not. Whether you match either one of those descriptions or fall somewhere in between, the best thing I have learnt through this is that it is okay regardless. It doesn’t matter if you are the most outgoing person in the room or whether you prefer to sit in the corner and people watch because everyone is different.
If however you do want to become more confident, what worked for me was the ‘fake it till you make it’ attitude.
It doesn’t work for everyone, but I found that acting confident gradually meant that I was becoming more confident until the point where it was less of an act and actually me. I still wouldn’t say that I am the most confident person ever, but that doesn’t really bother me.
I could go on about this for days and write my entire dissertation on what I’ve learnt since being at uni (actually that’s not a bad idea, can I do that?) but the most important things I’ve found are: not taking on more than you can handle, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not (more confident version of yourself aside), and knowing your own worth.
Everyone learns at university, but you don’t quite realise how much you learn about yourself.