50 Things I Learned on my Undergraduate Degree
1. That the times I spent talking to my flatmate, who studied photography, about life and books and creating things while sitting in his bedroom watching Disney movies and eating popcorn would be important forever.
2. Sometimes the best thing that you can do is ignore people who tell you that your ideas are too crazy.
3. And listen to the ones who support those crazy ideas… even if they don’t work out.
4. That they guys that you meet are probably not worth it.
5. That a part time job should never get in the way of your studies.
6. You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking some time out to look after yourself. You are just as important as anyone else and if you find yourself getting overwhelmed with things, it is totally justified to take some time for yourself.
7. You should never drink something you didn’t pour yourself, or you didn’t see being poured.
8. You are allowed to disagree with books, theories and concepts… just do it in an articulate way.
9. That your lecturers care, and they want you to do well.
10. That taking part in extracurricular activities is just as important as going to your lectures. It also makes for excellent talking points when you go to meetings and events.
11. That your weight is not important as you think it is…
12. The debates that you get into in classes, while eating lunch or in the pub are more about learning who you are and developing your own opinions than trying to change others.
13. That the best lectures and lecturers will stick with you.
14. That you should get a decent laptop… the stress of your laptop dying is just not worth it.
15. That in studying literature, I learned so much more than just literature.
16. Sitting around in coffee shops, either alone or with friends, is a good way to spend my time and is actually when I am most creative.
17. If you are lacking inspiration, go for a walk and get out of your environment.
18. You should actually read ALL of the books on the reading list.
19. You don’t actually have to LIKE all the books on the reading list.
20. That it is blatantly obvious when you haven’t read the book and try to recite a summary of it that you read online the night before.
21. That where you live, and who you live with, can really affect your mood and productivity. Choose wisely.
22. That you are allowed to cry, and you are not weak for doing so.
23. That it is so important to give yourself enough time to write an assignment. Camping out in the library for 2 days and having to get your flatmate to come pick you up because you are too exhausted to walk the 5 minute walk home is never a good thing.
24. That you can pretty much write about anything in an English paper as long as you have the right framework.
25. That the assignments that you actually enjoy writing are the ones you will get the best grades on.
26. That you should always go to your classes, because it is time well spent.
27. If you have milk, bread, potatoes and beans in, you will always be able to have a decent meal then.
28. That you should defiantly change your bank account to a student account.
29. Free drinks do not exist.
30. Allow yourself to feel all the feels and make sure to document them. They make for great reading later on.
31. Keep all your lecture notes. It may seem fun to set them on fire when you finish the module but you will more than likely need them again.
32. You should write for fun as well as because you have to.
33. That anxiety and depression are very real, and that more people suffer from it than you think. Medicine can help, but so can cutting out toxic people, not drinking and going for a run.
34. That communication is so important and that people do not know what is going on unless you tell them.
35. That being honest is something that you should always do. Sometimes it feels impossible to tell the truth, but finding someone you trust enough to be open with is what will get you through your degree.
36. That you should always trust your instincts.
37. You should distance yourself from another people’s drama. It is okay to be there for someone but don’t let them suck you into being a part of it all.
38. That being able to have a relaxed conversation with anybody is a skill that everybody should learn.
39. That most of the time the relaxed conversation is more about you listening than talking.
40. That failure does happen. And it will happen to me.
41. That the failure is not fatal.
42. You meet some of the best people while studying an undergrad, and that you should make an effort to keep in contact with those people.
43. That it is okay and very normal to feel lost and confused with things, both academically and with life. And that most other people also feel the same way.
44. Confidence is something that comes and goes. You cannot be 100% confident, 100% of the time.
45. Taking on too many projects at one time will only end in you feeling stressed, overwhelmed and defeated. Pick and choose what you want to work on wisely.
46. Panic attacks suck, but they don’t last forever and you will survive.
47. You are allowed to walk out of class if you feel overwhelmed or there is discussion around a triggering subject for you. Just make sure you go back in afterwards.
48. That it is okay if you don’t want to go out and party. Sometimes a quiet night in alone is better than a night out anyway.
49. Pictures are the best thing you can take.
50. Undergrad degree will be the best three years of your life, and the worst three years of your life. Take the highs with the lows and keep moving forwards.
by Amy Hardman