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Best time of your life. We’ve all been told that by an older, slightly cynical person looking back over their time at university with both jealousy and a longing to return to those former glorious days. And this is exactly what these are. These are going to be the best days of our lives (pardon the cliché) because I’ve seen the real world, and I’ll tell you something. It ain’t so pretty. This is why I can’t understand why so many students don’t take this opportunity and embrace these university years, because honestly, nothing will compare to this later on in life. And if we don’t realise that, we’ll be those cynical adults in the future who look back with nothing but regret for not making the most of this journey.
What did you do yesterday? I woke up at 1pm, lounged around for a few hours, reluctantly had a shower, had a slice of bread for my tea. Standard, typical student. But then I came onto campus, got changed into my swimming gear, put on all the necessary safety equipment, and got in a kayak. Yes this is random. I spent an hour and a half paddling along the Sports Centre pool, capsizing occasionally, learning new tricks, and training via our imaginations that me and my fellow kayakers were all heading towards a dangerous waterfall, with only seven minutes to get everyone to safety. Yes this too is random. But this is what I mean.
Several times a week I get up at the crack of dawn, albeit reluctantly at times when I think I could still be in bed before my lecture, and I make the arduous trek to campus to do something random. Something different and quite unique. Something I would not have the opportunity to do had I not come to university, nor even considered doing. When in the future am I going to get the chance to do something like this?
I spent my gap year working full time. Yes I got invaluable experience. Yes I saved a hell of a lot of money. And yes it prepared me for university, when I would have found the initial transition even more difficult. But what it mainly did for me was that it made me appreciate that I’m 20-years-old. I was working with people paying mortgages, planning weddings, having families, stressing constantly about mounting bills and working endlessly even for hours after the office was closed. And their routine did not vary for the 365 days I worked there. Nothing changed. Literally nothing. And I could not wait to leave and start my university journey.
So I think, how many of us will end up doing something like that. A laborious, consistent routine job day in day out, month after month, year on year? Not me, you’ll be thinking. Maybe not you. But what are you doing about it? For many nothing is being done. And I can’t understand this.
Many people I speak to simply reiterate how they cannot wait to start working after university. We’ve all had the odd job, but trust me, working in the real world is a different lifestyle. No more banter filled nights in the Sugarhouse, no more days lounging around without a care in the world, no more Facebook stalking for hours on end.
If we’re not making the most of now, these years here, we will all regret it. University has no routine, it is inherently random, and that’s what is so precious about this time of life. This is where you mould the future (cliché, yes, sorry again), because when you leave here, it is what you have made of this journey that will dictate what happens after. But most importantly this time should be enjoyed. When are you ever going to live like this again? I’m writing for a newspaper for crying out loud, when will I get chance to do that again? University isn’t just about the education, it’s a way of life. So live it, and don’t waste it. I’m almost half way through my time here, and I’m not going to waste a second of it.