I remember this time last year like it was yesterday. The sense of impending doom as I struggled along trying to add more words to my dissertation, the fear of university life being almost over and not knowing whether I would get a job and as I've always liked taking on far too much work than I can actually handle, I also had the added stress of planning my wedding. My third year of university has to be one of the most stressful, yet rewarding few months of my life. I've never considered myself to be that academic. It would take me days of planning and research to write an essay that my tutors would be proud of, whilst some of my friends could go out drinking and complete it within the last night of the deadline completely hungover. The months leading up to my dissertation hand in date were full of late, lonely nights staying at home and ensuring everything that I could possibly think of had been done. I remember handing in my dissertation and not wanting to let go. My mind was full of 'what ifs', questioning every little detail and wondering if I had filled everything in correctly. Did I spell my dissertation title right? What if I haven't used the Harvard referencing system correctly? Handing in my dissertation was one of the most frightening experiences of my life and it's strange to think that next month it will be exactly a year since I said goodbye to my university life.
Thousands of students nationwide will be going through these similar thoughts right now as exams and deadlines are fast approaching. I decided to write a little post showing you all that there is light at the end of the tunnel when you finish your degree and what life might feel like a year after you have handed in possibly one of the most important documents of your life.
My degree helped me in more ways than I imagined.
One of the biggest debates when it comes to education is whether students are able to use their degrees once they leave university. There are many graduates that often struggle to find employment, especially when they are in niche subject areas. I was lucky. Within three months of graduating I landed a full time job in a career that I had trained for and my degree had taught me so many things I needed to know about my new profession. A few of the biggest things I have learnt from my degree are my organisational and communication skills, which are imperative in a job like mine. However one of the biggest things that my degree helped me with is my positivity. I know it seems silly, but completing my degree gave me a 'can do' attitude. Every time I struggle or feel stressed, I look at that piece of paper and think hey I can do this. I trained for three long and very difficult years and I came out on top, if I can pass university, I can do anything I set my mind on.
The second thing I learnt since leaving university is that hard work does pay off. All those extra hours that I put into work experience whilst some of my course mates were out drinking gave me a competitive edge when I applied for jobs. The portfolio of writing I put together in my spare time alongside my degree has helped me gain freelance work. It seemed like such hard work whilst I was at university, but I learnt so many skills from putting in the extra time and it has really helped pave my career.
Finally, when you leave university you like to think of yourself as a professional that knows everything, but when you enter the working world you never stop learning. Time goes so quickly and things advance faster these days than ever before. Industries change in a heartbeat and you need to be ahead of the game. Although it seems like university will set you up for life in the knowledge department, university is only the foundation of your knowledge and as you move along in your career and your personal life, you will always be learning new things.
What life lessons did you learn from studying at University?