I know, it’s supposed to be 10-Things-Tuesday, but today I want to make an exception. You see, today is extra special. I just had my graduation and received my Master’s Degree in Book and Digital Media studies, which is pretty amazing, but it also happens to be my 23rd birthday. So, here are 10 things I’ve learned as a student at Leiden University.
- Your degree is nothing more than a piece of paper. Don’t get too focused on getting your diploma. Sometimes people go to university, learn everything they need to learn and don’t actually graduate. It’s the experiences that really matter.
- You learn most from your fellow students. I’ve met some amazing people at my university and I’ve learned so much from all of them. Whether they were born in the Netherlands like me, or in other countries all over the world, they can teach you so much more than any professor ever could.
- University isn’t about agreeing to everything you’re told. Learn to form your own opinions. Don’t just believe everything your professors tell you. Always be critical! Never stop asking why.
- Sometimes second best is enough. Allow yourself to slack off every once in a while. Do just enough to pass that class. There will always be tomorrow. You don’t have to always give everything you’ve got. It’s okay to take a break and say f*ck it.
- If you love what you study, even the boring things will become bearable. We all have to suffer through classes we absolutely hate. This is unavoidable. But, in the end, these classes teach a valuable lesson: Even doing the things you love can be difficult and annoying at times. If you’re able to survive these classes, you know that you’re studying the thing you love.
- You can always say no. They always say that university is the time to experiment. It’s the time to figure out who you are. I say, screw that! I still haven’t figured out who I am. Does anyone ever do? Be brave and try the things you’ve always wanted to try, but be courageous too and say no if you feel uncomfortable. You know your limits, don’t let others push you over the edge.
- It’s okay if you still don’t know what you want to be. I know that university is supposed to prepare you for your future job, but if you don’t know what you want to do, that’s fine too. See what subjects interest you and search for jobs in that particular field. But even if you can’t find it, don’t panic. Allow yourself to just not know for a bit. Everything will fall into place, somehow.
- Internships are a great learning experience. When you start university or college, going to school is all you’ve ever known. You need to learn what it means to have a job. And more importantly, getting a job after graduation is a lot easier if you have experience. Internships allow you to learn more about your professional interests. So, do an internship, even if it’s not required.
- You will find a job! This is the most important lesson I’ve learned. It may not be the thing you always dreamed of doing, but we all need to start somewhere. Ask yourself what you love to do, and build on that. Don’t be afraid to try things. Quitting your job is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean you are a quitter. It means that you know what you want and that job just isn’t it!
- When everything seems to fall apart, something good always happens. There have been moments that I felt like my Master was the wrong decision. I had moments that I just didn’t know what I was going to do next. I dreaded my graduation, because I felt like I wasn’t prepared for what was to come next. But, the truth is, you’re not supposed to have it all figured out after you graduate. So let life fall apart sometimes. You’ll be able to see things more clearly.
Have a nice Thursday!