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8 Things University Teaches You About Yourself

It’s a given that you’ll learn a lot at university. But were you expecting quite so many of those lessons to be about yourself?

1. No matter how certain you think you are about your career, you’ll change your mind at least once.

Going into your chosen course at university, you probably have an idea of where you want to end up once your studies are completed, even if that idea is only an extremely vague one. While you may have been thinking that intensive lectures and networking with fellow students would solidify your choice, it could actually just leave you more confused than ever…

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2. You’re more confident than you give yourself credit for.

If you didn’t consider going to university in the first place proof that you are confident, those seminars where presenting your research is a must will do the trick. Presentations allow you to develop both your confidence and public speaking skills, and since both are essential for any working adult, you’ll gain the tools necessary for later life as well as a confidence boost.

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3. Your sexual identity is whatever you want it to be.

Whether you just weren’t sure before, or you felt you couldn’t express yourself honestly while you were at home, university is the perfect place to explore and embrace your sexual identity. You’ll meet a wide range of people all going through exactly the same thing as you, as well as having access to numerous LGBTQ+ societies in which you have a safe space to be yourself.

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4. The same goes for your political views.

Prior to going to university, your political views may have been influenced by your family, or even the area you live in. Being taken out of such an environment introduces you to different opinions, allowing you to become more open-minded to other possibilities and ways of thinking.

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5. You still have a lot to learn.

Not only will your lecturers encourage you to think outside the box and consider other perspectives, but by mingling with new people you’ll be introduced to new opinions. Of course, you may not always agree with all of them but it’ll help you understand how others think and in turn allow you to develop new ways of thinking. This will go a long way in the workplace, because you will often come across people or situations in which you have to consider the other side before speaking.

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6. You’re no longer a child but not quite an adult just yet either.

Yes. There’s a weird stage of floating between having the fun a child does and maintaining the responsibilities of an adult. Once you develop your own work-life balance suited to your personal preference, then being in such a stage isn’t such a bad place to be. Adulting doesn’t mean fun should be completely ruled out, but no matter how hard you try you can’t stay a child forever. Take the best of both worlds and move forward!

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7. You need help and it’s OK to ask for it.

You have your own accommodation and you’re ready to prove to your parents that you can make it on your own. But then you suddenly realise that you don’t have enough money to pay your utility bill. Asking your parents for help whether it’s for advice or on the financial side does not make you any less of an adult. In fact, it shows character to admit that you are in a bit of a bind and would like some help. So try not to be too hard on yourself.

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8. And finally, it’s perfectly fine that you don’t have everything worked out.

There’s no manual for adult life. Going to university means that you have some sort of direction for your adult life, but not having a definite idea is perfectly fine. Plans change as you grow as a person. The plans you had at age 18 may not be the same as when you’re 20 – and that’s completely a-okay.

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