Today I want to talk about higher education and the things I love about going to university, obviously, I will include the things I love about Surrey University as well. I was talking to my friend the other day who is currently working full-time, she said she feels so much happier and that studying was never her ‘thing’ because she prefers creative and artistic things. I feel like there is a misconception that going to university is only for people who want to become lawyers, teachers, engineers or psychologists which is not true. Many universities offer Performing Arts or Music degrees and some of them do a really good program with great facilities. Not trying to be biased but off the top of my head, I would say the GSA is a great example!
1. Conquering the funny tricks of time
Time management is something everyone can improve on. In secondary school, it was so much easier to organise my time because I have quite a fixed schedule, I would get to school by 7:30 and will be home around 4:30 every day. In university, however, you might different hours every day and it can also change in certain weeks, this makes it incredibly difficult to get things done especially if you are involved in several societies. I think there is no better time to learn how to work with your schedule and do things in a timely manner and this is a skill you will need for the rest of your life regardless of your occupation/profession. In university, you will meet people doing different courses which means they will be more knowledgeable in certain areas as much as you are in another area and you will find yourself disagreeing with some of their opinions. What would you do? Screaming at the top of your lungs insisting you are right? Or listening to what others think and seeing where they are coming from? You can learn a lot by talking to others and trying to incorporate various ideas together. Again, an important skill to have for the future when not only people have graduated from different courses but come from different places, and having different opinions.
2. The ‘Surrey Aid’
What I mean by that is the support that the University of Surrey offers! From academic to your mental health, you name it, they have thought of it! There is plenty of support for the international students, they offer different English programs to help you write better essays or dissertations or for employment so you do not have to be affected by the fact that your first language is not English. On top of that, on the third floor of the library is a place called SPLASH which helps you with your coursework and assignments!
In addition, there is a centre for wellbeing where you can go and talk to somebody about whatever it is that’s bothering you. It is one of the things I mentioned during my interview for the student ambassador scheme because I feel like it is extremely important to keep your mental health in check. As an international student, there obviously challenging times and knowing that there is someone you can always talk to means a lot!
We also have a Careers and Employability Centre where you can get advice and get your CV checked. There are a few work fairs in a year where you can find tons of opportunities and see what the employers are looking for.
3. Connections, connections, connections
This involves both your friends and your lecturers. I don’t think I need to spend too much on the benefits of getting to know your lecturers. You do really what the future holds, one of your friends might become a politician while another in singing at a concert hall, that is why it is very important to keep in touch with your friends because you never know when you will need some help! And of course, you will miss them a lot!
4. Your degree
It is the main reason you entered university, isn’t it? Getting you to learn more about what you are passionate about and being able to be ‘creative’ with it. Explore different theories, do research and being with a bunch of people that are equally passionate, can things get any better? With that being said, it is completely normal to question whether that is what you want to dedicate your life to. I think it is a good experience either way.
I absolutely love our campus! It does take a while to get used to and getting lost is, unfortunately inevitable. I love how modern the facilities are and it is always clean which is something I can’t say for my secondary school. Guildford is a very cute town with many shops and restaurants, personally, there are still places I have yet to explore.
I am going to end here before it gets too long. I really like everyone should give the university a chance if they have the opportunity to. It is an incredible experience and you might end up taking one of the most valuable lessons away. Enjoy the rest of the week and for those who are surviving on caffeine, make good use of your weekend
😉 Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments, why do you want to attend university?
Joao Miguel Rodrigues Pereira