This is when it all becomes real, when theory gets tested and becomes practical. This has to be the hardest part about life after high school: Adapting to new surroundings. It’s during this phase that so much gets thrown at you, that you are left dumbfounded and overwhelmed.
This is the phase where new friends are made, identities discovered, and new environments become accustomed to. This is very important for students who leave small locations/towns for big cities, with bright lights and daunting sounds, it is at such places that the term “Street Smart” becomes your best friend. All in all, University allows you internal and external growth, and it’s all concreted through your powers to adapt.
You learn to stand on your own two feet and accept that gone are the days of being smothered, and ‘spoon-fed’, gone are the days of late submissions, excuses, and shifting responsibilities. You realise that everything falls on you now.
My experience has taught me that discovering who you are, what you want from life, and why you came to University, makes the way you adapt to campus life easier. You will know with what type of people you would like to associate, and being goal driven and success hungry keeps you focused and headed forward.
Our greatest flaw is that we lack self-confidence and esteem, which prevents us from taking full advantage of the University experience. Before others can accept us, we need to understand and grasp that it is our imperfections that make us perfect, our different talents that make us unique, and our brains that allow us to have different destinies. In discovering and accepting who you are, it becomes very difficult for others to break you down when you are happy and confident with who you are and what you have to give. Through that you’ve adapted and become someone to be reckoned with.
This phase builds your character, when you can say NO to partying every night, and prioritise, when you can cut down on unnecessary wants and needs, when you can laugh peer pressure in the face, and deny it another victim. When in a group of many people like you, people of different backgrounds, people of different views and associations, when you can voice your opinion confidently and proudly, and stand by it, when you become yourself, and anything else anyone says becomes irrelevant, then you’ve made it. Growing into who you truly are, reveals true passion, and allows you to fully adapt into any new environment comfortably.
Always remember that in order to grow as a person, you need to identify and fully appreciate true friends, you have to live through the hurtful and terrible ones, you have to miss a deadline – to learn a time management lesson, you have to make mistakes so to grow and learn from them. Never sacrifice who you are, for the sake of ‘fitting in’ as the true purpose in life will be lost.
n the words of a fellow student, “First year is the most thrilling and spine-chilling experience one will ever go through in their teenage-hood, if not their life.” – Fano.
Life is a bare and awaiting canvas, at all times, BE YOU and make YOUR mark.