For this blog post, I thought that I would reflect on 10 life lessons I learned as a university graduate. (some of which was during the global pandemic – remember that one?) As a graduate in the middle of a pandemic, this is far from ideal. However, I have learnt a lot which I would like to share with you.
I’m am eager to begin so let’s see!
Table of Contents:
1: Taking a break is actually a good thing
Although we didn’t have a choice in this, 2020 taught us that we need to prioritise our times sometimes. I love to be on the go and keep myself busy, but I also recognise the importance of taking a break.
During my study-breaks, I went outside, watched a few Tiktoks, or indulged in some me-time on the weekends. Not only was it beneficial to my general well-being but also to my mental health.
2: Small gestures leave lasting impacts
I was surprised to see so many people reaching out to one another during the lockdown. People all across the world came together and said ‘I AM HERE FOR YOU WITHOUT BEING THERE FOR YOU’.
People willingly made time for each other even if we were working or studying. Students mobilised to stay connected via Zoom or FaceTime because at the end of the day, we have each other’s backs. It was an amazing thing to see.
3: You can’t plan everything
I think this one does not need a huge explanation. 2020 was the start of a new year and a new decade and instead we were met with…. Well a global lockdown! As I write this blog post, Ireland is in its’ third national lockdown and its’ even more serious than the previous 2 lockdowns.
Did we envisage this? Not at all. As it stands, I graduated from my undergrad via YouTube. Did I envisage that? Certainly not.
The same goes with university, you will discover a range of interests that you never foresaw! I remember getting involved with my university’s student council: something which I never participated in during secondary school.
4: Self-care is SO important
This particular life lesson that I learned – we all know that we need to take better care of ourselves and to put ourselves first. But it took a lockdown and a global pandemic for us to really realise that. Self-care isn’t just having a bath, putting on pretty clothes or treating yourself to a nice G&T (although I wouldn’t say no to this).
Sometimes self-care is having a pause during the day for 15 minutes to not do anything; sometimes it’s going outside when you’re feeling overwhelmed; sometimes it’s taking time off social media.
It’s whatever YOU want to do that brings peace, joy, a sense of calm and happiness.
5: Only you know what’s best for you
The only person that knows what’s best for you is YOU.
6: There is value in time
Today is day 300 since Ireland went into lockdown. And with every moment that passes, I am grateful and thankful every day that my family and friends are safe, healthy and well. Every second, minute, hour, day, month, and moment that passes by – I am more grateful than I have ever been. I have learned to cherish these moments which brings me to the next life lesson.
7: Time is precious
I am going to repeat this one: time is precious.
Cherish it. Don’t waste time on things that you don’t love/enjoy or things that don’t bring you love or enjoyment.
8: But time never stops
Regardless of the assignments you are writing, the assignment due in the morning, time just doesn’t stop – it continues.
What I have learnt is that I may sulk that I didn’t get the grade I wanted, I wasn’t as productive as normal, I wasted 3 hours on Tiktok – the common thing between each of these things is that time continues to pass by. It does not STOP. Eventually you’ll get bored of what you are doing (and frustrated that you can’t learn that new viral Tiktok dance) but time will still run.
You’ll start day 1 of first year and in the blink of an eye you’re in 3rd year of your degree.
9: The world is incredibly small
With the availability of technology, it is so easy to connect with like-minded individuals all over the world. I’d recommend checking out Clubhouse (it’s the latest app whereby participants can host rooms to have chats over the phone from one end of the world to the other. Check out this article for more details)
At the moment its invite-only but I have used this app myself and I’m impressed at how easy it is to connect with other people!
Let us not forget Zoom: the app of the year in 2020. Countless numbers of zoom meetings were held simultaneously across the world – phrases such as ‘you’re on mute’ became the norm. Imagine connecting with students from your bedroom where the host is located 6 hours away from you. Incredible!
10: There is always good in every bad situation
In every bad situation, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It took some time for me to fully understand what this meant; I used to grapple with this phrase and wonder ‘where is the light’ but 2020 showed me the light. At a time when families, people, society and nations were unable to come together and meet one another, we stayed apart to protect each other. This is single-handedly the greatest mass-non-movement of human beings at one time.
Although it has been one crazy year for all – I hope you got something positive out of this blog post.
Feel free to contact me on Instagram if you’d like to have a chat!
As we are still in this global lockdown, I wrote a blog post on the value of non-legal work experience for students. I go in-depth about the positives of non-legal work experience as many students nowadays are at home doing online internships, attending webinars, and doing online interviews.
Until the next blog post,