University. Everyone keeps telling you it’ll be the ‘best years of your life’.

More often than not it’s either a Teacher trying to achieve more government funding, or a ‘successful’ student who’s been guilt tripped back into telling you and many others to go to Uni. These people, more often than not, never bring up the negatives of university.

Some may think, oh no, have I made a terrible mistake? Maybe, but maybe not. Time will tell. Regardless, just because you may be feeling like awful right now, doesn’t mean you’re going to forever and ever and ever. The key idea to take away from Uni is that life is very long and very emotional. You’re going to run into endless life lessons along the way, and they’ll often dramatically pop up around every metaphorical street corner. Facing up to them, and having enough self-realization to not crumble is how the ‘successful’ students get the absolute privilege to return to their old college or sixth form. And then waffle on about how fantastic University is. They stuck it out. They made the journey, they powered through the long lectures, awkward new friendships and mind crushing handovers. More often than not, in some strange paradox of emotions, they enjoy themselves more, simply because they’ve realised it isn’t a requirement to happy all the god damn time. When you let those lingering words ‘best years’ go, being a student suddenly becomes far more natural and enjoyable.

However this shouldn’t distract from the fact, life is hard, it’s never just going to be sunshine and rainbows. Although there is a saving grace to this depressing statement. No matter what mask we put on when we start University: the depressingly magic truth is that we’re all feeling scared and anxious about moving somewhere new and scary. We’re all scared about trying to make new friends so we can complain about trying balance a healthy social life and working hard on your degree. We’re all scared about not fitting in, or making a mistake or trying to get a job, or even getting a career. That anxious fear can be crippling. But maybe, just maybe, you can get yourself out of bed. Maybe seize the day. ‘Carpe diem’. It’s not a requirement, and you certainly shouldn’t feel down if you don’t complete your objectives. I’m simply stating that it can will help.

You may feel like you are alone. But guess what. So has every other weirdo down your hallway, in your class, in that sports team or nerd society. University is a monster that needs to be challenged and attacked from all angles before you can get your ‘I’m Successful’ membership card. Motivation may eventually be key to your success. But again; don’t let the lingering words of ‘best years of your life’ let you from actually achieving that. Ultimately, they may end up not be that great. But life can be long and full of happiness. If you so want it to be. You’ve just got to give it a chance, no pressure. Take your time and hopefully, I’ll see you on the other side.

By Robert Anderson

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