Those first few days at University were without a doubt, absolutely terrifying. There is no other way to describe it, or maybe there is, and I am sure that if I put my mind to it I could think of some other suitable words to describe the feelings racing through my mind. At the beginning of my first semester for instance, I felt fear, overwhelming dread, utter panic, trepidation and complete horror at what I had committed myself to and of course that all-encompassing doubt. Can I really do it?
Not all of it was negative though, there were also the other slightly more positive feelings that surged through my body and mind such as exhilaration, excitement, elation and plain simple joy that I had finally gone ahead and dedicated myself to study for the next few years. Very soon into my first semester and first year I was filled with the knowledge that I can do it because I was not alone, everyone else around me were in the same boat and this boat was not the Titanic, it was not sinking, and I was not going to drown in the abyss of study.
Going to University was a dream I have had my entire life. It was there in the back of my mind continuously eating away like rust on a steel pipe. So I decided to jump in boots and all.
After all I had made up my mind that it could only go two ways, I could succeed or fail. That is 50-50 odds, not bad really. Anyway if others could do it why can’t I? The questions you have to ask yourself are:
- Why shouldn’t you attend university?
- What is stopping you?
- What could be the best and worst possible outcomes?
- How will it change your life?
And most importantly of all
- If you don’t do it, will you regret it for the rest of your life?
My trepidations were soon dispelled by the support that I encountered from the teaching staff, the Learning Centre (for those panic moments! And there were plenty of them!!!!) and the social network amongst the students. I had become a part of a tight knit community which was a bit like living in an episode of Friends.
Having never experienced these frequent boosts of self-esteem before, I now wake up in the mornings and have a bowl of self-esteem with a strong coffee, and head off to University, my veins surging with self-assurance and motivation. Along the way I very quickly discovered the all-important secrets to university life.
- Self-esteem: Get loads of it from wherever you can. I found lots of useful books and articles online for example: www.psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-raise-your-self-esteem to help in this area as well as ‘The Motivated Mind’ by Dr Raj Persaud
- Tell yourself every day when you get up that you are awesome and deserve to be a university student!
In short attending University has been a lifelong ambition realised quite simply by one small decision that I made not too long ago. There is now satisfaction and fulfilment in my life all because of studying in my chosen career at USQ. Plus I have received all the unexpected benefits that came along with university life, like the friends that are going through it with me. The special moments of panic we still occasionally experience are still there, but now they are accompanied by determination.
Share your experience! What did it mean to you to study at USQ?