So last night I had one of those moments when I suddenly just looked up from my screen and just asked myself why I was even bothering. I went and learned Writings on the Wall on the piano, and just generally contemplated life for a couple of hours. I mean, don’t get me wrong I love uni, but sometimes I look back at my childhood heros and just think about how I’m the same age (or older) than when they wrote their first book, or when they released their first single… and then I just started to wonder whether I will actually get to that point, like ever.
If I’m perfectly honest with you guys, I have two big dreams: to write for a living, or to sing for a living (or in an ideal world where I don’t have to sleep, to do both at the same time.) I always said that uni would give me the chance to advance my skills, whilst also giving me time to get on with my life. It just seems like I have less time now than I ever have before. That’s the general way I was thinking, but then I just looked deeper at what I was actually working on. Suddenly, it seemed that that was only true because I was looking at it in the wrong way. Even though I’m busy with work, I’m still doing the things that I love, so what am I even complaining about??
Since I’m now in third year it was dawning on me just how many opportunities I had missed out on at uni, just because I couldn’t be bothered, or more precisely because I wanted the time by myself to work on my dreams. I’ve missed chances to work with big authors, just so that I could write songs which I never play live because I’m too scared that they’re too honest. I’ve missed guest lectures from people who could have taught me more about writing in the way I want to, just to contemplate plot themes that I’ve never continued. I just feel as if I may have missed out on that ‘something’ that could have helped me just sit down and write the novel which I’ve restarted like 3 times.
So, when I was thinking all these things over I realised that although I love uni, I haven’t really made the most out of it. It’s like that friend that keeps on trying to help you, but you just ignore because you think you’ve got it all covered. I kept on just thinking about the reasons why I started uni, which was generally to make the most out of my life. Then I started thinking about what I’ve actually done at uni – thinking that I’ve really let myself down. Uni is more than just attending lessons and submitting essays, it should be looked at as a whole new journey – a whole new experience. That’s just something which I seemed to have forgotten.
I’m not saying that I’ve done bad academically (I’m looking at getting a 2:1,) it’s just that I’ve neglected the whole ‘experience of it.’ I really should have just gone to those guest lectures. I should have just gone to those extra workshops with those amazing authors – that is where I’ve missed out. I looked at my degree as just a piece of paper, and in the end that’s led to me not enjoying my degree to the fullest level. I mean, I’m paying £9000 for this, why did I just waste so much time on things that I could of done for nothing?
Now after all of this, I feel that I should just come out with it: just make the most of your university. They all have so much more to offer than that 9am Monday morning lecture. It’s about guest workshops. It’s about networking. It’s about how you take those poems that you hate, and suddenly understand how it applies to you. That’s what I’m doing from now on. I may have started a couple of years later than I should of, but I’m already enjoying my whole uni experience a lot more, and because of that I’m attending more, understanding more and ultimately gaining more.
University is as much as you put into it.
I guess that’s where this post ends. Don’t be that third year student who looks back and wonders what they spent the past two years doing. Uni is as useful as you make it.