Uhm, I don’t mean to alarm anyone but… I’ve actually finished University! The past four years in Sheffield have both felt like an eternity and no time at all. Despite what I may have said during stressful periods throughout my degree, I’ve honestly had the best time in Sheffield. There have been many more highs (and I’m not just talking about the hills) than lows. I’m sure we can all relate to having learnt something from University (whether that be related to our course or not) so I thought I’d share some of my personal lessons.
- How to cook.
Before Uni, I could rustle up a mean pasta dish or some boiled eggs (if you were lucky) but no, cooking was not a skill of mine. My first ever meal in freshers was popop chicken (that’s right, I call it ‘popop’ not ‘popcorn’), a ridiculous amount of salad because I couldn’t portion size and an equally overwhelming serving of garlic bread.
These days, I wouldn’t say I’m your next Michelin star chef, but I seriously have upped my game in the kitchen and actually enjoy cooking and making new things. I will admit though, I’m still scared of underdone chicken so if I ever cook it for you, prepare for slightly cardboard-esk munch.
- How to drive.
Not literally – I passed my test when I was 17. However, where I live at home is extremely rural so I never really experienced proper city driving or the motorway. Coming to Sheffield was a new kettle of fish. You’re lying if you say it’s easy to drive around here with taxi drivers zooming at you in every direction, weird roundabouts and one-way systems. Oh, and don’t get me started on the tram tracks…
Having to travel to placements for my course and having a part time job to get to has encouraged me to use the car “properly” and get over my fear of busy and unpredictable roads. So yes, I would like a gold star for that thank you very much.
- Who my friends are.
After these four years I am quite confident about who my friends are. I’ve made a new group of friends for life in Sheffield but I also feel like I’ve strengthened the friendships I already had at home. I can’t really explain that but “it is what it is” (cheeky Love Island quote for all you fans out there).
Coming to University has been great for developing my independence. I have my own way of doing things and feel much more confident in making “adulty” decisions. Saying that, I still don’t feel like an adult most of the time, and I won’t lie – I often seek advice from my oh-so-wise parents…
- Worrying less.
This has been the biggest battle for me, and I wouldn’t say I’ve gone from Anxious Annie to Chilled Out Chad overnight. I still struggle with overthinking and balancing rational and irrational thoughts and I know my friends would describe me as ‘stressy’ at times. However, I have definitely come to realise over the years at University that worrying is really unproductive. I’ve learnt ways to help manage my anxious thoughts and it’s not always perfect, but it’s a pretty good achievement.
Life after University is a bit unknown for me i.e. (I do not have a job lined up!). It’s the first time since I started education that my next year hasn’t been planned and it’s scary to be honest. But saying that, it’s also the first time in a long time I’m not overly worried about the unknown. It’ll work out (I hope) and the road ahead will be sweet #positivethinking
So that’s that. This is it. My final blog post and some final food for thought: what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt at University?