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The 6 things I learned in 6 years of university

The 6 things I learned in 6 years of university

Can you believe it — Jessica graduated with a Bachelor of Public Relations. It only took me 6 years, but I did. It feels like yesterday that my parents and sister dropped me off for my first day of at Mount Saint Vincent University.

Six years can dramatically change a person. In those six years I went through multiple programs, roommates, apartments, emergencies, heartbreaks, meal plans, laughs, professors, classes, and many memories that have shaped who I have become.

My experience at university was incredible. I lived in residence for 4 years. Then when all my friends graduated and I started the co-op program I moved in with Glen. Living on campus was great: my friends were close, I could wake up 5 minutes before class and if I was hungry, or forgot something I could always run back to my room. I will cherish every movie night, potluck and screaming party with my amazing roommates and neighbors forever.

During those years I had many opportunities to learn many things. Thankfully at the end, I see the benefit. Those six years were not a waste of time but an opportunity given to me. Here are the six things I learned in six years of university:

  1. Find your passion – Firstly, university gave me the chance to find who I really am. You don’t have that in high school. University takes more than just accepting who you are, as you are and being yourself. University is an opportunity to find what you love and use your education to get there. During my time at school I took religious studies, anthropology, nutrition, psychology, ethics classes and the list goes on. Through taking these classes I had the opportunity to find my strengths, along with my passions.
  2. You’ll learn more outside of class than inside – Although I did learn many things in the classes listed above, there were more opportunities to learn outside of class. You will learn from your classmates, from friendships, from break-ups, from a really drunk night at the campus bar. Enjoy every minute of kitchen floor talks with your roommates because those get weird when you’re older. Take the time to listen to people. People are interesting and know more than you.
  3. Take advantage – You need to take advantage of everything that surrounds you. You will not have Fridays off forever, mornings to sleep in and evenings to explore. When the opportunity to study abroad comes up, or to run away for a weekend or get drunk on a Tuesday — take it. You will be able to catch up on sleep and homework another day.
  4. You will fail, embrace it – Whether its first year chemistry or an assignment in your fourth year: you will fail. University is an opportunity for trial and error. Failure is part of the learning process. I failed most of my first year (which might be why I took 6 years to finish school). It opened my eyes to focus on school, pushed my limits and ask for help. It helped me become a better student and better person. Accepting that things will not be perfect will better prepare you for the future.
  5. Cherish your friends – I am leaving university with several really great friends. In 6 years, I have made a handful of relationships that will last for life. I will cherish each one. The relationships you will build during these years will make your experience worthwhile.
  6. Never rely on someone else – University is YOUR experience. So if your friend doesn’t want to go to the party you want to go to – go anyway! And if your boyfriend hates being social, or eating certain foods, or being anything other than a hermit – run away and have fun. Do not let a single person get in the way of what you want to experience. In my first few years, I was not confident enough to break out and do my own thing, thankfully with time I learned to embrace the experience and live for myself.

I would recommend post-secondary education to everyone. The things you learn are so far beyond that piece of paper you receive at the end. University was the most challenging, fun and rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced. For that, I have my parents, sister, friends and fiance to thank for guiding, supporting and funding me through this wild ride.

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“University can teach you skill and give you opportunity, but it can’t teach you sense, nor give you understanding. Sense and understanding are produced within one’s soul.” C. JoyBell C.

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