6 Things I Learnt From 3 Years at University

Earlier this year, I graduated from university and, what with lockdown and no proper graduation, it’s been an odd end to 3 years, but an end nonetheless. Looking back, it’s hard to put 3 years worth of memories into a singular blog post, so instead I’ve decided to write about 6 key things I’ve learnt during my time at university – perhaps some of you can relate!


1. How To Be Responsible

This is an obvious one to start with, but it is what university teaches us all to do – how to become independent and live apart from our family. For some this is more difficult than others, but for all of us it’s new territory. I remember the first night staying at university and it felt like I was in a hotel, yet all of my stuff was there. It’s a scary moment for us all, but then the food shopping, utility bills and renting rooms becomes normality, and quicker than we know it, we become adults.

2. Who I Am As A Person

I think most people have some sort of idea about who they are as a person before university, but during university is when you truly experiment with hobbies, societies, meeting new people, and you learn how you react to all these fluctuating circumstances. I think we all try out at least one different version of ourselves at university, just to see what it’s like, whether that’s pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone or befriending someone we wouldn’t usually talk to. Eventually, you figure out how you actually want to spend your time, and I felt like I left knowing a lot more about who I am and who I want to be.

3. Self-Discipline

It’s no surprise that university teaches you how to take control of your life. Because no one’s going to do that for you. The teachers no longer spoon-feed you exam content, and no one is there to tell you to study. It really is down to yourself to manage your time effectively to get work done. I think this is something I was already fairly good at, but it did help me set up a schedule and be more proactive in seeking help and guidance when I needed it.

4. Who Your Genuine Friends Are

As cliché as it sounds, university makes you realise the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. It’s crazy the amount of people you meet when you first get there, and it’s so different to anything I had ever experienced, but it was so interesting seeing the similarities and differences between everyone. I often found myself in those stages of “friend acquaintances” and not knowing who was a proper friend and who wasn’t. But ultimately, it’s those that still make the effort to contact you and who are there when you need support. I’ve always preferred having a few really close friendships than lots of surface-level acquaintances, and I found that by the end of university, even after experimenting with both, I was back to my roots.

5. Confidence

This one plays a massive role in my time at university. I used to be a really shy person (and still can be, in some ways), but exposing myself to so many new people and new situations, which were way out of my comfort zone, really helped me become more confident. One of the things I learnt during university – mostly towards the end – is that it’s good to do things that scare you. That’s how you overcome those mental limitations you put on yourself. So now I am actively trying to do things that scare me, and letting myself lean into them with confidence.

6. The Importance of Self-Development

The university fresher in me would look at this one with utter confusion, but I think that’s a statement as to how far I’ve grown since beginning university to now. Particularly in my third year, I realised how important it was to work on my self-development. After struggles throughout university with my mental health, alongside falling ill in the middle of second year, I learnt that overcoming these difficult moments in life require self-care, self-acceptance and a desire to take action and make positive change. Self-development is called self-development for a reason – only us, the self, can do it. And when we put our mind to it, we can achieve a lot more than we think.

We take steps, not knowing where we’ll go or where we’ll end up, but knowing one day it’ll mean something.

Have you also been to (or currently go to) university? What have you learnt during your time there?

Let me know in the comments below!


10 thoughts on “6 Things I Learnt From 3 Years at University

  1. Self development is a point I could 100% relate and something i felt I have done in so many ways at uni. Even I struggled with mental health and anxiety at uni, particularly in final year and I agree that it took me self care amd a determination to make positive change and succeed! I also feel that the soft skills i gained at uni prepared me well for the real world 🙂

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    • That’s great you found self-development beneficial too! And that is very true – those soft skills are very transferable to any job. Thanks for reading ☺️

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    • Oh interesting! That just goes to show that we are definitely all on our own unique journeys ☺️ and I don’t think we can ever 100% know who we are, it can sometimes change with time too, so that’s okay! 😆

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  2. Love this post. It’s so crazy to think how much I’ve evolved since first year of uni, can definitely relate to the trying out different versions of myself and being inspired by the people I’ve met on the way. Over summer I wrote down some reflections on my three years and reading it now, I can see the similarities with what you’ve said about growing in confidence and getting to know yourself better. I’m also trying to push more outside of my comfort zone and doing things that scare me to reach places that I might not have thought possible. Anddd even though we’re technically adults I think I’ll always be a child at heart. :)) Maybe i’ll write a post about similar feelings soon!

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    • Thank you 😊 I’m so glad you could relate – it really is crazy the transformations you can make as a person, sometimes without even realising! Let me know if you do write a post on it – would love to read!

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  3. Thanks for sharing!! I also graduated after 4 years at uni and it felt really strange to graduating during these times, sadly there was no formal ceremony but I’m thankful to have video chatted with friends to celebrate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading!! And yes, I know what you mean – it’ll be strange (and not quite the same) having a late graduation ceremony. I’m glad you found a way to celebrate in your own way 😊

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