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25th February 2020

Can university be the best years of our life?

Writer Heidy Lo questions if university really can be the best years of your life, especially as we graduate so young
Can university be the best years of our life?
The university and the city alike have a huge amount to offer. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

We always hear people talk about ‘the good old days’ referring to their time at university. It is undeniable that people have fun at university, however, is it really the best time? After all, university is only three to four years of our lives and most of us graduate in our early twenties, there is still a lot of time ahead of us, so what makes us so sure that this is the best? For most of us it is the first taste of independence which comes with new experiences and life lessons.

University is the first time that most of us leave the comfort of our homes and enter a strange new world. Even if you live at home and commute to university, you have to admit that there is something on campus that distinguishes university from secondary school. In university we have a very flexible schedule instead of a rigid timetable and we are suddenly blessed with so much free time that we can feel overwhelmed by it. I think this is both good and bad. I love free time because it gives us the opportunity to try new things, gain different experiences, and learn about time management. The bad side is that sometimes I get overwhelmed and I just end up sitting in my room, watching Netflix while I stress out. And unlike school teachers, our lecturers are not constantly on our backs reminding us about deadlines. Instead, they have a very relaxed approach and we have to step up and discipline ourselves if we wish to get the most out of our time here. Needless to say, university is where we learn time management and self-discipline.

University does provide students with many opportunities alongside the academic focus. You can join societies, write for the student newspaper, travel, or learn something new. For most of us, this is the time in your life where you have the least responsibility: you do not have a full-time job and you are not tied down, so this is the perfect time to branch out and try different things. For me, I decided I wanted to travel, so I cut down on all my other expenses in order to travel as much as possible.

Most of us get into university when we are eighteen, having just finished our awkward teenage stage and become legal adults, and these are very impressionable years. Personally, this is where I learned the most about myself and who I want to become. I learned how to set boundaries, how to be independent, which career path I want to pursue and the most important lesson of all – who I am.

There is no denying that we are having a lot of fun at university and we are learning a lot, but if you’re not having the best time of your life remember that you are still only young! Our time here is invaluable, but there are also endless new experiences coming our way after we graduate. Don’t be the person who only reminisces on ‘the good old days’ of university, be the one who is grateful for the experience, good or bad, and the lessons they learned but remember to live in the present. To me, I do not want to say university was the best years of my life because I like to believe that the best is yet to come; but these certainly are very special years for me.

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