I’m feeling a little nostalgic tonight. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m lying here looking at old photos on facebook or that I don’t want to finish up my work. I don’t want to be a crying baby, but I miss Melbourne. I miss going to college. I remember at that time I never really understood why “grown-ups” always told me to really cherish university life. I mean look at all the deadlines, assignments and projects right? Seriously though, really enjoy it because I’m telling you now you’re going to miss it when it’s gone.
I remember hating college and Melbourne for the first two years. I even wanted to move back and enrol myself in a local uni. Perhaps it was the culture shock or the fact that I didn’t have anyone to wash up after me. I just felt lonely and wanted to go back home. It was too cold, too foreign and I had too much work to do. Now that I think about it, it was only my last year and a half that I realised how fun exploring a city on your own and growing on your own is and I feel really blessed for everything and everyone I met during my college years.
If you’re about to go to college, or it might just be your first year, or you find yourself just hating it – here’s my two cents. University is about finding a balance between doing what you came to uni for and also using those critical years to explore and develop relationships with people. Get to know people. Go to parties. Say yes. Ask people out to lunch, to coffee, go be a tourist. I used to go to parties alone only knowing one person and coming out knowing everyone. Find out their story and learn their experiences. I think a mistake that a lot of people make is to entirely “close the door and only study”. I mean I could be treading on ice here by saying this but uni isn’t just about studying. It is about studying, but I’m here to say – utilize it well. A core skill that you need to learn for I guess the workforce and really for life are basic social skills – like meeting people, making friends, PR and getting to know them more. A lot of students spend their entire college years trying to get perfect scores, but when it comes to the interview, they’re just stiff cut-outs of the institution they just came out of.
Yet, a lot of students also make another mistake – and that’s not studying enough. Again, it’s about a balance right? When you’re in uni, you could be exactly the opposite. You’re like a dog without a leash and you want to soak everything up – including the bad. It is so important to get started with the right friends. Surround yourself with people who make you grow stronger and better as a person, who take delight in things that help you grow. The people you surround yourself with (your friends that you make) will start to mould and shape you, no matter what! Make that a positive influence in your life rather than a negative one. Doing things that alter you won’t make you forget the problems. I’m not here to be your Mom or Dad. I went through the same phase. You realize and mature after a while that all of that is complete mist. A vague substance you fill your holes with but when the mist clears, it is absolutely empty. Fill your pot full when you leave college and that’s substance that you’ll always have.
Explore, learn, experience. These are major things that I held on to besides studying. I did well in Uni, but I also came out with a whole list of experiences that are irreplaceable – whether its with friendships, love or life lessons. I can’t wait to one day walk the streets of Melbourne again, but I reckon it probably won’t feel the same. I won’t have the same people around me nor the same situations. I always feel like it’s so amazing that it seems like the people you meet are always at the right place and at the right time to experience things with you. Never dismiss a disappointing experience – a failed relationship, a jerk for a boyfriend or a backstabbing friend included – those help refine you into diamonds.
Good luck in College! ;)