*a 4-minute read*
Of all the things I learned in my undergraduate, nothing stood out to me more than the title quote above.
The trials and tribulations of life will always have an effect on people one way or another. But in an experience like university, these difficulties were jam-packed into a four-year program where at the end of it all, you leave with one single piece of paper but a lifetime of experiences and connections made.
The bridge between a blessing and a lesson remains small in the sense that every blessing can be considered a lesson. But the slight difference comes from the wins you take and the losses you have to accept but that leave you with something to learn from.
The undergrad is now complete, four years of schooling have come to an end, and the outstanding balance remains at $0.00 (not student loans though, the government coming for my bank account soon enough but we move).
I did leave with some insight that I felt had to be shared to either help out someone considering going to school, currently in school, or offer some closure for people who have gone through the same path as myself. Join me on the journey I will take you through explaining my ups and downs of school filled with… (just read the next paragraph).
You Always Have More To Show
Do not box yourself in terms of what you can attain. There is always more to show if you allow yourself to let it all out without any restraints. It may take longer than you expect, but sometimes it be like that. This is why you can never cheat the time you put in — trust me, time waits for no man and if you think it is on your side, you will be humbled swiftly.
Four years go by faster than you think — extremely fast (I cannot emphasize further how quickly time goes by, you have to believe me by now). When you put things into perspective, you can waste a lot of time in four years. You may or may not have a lot to show for yourself school-wise (an unfortunate reality), but you might also have met a group of people who can change your life in those same four years. Do you see how this could be a lesson and a blessing at the same time? Even if the school portion wasn’t something you excelled in, you found people who can now help you grow in ways more valuable than school ever could.
There is going to be something to show at the end of it all. Whether it is good or bad depends on your outlook. But from what I have learned, there is always more to show than you initially think. School in its entirety might not have been the blessing you were searching for, but it most likely left you with some sort of valuable lesson. For me it was a simple one — talk to anyone and everyone because you never know how far a conversation can take you (but don’t talk to strangers, obviously, cause you know, stranger danger and things like that).
The Uni Dropout
As the years dragged on and on (so it seemed), the temptation to drop out intensified for me. The more I learned about other opportunities in other fields, industries, and businesses, the more I truly thought school was a barrier in my path. The dropout button became more enticing as the days went by. I was ready to rebrand myself as “the Uni dropout” (pun intended) and keep things moving into a career where other interests could prevail and money-making could start immediately.
After deeper thought, it became clear to me why I needed to complete school — not only to overcome the mind games I was trapping myself in, but also to have the ability and opportunity to share my story so someone else might be able to learn from it.
You see, when you complete something, you have the ability to say with your chest, “I finished what I set out to do.” Not everyone can say the same, and when you have these credentials, it gives you the opportunity to speak on everything you went through. You have the insight, recognition, and wisdom to offer a meaningful perspective that people can believe, with the wear and tear to back you up.
Here is where you receive the blessings and the lessons along the way. I was blessed with the opportunity to complete university and fully absorb the knowledge, truths, and lessons I learned throughout my time there.
It’s much easier to believe someone when they’re speaking on something they’ve personally experienced. Would you be more willing to trust someone who has been through it all or someone who left the adventure halfway through?
Learn To Say No Immediately
Look, for most of us who decide to go away for school, it means we are going to a new place, city, or environment with no restrictions or guidelines for the very first time. What could possibly go wrong? (It’s rhetorical, don’t answer the question).
You have to learn how to say no from early before you get trapped in the dubious complex of the word FOMO (standard abbreviation of fear of missing out — hilarious, btw).
In a new environment, it’s normal to want to try everything, see what you like, figure out what sticks and what interests you. You owe it to yourself to try new things around you; my suggestion, though, is to not feel like you must do it or else you will be labelled as “boring” and someone who doesn’t know how to have fun.
Giving in to the fear of missing out just creates unnecessary anxiety for yourself about what other people are doing — you can see how that would be draining. You come to learn quickly, you don’t need to see everything and anything… and that is perfectly fine. Imagine worrying that if you don’t go out every single time there is a party or function you are going to miss something big. Sounds like a lot of unnecessary stress to me. You learn to say no when you set priorities or stop caring to be seen all the time. When you value your time and morals, saying no is a part of life you must cherish to the grave (saves you a substantial amount of money, too, so that’s a plus).
Learning this skill as early as you can is highly recommended because of what you save with it. Remember my expressions about time earlier in the article? You can’t cheat time. Saving yourself money, time, and personal sanity is always the way to go. Don’t let the streets tell you the homebody life isn’t for you, there’s always room for another body.
Spread The Word
The experiences I had during this time are good enough for an hour movie screentime but this four-minute article should suffice for now. These little gems stood out to me the most and left an everlasting impact I needed to share.
If you feel this is something that can help anyone you know, feel free to share and get the word out there. Knowing what you are getting into with school (or, for those who are done or almost done post-secondary, finding a sense of closure) shouldn’t be overlooked or taken for granted. Thank you for reading, share with a friend, and leave a response to the question down below!