Hello, it’s #optomstudies here again with another Weekly Study Tip on university life! This will be a multi-part series that hopefully will give a unique insight, since I can go on and on about university, and I love giving advice and helping others :)
PART 6: SOCIAL LIFE
Keep close with your high school best friends. A lot of people from my high school came to my university, and they’ve done different things in this regard. I know some people who completely cut off contact with everyone from high school. Then there are others who stuck to the same group of friends, and then others still who became closer to high school classmates that they previously had little contact with.
My advice is to choose to keep your closest friends, because making friends that close in university can be difficult.
What if you cut off everyone and hang with uni friends, only to fail a subject and have to make a whole new group? This is a very real occurrence; many of the friends I was quite close to have left, and it’s just difficult to keep in touch as much as if we were in the same classes. I think out of a cohort with 110 ish people, we’re down to 56, and even then only about 2/3rds of us were from the original cohort that started together in 2013.
Uni is great for meeting a variety of people. These might be people that you don’t get along with, people you find standoffish, people who you are forced to work with for the sake of an assignment, people who you think just act stupid/selfish/snappish or on the other hand, they might be people who become great friends that you continue to keep in touch with. It reflects the wider world, so keep an open mind and try and learn about different perspectives. I found that first year was really good for reading cues about people and figuring out little things from small subtle gestures.
You can’t get along with everyone. I kinda knew this before uni, but at the same time when I’m dealing with people it’s hard to keep it in mind. There are just people who you can hang out with for ages, and yet you still don’t get along, not because of any lack of effort on your part. If you don’t get along with someone and you’re not forced to, then just hang with others. I think that’s one of the main benefits of uni; you aren’t sort of forced to hang out just in those lunch groups anymore.
Try to make friends with people outside of your degree. I just think that knowing and talking with someone outside of your degree interests makes you a more well-rounded person and you can often pick up things about a topic that you wouldn’t otherwise know. Likewise, join a club for socialising and meeting people with the same interests!So that you can fangirl over the same things :D
Don’t be the tool that cosplays a pauper. That omgsh-free-food-guys attitude is absolutely ridiculous because unlike American college students that almost always have to live away from home and pay for their tuition, most Australian students live with their parents. They also aren’t living paycheck to paycheck, so I don’t understand why people have to scramble for free food in a bizarre cult-like fashion. There’s even a free food facebook page for our university where anyone that doesn’t post about free food gets hurled abuse.
Maybe don’t talk about university homework too often? I know it’s tempting especially as most people reading this are probably studyblr owners, but now that I personally try not to talk about uni, I find that people start talking about uni to me. It can get exhausting after a while. Likewise, don’t be that person who omgsh-slept-only-4-hrs-last-night-and-hasn’t-even-started-that-assignment-due-tmrw-gosh-i’m-soooooooo-tired. Is that like a humblebrag or something? What’s up with half the student population competing for who handles uni life the worst? It gets old pretty fast.
Going to annual cruises, parties, formals: go once in first year and once in your last year. Once for the experience, and then in the last year for the meaningful memories and celebrations. No need to put up with vomit and drunkards unless necessary. Plus, the events are usually held during mid sem break, which is when you want to catch up with your studies and your old high school friends for example.
Uni is great for networking and learning professionalism much needed for future career relationships. There are a lot of resources, not to mention careers support, and some of the lecturers you talk to, or the seniors above you could be your future coworkers or bosses. Try to make a good impression on everyone you meet :)
Find someone who likes to study/practise as much as you do! As an optometry student, I also need to keep my clinical skills up to scratch so I like to practice whenever I can… except the thing is that I almost always can’t find a partner. It’s so impossible because no one can be bothered going to practice when I do, and they all practice right near exam period which is when you have to start fighting to the death waking up at 5:30am for a practice bay!
MY WEEKLY STUDY TIPS
WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN BEFORE UNIVERSITY STUDY TIPS SERIES
this is a bit hard to put in text but i’m gonna try and see what happens
before i moved, i was just out to my friends and people they’d told, but not to my family, which made it quite hard to be completely myself at all times. not that i was expecting them to be angry about it or anything, i just didn’t have the courage to come out to my family for various reasons. i don’t even know. i think mum knows anyway, she’ll find out some day.
and then when i moved a month ago, to a new town, all my myself, where nobody knows who i am or who i was, or what i have done before, i was finally be able to be myself.
my new friends knew pretty quickly that i am gay, and it feels so so good to not being treated ANY differently from if i hadn’t been gay. it even feels a bit strange to be able to talk about queer stuff openly without worries about anything really. i can explore even more how to be myself because it’s actually a bit unfamiliar, weirdly enough.
one of my new friends defines herself basically exactly like i do sexually, and we had a little chat about that just casually an evening and it felt so. good. to be able to talk about it with someone who didn’t previously know me as ‘straight’, you know? someone who recognised themselves in me, even thought we have completely different backgrounds and experiences.
in the very little time of me being out (in limited ways), i have never been made fun of, teased, bullied, etc. in real life about it (barely even online), and i am honestly so lucky that this has (not) happened. not many are as privileged as i am, and i am barely even that privileged.
i don’t really know where i wanted this to go, maybe i just wanted to tell you that not all queer people go through hell, that not all queer stories are sad. that my only struggle of being queer is being a tiny bit afraid of coming out to my family, not out of fear of being kicked out, but only fear of them being a lil bit disappointed, but getting over it quite quickly.
and all this just makes me feel so fucking happy :)
Got a First in my first essay since graduating uni in 2013. I’d say “I’ve still got it”, but honestly it’s more a case of “I didn’t really have it back then and I’m confused as to why I’ve suddenly got it after two years out of academia”. That’s less catchy, though. Still got it.