University flies by. Everyone says this but trust me, it does.
More often than not, people will hurl plenty of advice at you but one thing I will say is, as the title suggests - make the most of your time at university!
Do it all! Throw yourself into the deep end. Snap up the opportunities that your faculty and university have on offer for you. Do not leave university the same way you came. Do not leave university with 'just your degree' because your degree is not enough nowadays!
University was the perfect time for me to get involved in as many things as I was interested in, have a fantastic time, whilst having no 'real world' responsibilities (i.e. a mortgage, full time job etc.) By nature, I am an introvert. Being in large groups of people, prior to going to university gave me anxiety. I'm not talking small small nerves, I'm talking anxiety that had me all hot and bothered, heart palpitations, the lot. 3 years on? Not so much. Of course I get nervous here and there (who doesn't?) but now, I am in control of my anxiety and how I feel in new environments/social settings.
One of the ways that I overcame this, was to make myself UNCOMFORTABLE. Yes, you read right UNCOMFORTABLE. John Maxwell once said that 'if we are growing, we are always going to be out of our comfort zone'. This is accurate. To truly make the most of my time at university and to graduate a better version of myself, I had to leave my comfort zone.
Understand that university is an experience. Aside from the degree you are working towards, you are there to learn and grow as a person - make life experiences, figure out what you like, what you don't, what makes you happy (you get my drift...). I urge all of you starting university, those of you that are already in university to make the most of the 3 - 4 years that you are there for.
So what did I do?
Everything. Literally. During the three years I was at the University of Southampton, I was the true definition of active. I got involved in several societies, threw myself into leadership positions, tried out a few sports (some of which did not work AT ALL!) as well as getting involved in campus events for the university. I mean, I was the President of the African Caribbean Society in my final year, Education Officer of the same society in my second year, Vice President of Amicus Southampton in my second year AND Secretary of Enactus in my first year. Oh, I was also a Campus Ambassador for my whole 3 years in Southampton. The experiences I have had, people I have met and most importantly, the skills I have developed at university have played a major role in my career progression, given me things to speak about in interviews and most importantly, shown me my strengths and weaknesses - essential to one's personal self-development.
You have nothing to lose. Start that society, join that team, bring that business idea to life. Even if it doesn't work out, you tried, your effort is enough! After all, George Edward Woodberry did say, "Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure". Granted some of the things I got involved in didn't work out, but I graduated with a good degree and amazing skills and life lessons.
Make the most of your university experience today!