I’ll be honest, I haven’t found the transition from high school to university all that hard. However, I know that there are thousands of others out there who have. Here’s my advice to anyone curious about starting university or anyone who is currently struggling with the transition.
University is all about independence. Throughout VCE teachers will incessantly remind you that there will be “no one there to tell you what to do at uni”, and it’s true. Every day you will have to find your way, try your hardest not to get lost, to feed yourself and to do the work required of you ALL ON YOUR OWN. Becoming independent is the scariest aspect of starting university, and ironically, for many first years it’s the very thing they have been wanting for years!
“A dying friend once told me, “I wish I hadn’t spent so many Mondays wishing it were Friday. I also wish I had made better use of those Fridays, for better stories on Monday.” (Author unknown)
I have seen this quote quite a few times on the Internet and each time its meaning has stood out to me. It says that wishing for something that you can’t have is a waste of precious time when instead you could be making every day count. The key is taking ACTION. Don’t wait for university to be great, make it great. So, to all those worried about starting university this is what worked for me and what I recommend:
• Take time to explore on your own. Find a favourite spot to eat or get your morning coffee. Find toilets. Find a nice place to study. Find the best way to get to and from uni. Learn to be independent, especially if you usually rely heavily on your parents or teachers. Once you are comfortable in your surroundings, you will be a lot happier!
• Be open. In all honesty, I’ve never been the most confident person in the room but I made a vow to go into my first day of classes and just be open. When you go to uni with a smile, positive attitude and willingness to try new things (it sounds corny but it’s true) you will instantly attract good experiences and new friends. You don’t have to be confident or super talkative to be open – it’s a mindset.
• Appreciate the past, enjoy the present and get excited for the future. For many, high school is one of the best experiences of their life. However, I think it is important not to be excessively nostalgic about it when starting university. If you spend your first week of uni constantly comparing it to high school, where you were surrounded by your closest friends and in a comfortable environment, you are only going to be disappointed. Not only that, you are wasting time that could be spent turning your tertiary education into yet another amazing life experience. Appreciate high school for what it was, an incredible learning and growing period of your life and get ready to enjoy the next one.