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Monday, February 23, 2015Sisterly Social

Ah, First Year. I remember I had the worst fashion sense and was so scared of how big my new campus was. It was weird, seeing hundreds of new faces that I'd never seen before. You must think that I was some neurotic First Year (yeah, I pretty much was) with the same streak to please as Lisa Simpson, but I felt like this because university meant a lot to me. Even now I look back and think that I wish I could do it again, bad fashion and all! But as a First Year I  did wish there were some things that people told me before I began since it would've been better to know these things sooner rather than later. For the new starting class of 2015, this one's for you:

1. Pick classes that YOU want to do
The good thing about the first week of classes is that there's still a chance to make any last minute changes. After all, you won't really know what Sociology is like until you've sat down in class and learned about what it's really like. My advice is this; ask yourself if the class you're doing is going to be something you're going to be willing to wake up at 7am for. For instance, my 18-year-old self thought studying Chemistry would be more worthwhile than studying Anthropology. First week in, I knew that something wasn't right. Nothing was sinking in and my mind refused to retain information because I knew that it wasn't the right choice for me. The week after I refunded my books and went to the Anthropology class. I ended up majoring in Anthropology and have found it to be a vital career asset that helped me land my first Full Time job outsidd of university. Do the subject that you believe in and paths will be created without you having to build it. After all, you decided to go to university. It's your chance to learn whatever you want to learn without anyone else having a say in it.

2. Don't be shy to speak up
My first few weeks at university was as if I'd taken a vow of silence. I used to be scared to speak in class because I (stupidly) felt like I wasn't as smart as any of the kids who were so confident in what they were saying. Some people just seemed to have the gift of the gab and were so knowledgeable from Week 1. It's great to have people like that in your environment because it's a challenge for you to get out of your comfort zone. By Week 4 I suddenly just clicked and thought, "We all worked just as hard to get into this course as each other. My voice isn't any less valid than theirs." So I started speaking up. It didn't matter if I was wrong or right, or if I was saying something that might not have made sense or if I was even asking a question. Even uni lecturers have questions and I can assure you there are some that don't even make sense during their lectures. But whether it was students or teachers speaking up, there's nothijg wrong with speaking up too. Engage, and be excited to learn what other people are thinking and how they think.

3. Sleep well
You've just finished high school and you think that staying up until 11:00pm to finish an 800 word English Essay is pretty much the same as an all-nighter. I've got news for you, my friend; that's a real treat compared to what's coming! But that won't really happen until second or third year. While things are still easy, try to get into a good sleeping habit with at least 7-8 hours sleep. Sleep is going to be so valuable to you once exam time comes around. So start doing the work early in the day and sleeping early at night. Believe me, your brain, body and grades will thank you for it.

4. And finally, pick your friends wisely!
I think some people imagine that university is going to be a landscape filled with parties, expanding social circles and gaining so many new people in your life. It is and isn't and this all depends on what you want. I was pretty surprised at how shy I actually was at uni at first. I left school with a huge circle of friends and was actually really happy to have my own time and my own space when I went to uni. I did get to meet some really like-minded and amazing people and never really envied the kids in my classes that travelled in big groups and boasted about the huge parties they went to over the weekend. It turned out that having a small amount of friends at uni who shared the same ideas as you and valued their education were people who were worth the company. Study hard and surround yourself with people that are going to make you better. 

Always remember you're at uni for a reason, and that's to learn infinitely more than what you've learned at high school and will give you an education to create something big in the future. After all, I think it's only 6.7% of the world's population that has a university degree. That means you're in that 6.7% that has the mind to make big changes in the world. Go to class, study hard and remember; Smart Girls Do It Well!


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