Now that I have finished three years of studying and looking forward to beginning my final year, I thought I would take the time to reflect on the things I have learnt about myself since embarking on this higher education journey! Some lessons were gentle to learn, whilst others were more of a smack in the face – but nevertheless I am grateful for the way the past three years have shaped me. I am looking forward to bringing the current version of myself into the final year of my degree and I am excited for the challenges I will face!
In a “letter to my future self” style, here are six things that I have learnt about myself. (I guess number zero on this list of things that I have learnt is that I love a list!)
I hope final year is treating you well, here are a few reminders for you!
You don’t deal well with stress
Why did you have to learn this the hard way?! When exams & deadlines come around, I hope you are managing your workload and sleeping pattern well. That means 8 hours a NIGHT. Don’t become that nocturnal, sun-deprived creature again like you did in second year. And please look after your body: do a sport and eat a vegetable.
Explore the food scene more
Remember that amazing burger you had at Original Patty Men? Or that aromatic curry you devoured in the Balti Triangle? I am certain there is so much great food out there in Birmingham so please explore more. As cheap as pesto pasta is: there is so much more to try!
Invest time into communities
I know you, you love people. You have made some fantastic friends in Birmingham: through your course, through church, through karate, the list goes on. Be sure to make space for the ones you love and embrace every opportunity to meet someone new! It is going to be rare post-university that you will be around so many different people. Strong relationships will enrich your life and support you for the days to come!
Know your space
I hope you have settled well into your accommodation and feel at home in your second home away from home. You know the key to that is decorating and customising the space you’re in to relax in. I don’t know what my room looks like next year, but I hope you have bought a load of house plants and fairy lights.
Stop buying coffee
Coffee ruins you. You should know this by now. You always think “Oh, I feel a little tired, I should spend £231.45 on Costa” and it always ends with you jittery and with the runs. You want to know a better way of feeling less tired? Sleep.
On a more serious note, please don’t become reliant on coffee, your body doesn’t thank you for it. And if you must drink something caffeinated, try tea! And if you must must drink coffee, please save some dosh and go to the supermarket.
You can do this!
I have left the most important till last: You are capable of more than you know! Every challenge you have faced up to now you have overcome and learned from. Life will inevitably throw curveballs at you, but you are prepared to face them! You have lived independently, cooked many a pesto pasta, taken on responsibility to run a society, lived loved and laughed on your year studying abroad, rattled through team projects, completed The Birmingham Project, met so many beautiful incredible people, and so much more. Final year is going to be tough – you’ll be balancing a lot of plates – but I know that we got this!
Sending lots of (self) love,