University breaks you to make you

By Hana Mazhar

Coffee is a student’s water; staying up all night to finish assignments, skipping a class to finish another class’s assignment; waking up early and going to class only to realize that the class was cancelled. “Phew!’ These are just a few moments in a student’s dullsville life.

Amidst all these, our personalities are built, we hold on to these memories as mementos  and learn from them. Running late to class and getting objurgated by our peers is a reminder to sleep early; on time or at least to set an alarm an hour before class.

Every experience at university remolds us and we learn to take responsibility of our offences. University teaches us millions of different responsibilities. Punctuality being one of them, which is very important, and it is the easiest task of them all.

And if you fail at the easiest responsibility, how are you going to manage situations that are even more difficult?

Punctuality let people know where you stand, how serious you are about your duties as a student. Either it is attending class on time or submitting work on time. Students who are always late to class are sloths.

In all honesty, there is no excuse for being late to class every single day.

It’s either because you took too much time in front of a mirror, or you were stuck in traffic, which only reflects your negligence and disrespect for everyone else present in the classroom on time.

University helps you discover yourself, the things you thought you could never do, you end up doing them. The problems you never thought you would face, you end up facing them.

It’s a time of change, regret, acceptance, and embracing the gigantic curve-balls that life throws at you.

Whether you attend university for a year, three years, or all the way up to earning a PhD, you are bound to be an entirely different person from the day you entered the university.

I never thought that I would be the person I am today, and I am sure what I will be in the next 10 years would be totally different than what I am now.

Wonderful opportunity

Students who travel far from home and live abroad to study should realise that it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn from the university.

Everything around you has a significance. I have met quite a number of students who are abundantly unthankful for everything they have.

They should realize this is not a chance many people get. University teaches two of the most important things; the first is that you must appreciate what you have, because your garbage can be someone else’s treasure.

Secondly, if it scares you, it makes you! So, do it, because it’s worth it. If it is something substantial it will not come easy, but in the end, it will be worth it!

At start, I wasn’t prepared for the responsibilities that would befall upon me, in fact, I didn’t even know the different kinds of responsibilities I would be faced with.

I wasn’t prepared to meet so many people from so many different backgrounds whose strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, ideas and opinions were so different from mine. I was not ready for the “real” world, the way that I thought I was, and that was utterly terrifying!

While all these responsibilities seem scary, they teach us how to be stronger and better with each step being a stepping stone. Staying far away from home, isn’t easy at all. When I was in high school,

I remember talking about living alone with my friends at slumber parties and it sounded so “cool”, just the idea of living alone and making my own rules. But Lord, was I wrong! There is nothing cool about living alone and I wish to tell this to my 16- year old self.

Let’s talk about the most basic chore which is waking up in the morning, this becomes solely your responsibility. There is no one to give you a nudge or to scream at you to wake you up.

I must say, the first few months were terrifying. I wasn’t used to waking up on my own, let alone make myself a breakfast with one eye open, how do you even do that?

It was not easy to get used to the idea that there will be no one to guide my steps in actuality. I had to be my own decision maker; from when I woke up to when I slept, from where I went to what I ate.

Chores I never thought before…

Suddenly these decisions became like chores I never thought of them this way, because before this, these decisions were made for me and I never had to take care of myself in that sense.

For instance, when I had to go out before, I needed my parent’s permission. But now, since I am alone, I had to ask myself, should you go? Is it okay to go? I am completely accountable for my own decision and that’s scary.

Now, I am not trying to unnerve anyone. Yes, living alone does come with many enjoyable factors. But not to forget, with more freedom comes more responsibility and that is what we never thought about it.

The responsibilities and the daily chores are innumerable. Whatever chores our parents did for us, suddenly these are in our hands; from washing clothes to buying food for ourselves daily. Being lazy and lying in bed all day is not an option anymore.

We are constantly forced to step out of our room, even if we are too exhausted or too depressed.

University teaches us to not give up and to keep moving forward. If we are pushed down, it teaches us to rise back. All these obstacles should make you appreciate and value your families more than ever.

During stressful days, never forget to pamper yourself. You deserve to be pampered and taken care of, especially by yourself. You should value yourself even when no one does.

Difficult times have taught me that there are moments when you get too attached to people and you will assume, that they will stay with you forever, but they disappear with a blink of an eye and that is okay!

There will be moments when you can’t pick yourself up, but others will be there to help you. Or moments when others push you down and you have to pull yourself up.

Learning to stay balanced

Balancing life and studies together is something you will learn to do eventually, it will come to you naturally.

Over time, you will learn habitual independence; you will learn to wake up for your 8 a.m. lectures, you will learn to go to classes on time, to talk to your professors for advice and you will surely learn to call your mother without being nagged. You will be faced with days where you will be forced to eat bread and water in times of starvation and remember that is OK, you will not die.

You will notice your introductions will change from a sluggish wave to a firm handshake; a new person in the making.

Appreciate your time during university days while you can. Don’t nag your way out of the university, instead, enjoy your way out.

To all my fellow university students, you all are incredibly lucky to have the opportunities you have.

You should be proud of yourselves for what you are doing, because university is not easy, especially with all the distractions in your way.

Keep up the good work, keep studying, focusing, researching, and working hard. Never give up and I can’t wait to see where life takes us next! ***

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