Five First Year Lessons

Without a doubt, university is a place of growth. And growth is something that doesn’t happen out of a place of comfort, but instead, a position of challenge. The lessons that I learnt, as with all lessons in life, are possibly ones that I’ll have to learn again when the context changes, but for now, they’re worth noting.

If you’re a fresher about to embark on a new adventure at university for the first time – then maybe these words will be of some comfort. If you’re about to be a second year like me, then perhaps you can find the truth in these lessons just as I did, and perhaps they’re things you need to learn yourself. I know for a fact, that these only skim the surface of what there is to discover.

First Year Reflections

My first year of uni finished a month ago. Even that statement is weird to see written down, because I’ve been in such a state of limbo since finishing. I feel like there’s more to say on that feeling at some point soon – but the purpose of today’s post (or ramble), is to reflect over my first year of uni.

It’s strange to think that a year ago, I was still at work, contemplating the next chapter, and worrying about what September would bring. Concerned about making friends, settling in, finding a church, and just being able to “do” uni well.

Celebrating the Journey!

Time flies at a rapid pace. Before you realise it, you’ve blinked and we’re in April. A quarter of 2019 has gone. What? When did that happen?

Despite looming deadlines serving as one way that I’ve been reminded of the passage of time, occasionally photos pop up as memories, and momentarily take me back to those moments.

I’m a person who loves to take photos – whether that be a quick snap on my phone, saving those memories to put into a ‘One Second Everyday’ video, or a scrapbook later down the line, or if it’s taking a walk with my camera and putting slightly more thought into the composition of it all. I love how much a photo can capture.

Even if it’s not ‘visible’ – a photo for me holds far more than just what it shows.

Perfectionism: A Performance Trap?

Perfection: the state of being complete and correct in every way. (Cambridge Dictionary)

Perfect: Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be. (Oxford English Dictionary)

 

“As good as it is possible to be.”
If someone were to follow you round at all points in your life, and before you ever undertook a task, whispered in your ear: “This better be as good as it is possible to be” – How would you react?

Sink or Swim

Not only have we found ourselves in the second month of the year, but I’ve just finished Week One of Semester Two – that’s right – university is officially back in action.

Before starting university in September, I’d somewhat prepared myself for a few difficult weeks. I knew I was going into something completely new; stepping out of my comfort zones in all walks of life – and had done my best to prepare for it… It was hard – and I’m glad that in many ways, I never have to go through that again to the same extent.

But, maybe I lulled myself into a false sense of security. I spent my Christmas holidays looking forward to coming back; full of expectation of what Semester Two could bring…but maybe forgetting to acknowledge quite how hard it would be.

FOMO: On Missing Out

Today’s thoughts come from a place I never really thought I’d be in – on talking about FOMO. Now, before you think “Hannah, what on earth is ‘FOMO’ and what planet have you walked into at university?” – please bear with me; I’ll explain.

What even is ‘FOMO’?
For those who don’t know, ‘FOMO’ is, according to the Urban Dictionary (trust me, hard to find a reliable source): “a state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out.”

In other words, it’s an acronym for ‘Fear of Missing Out’ – just people use it as a normal word. If you think back to the time of ‘YOLO’, which has now died down in its use (thank goodness for that!) – it’s a bit similar to that.

FOMO is something that often strikes in social settings; the need to be a part of something, or so often linked with peer pressure.

At the End of Semester One

I’m staggered with the reality that I’ve finished my first semester of university, marking halfway through my first year. The last fourteen weeks, or 102 days, have been an intense journey, a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences – and it wouldn’t be right to just settle into ‘home life’ without taking time to reflect on everything that has changed.

The last time I sat down and properly did that, I’d just about reached the end of my first month at university. In many ways, that feels like a very long time ago. But at the same time, I feel as if I’ve blinked, and the time has flown by.

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