Holy moly macaroni, the second mid-semester break of the year is rapidly approaching and with it comes the horrifying realization that my first year of university is closer to the end than the beginning. They say time flies when you’re having fun, so I guess that I am having ridiculous amounts of fun because I have never felt time fly by so fast before. I swear it feels just like yesterday that I was a nervous wreck, anxious about starting my life as a Responsible Almost Adult. My concerns seem like such a foolish waste of energy now that I look back at how stressed I was, over what today seems like nothing. For those of you starting to look at university and accommodation applications, I have devised yet another Insightful List of Advice about the four top things I wish I knew before I moved here.
Get yourself a hobby.
Surprise surprise, school work gets exhausting. As much as one can love their field of study, you gotta give that big ol’ brain of yours a break from time to time and do something for your soul, sister. After wasting away embarrassingly many hours streaming shows on my laptop, I found a more productive retreat in my gym membership. Half an hour a day keeps the study-induced insanity away. Not only did it give me an excuse to not study, but my endurance is better than ever. That’s right, you’re in the presence of a girl who can use the elliptical machine for 25 minutes straight, no breaks or anything. I know, I’m amazing.
Get familiar with how to budget.
This is a fun one. Now that you’re on your own, you’re going to have to learn how to manage your money so that you can still eat the next week but also go out to town with your friends. It took me a lot of adjusting and learning to figure out a system that’s good for me. What I ended up doing was set up about three bank accounts: one for the bulk of my money, one to transfer money into each week according to my weekly budget, and one for savings. Don’t do what I did in the beginning and just willy-nilly transfer money into your checking account. You’ll regret it when you realize your lunch will be baked beans for the next week.
It is possible to have fun in uni.
When I first got here, I had the impression that it was going to be all work and no play. Turns out, if you stick to a plan, you get to play. I’ve said this a million times already so I won’t get into the nitty gritty, but finding a balance is key. Learn not to procrastinate so you can enjoy life with no regrets or guilty feels. Studying is good, but it’s pointless if you’re down in the dumps all the time because you missed out on a night on the town due to a procrastination incident.
Breathe in that sweet, sweet oxygen.
Honey, relax. Yes, you’re nervous. Yes, for the first time ever you don’t know what’s at the other side of the tunnel. But don’t worry, you’ll be fine. If I could, I would tell my past self that stressing about every little detail is not doing anybody any favours. Stress or no stress, the result is still the same. You’ll still have to figure out how to balance your work and your social life. You’ll still have to find a way to see your boyfriend despite both your busy schedules. You’ll still have to sit through exam after exam. Just breathe, try your hardest and let the rest fall into place. Once you’ve done your best, there’s nothing you can do. So don’t stress over details you can’t control. Trust me, your skin will thank you.
I’m going to take my own advice and stop stressing about the uncertainties of my future. Who knows, maybe 25 year old me will write another one of these “notes to past me” blogs, telling current me to chill. It seems like I’ll be graduating before I know it and have to start being a Real Adult and not just an Almost Adult. I’m going to be worrying about how sucky the commute to work is and what to get for my friends’ weddings and which insurance company to use. But alas, I’ve still got at least three and a half years to go before any of that really happens so I guess it’s okay to sit in denial for a little while longer.