When you first set out for university, three years sounds like a lifetime, but believe us, it passes by faster than you think. Before you can say, “What’s the difference between a seminar and a tutorial?”, you’ll be Googling the price of graduation gown rental, and measuring your head for a mortarboard. (It will not fit, no matter how accurate you are with a measuring tape.) Blink, and those three years will already be gone. Amidst that blur though, there are certain special moments that every student remembers:
Moving in on your first day
Maybe your mum cried. Maybe you lost your keycard within seconds of moving in. Maybe you just stood and marvelled for a while at the wonder and/or horror of sharing a kitchen and bathroom with fifteen other students. Whatever happened on your first day, there’s a good chance it’ll be one of your more vivid memories of university. If you’re about to experience it, then remember this: your first day isn’t a measuring stick for the rest of your university life. If your first day is awful, or your flatmates are terrifying, or you get really homesick, remember that there are bound to be some hiccups. There are also bound to be some great friends and some fantastic experiences, and there will come a point when this new town starts to feel like home. You’ll remember that moment too.
Your first lecture
The first lecture. You’ll show up bright eyed and bushy tailed, with a notepad at the ready, poised to write down every wise utterance the lecturer even breathes in your direction. Remember that lecture. Remember the days when you could muster up enthusiasm for your professor’s monotone delivery of 17th Century French political theory, and when you could maintain said interest even at 8:45am during the week of an open exam. Cherish that enthusiasm. Those days will probably not last.
Chances are, in your second or your third year, you’ll move into a student house off-campus. Most students will remember that first move, and the hassle that came before it. You’ll remember your first experience of dealing with private landlords. You’ll remember your first experience of being totally responsible for your own living arrangements. And hopefully, you’ll remember your first experience of setting up a cleaning rota. Believe us: if you don’t remember that, you’ll definitely come to remember the first time you witnessed an argument in the student kitchen.
Handing in your dissertation/project
In your final year, you’ll probably do a dissertation, a final project, a final recital, or some other piece of work that seems like the most enormous thing you’ll ever do, and certainly the lengthiest thing you ever print. Handing in that your document at the end of the year will be a huge accomplishment, and a huge weight off your shoulders in the final sprint towards graduation.
Mortar boards. Gowns. Speeches. More applause than you thought your hands were physically capable of. Your graduation will probably be one of the more memorable moments of your life, and whether you choose to attend the ceremony or not, gaining the certificate is a phenomenal milestone that you’ll keep with you for a long time. Be proud of yourself, and keep that accomplishment close to your chest as you go out into the world. You’ve earned it.
University sets you up for that first great leap into the world, and if you want to go even further, have a look at our graduate management training schemes, and see what your next amazing milestone might be.