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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Dawn

Ten Things I Wish I Knew In University

University is a very confusing time. It's amazing, but totally confusing. Today I am going to share ten things I wish I knew in university.

1) All nighters are not the magical unicorn everyone talks about.

I pulled one all-nighter in my last semester of university and it was the worst thing I ever did. Not only was my paper mediocre, I was exhausted and being exhausted is rough on the body. I need 7-8 hours to function like a person, so when I limited my sleep to four, I was a zombie and I couldn't even take a nap later in the day. A 10-page paper is long. If you want to rush through a paper, give yourself at least two days. It can be mediocre, but sleep and your health are so much more important.

2) Your GPA will bounce up and down, keep trying.

I had years when my GPA was up and I had some when it was down. Yes, it takes a lot of work to get it back, but eventually you will get to a point that you are comfortable. Please don't listen to all those people that stress over their grades. I was one of them, but once I finally accepted my grades, that's when I actually started doing better. Also, if you're not doing something you like, change your course. Don't take anything less than a W and try not to fail a course.

3) Failing a class will not hold you back in life.

If you fail a course, you are not a failure. You will not fail at life. Your life is not over. Failing will not determine where you go in life. I failed a course, and you know what? I went back and re-did it. I learnt from my mistakes, I figured out where I went wrong, I asked more questions. Sometimes, it takes more than once to get it right. Don't listen to the kids who are awful. You know who I mean, those who make you feel bad for failing. I had the best support system, they supported me through my failures and I did so much better the second time. More than one path to success exists.

4) Alcohol. The lubricant to a social life that could kill you.

You know going out can be great. It can be a lot of fun, but if you're smart, you wont flaunt that. Also if you're smart, you'll realize that you can die from over consumption. I knew these things, but I knew people who didn't and I was their mom. It was annoying and it was hard to deal with at times. It's not that I didn't have fun times, I did, but I didn't over-do it every weekend. It's a grey area, but in the long-run, not going HAM every weekend is going to be better for you. Don't be afraid to be the sober friend, but don't be afraid to have fun from time to time.

5) Your friends will change more than once and sometimes it sucks.

I love my friends, but sometimes my friendships shifted because I was shifting as a person. Sometimes it was really hard, but I knew that the universe had a plan for me and I had to learn and move on. Acceptance is key. Also, just because someone isn't in my life anymore, doesn't mean I don't wish them all the best in life. Be patient with people and if it doesn't work out, you need to let the negative out of your life.

6) Being a leader means not everyone will like you. Do it anyways.

I really thought I knew it all and I didn't. I learnt so much about being a leader and it's interesting because I was able to use what I learnt to guide other student leaders in my last year, which was amazing. I did however learn that not everyone liked my style of leadership and that was tough. I moved past it though, not everyone was going to like me and I couldn't back down because someone didn't like that I yelled at a group once. I also blame gender issues for that problem. If I were a man who yelled, people would have respected my decision. It was tough being a student leader who was a woman. I couldn't do what my male counterparts were doing because I wasn't seen in the same light. There were moments when not everything was equal. I couldn't let the people who criticized me keep me down. I continued because it mattered to me and it was important to me.

7) Dating is pointless.

Unless you want to get married at 19, may I suggest learning to be single? Honestly, I had friends who had such strong relationships and then I had friends who needed to dissect every text; like, "what does it mean if he says hey". Sometimes young love is in the cards and sometimes it's not. I wish I knew that spending time on whether he liked me or not, was a waste of my time. Best advice I got was from the movie "He's just not that into you" and that was:

Where are all the guys who want to be with me? Waiting for my to be my own person. I realized that I don't want to date because I have too many goals to achieve before I can really give my heart to someone. In the meantime, the heartbreak is just not worth it. Sure sometimes I go "I could have a boyfriend", but that never turns into "I'm going to take whoever is around the corner". The guy who is a sucky person to you, just doesn't care about you, so why would you give your heart to them? Give your heart to someone who really wants to be with you and if you don't want to be with them, you don't need too. It's not complicated when you realize you deserve the best person and good things happen to those who wait.

8) Make time for your health.

Take it from someone who thought she wasn't gaining weight and was under huge amounts of stress, I wish I knew that I should have taken care of my health. I wasn't healthy and I thought I was. Not only is that scary, its stupid. I was letting my body deteriorate and I wasn't doing anything about it because I was too busy doing stuff for others and I didn't give myself any time. I didn't now what portion control was, I definitely didn't have time to go to the gym, and I could eat my weight in snacks. They don't teach you how to eat well in university and not only that, they don't care if you get fat and develop life long issues. If I set a crunchy chicken wrap and a salad in front of you, which one would you really pick? I would have picked the chicken wrap, twice a week. You can't outrun a bad diet, you won't notice change if you eat like crap. You deserve all the best things and trust me, the things that make you feel great are worth the money. It's worth making an investment in your health at a young age and not much later down the road. I wish I knew that before I was balding and loosing my ability to absorb B12.

9) Don't let "the man" keep you down.

If you don't like something, change it! If you don't like that your faculty wont let you do something, or that your university wont let you do something, change it. No, don't deface property or insult someone, but use your voice and utilize your student union to change something you want changed. Negotiate and learn to get around the rules, or change the rules. If you feel strongly about something that you want, go for it. Rock 'n' roll a little in university, don't stand for something that is unfair.

10) Be proud of yourself.

You're at university for yourself, not to please anyone else. You need to make yourself proud. If you're not happy doing something, change it. Do something that will set your soul on fire. Just because you think you're stuck in something, doesn't mean you are. There is always a way to change and sure it may come at a cost, but is that cost worth the long-term investment? Your life is amazing and you being there is what's amazing. So be proud of your accomplishments, even if that's just jumping up and down in front of the class for a B+. You accomplish so much and it's important for you to know that.

Thanks for reading,



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