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10 Life Lessons University Taught Me

It is often said that your time at university will be the best time of your life, and for many this is true. There are a whole host of valuable skills and life lessons to be learnt during your time here, and the whole experience is much more than just studying to obtain your degree. Here are my valuable 10 lessons that I learnt whilst at university.

1) It’s never too late to meet new people

In third year you'd think that you'd have settled in by now, made your friends and found what you're good at but I've actually experienced more in third year than I have in the previous two years. I’ve met entirely new people who are now my best friends and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to try new things. It is a complete journey from start to finish!

2)How to be a critical thinker

In our essays we're encouraged to write critically and evaluate theories and concepts and it really does transform how you think about things both in your academic studies and in general life. You learn to stop and pause and actually delve into what something means or what something is suggesting and that's a great life skill.

3) How to be independent

It's more than just cooking and cleaning for yourself. It's about time management, prioritising, balancing multiple deadlines with your social life, being active and maybe even have a part-time job. It's entirely down to you to design your own life and routine whilst at university.

4) How to ace presentations

Presentations in front of the class aren't as horrific as you think - if you're like me and absolutely petrified of public speaking, you'll tremble at the word 'presentation' but after you get the first couple out of the way you become comfortable in your surroundings and realise that the outcome is never as bad as you imagine.

5) How to better your communication skills

You have to master small talk in your first week at university and you'll probably have the same conversation of 'where are you from?' and 'what course are you studying?' hundreds of times, but it will build your confidence and serve you well when you meet new people in the future or even Graduate Interviews.

6) Change isn't always a bad thing

you will change a LOT at university, but you have to embrace it. You learn and grow as a person and this period of time has the ability to shape your future. Constantly learning, changing and discovering is a wonderful thing.   

7) Put your mental health first

Yes, we're here to study and get an education but your health is the most important thing. You're allowed to take rest days and have unproductive days if you need. Don't beat yourself up about it or compare your success to another.

8) There is no way to 'do' uni

Its your personal experience and you can craft it in any direction you want. If you want a year out, want to do placement, want to join a sports society or aren't into alcohol that's fine. You get to experience uni how you want to.

9) Take chances and say ‘yes’ to experiences

I am really shy by nature and often said no because I was anxious but in third year I started to say 'yes' and partook in more activities on my own like attending classes and meeting new people and it not only helped my confidence grow, but I was much happier and actually more productive because I enjoyed being at university!

10) Budget as much as you can

The ‘but’ of my previous point. Strike the balance. It's important to prioritise your dinner over that new dress. You don't realise how much those £3 coffees and meal deals add up, so I'd suggest creating a finance spreadsheet to keep track of what you're spending! If you enjoyed this, you might like our other blogs: Making the Most out of First Year: 10 Essential Tips8 Tips for Making the Most of Student Societies or The Top 7 Things Students Regret About University
GRB Blog Author and Student - Emmanuelle Gammage

Emmanuelle is a third year student at Newcastle University studying journalism. She is passionate about all things positive in lifestyle and well-being! 

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