Ames: What I’ve learnt so far….your friends are your network

What I’ve learnt during university is that you usually gain back what you give.

Hi Guys! Today I wanted to talk to you about how my friends have helped me so far. I figured me being in the 3rd year of my degree means I can possibly shed a small bit of light on how to succeed during your time at uni (well let’s hope so anyway!).

Friends are such an important and key part of your university experience, I have found I really wouldn’t have remained as positive without them. Yes, uni is a lot of fun, but it’s also one of the most stressful things most young people have come into contact with by the time they’re 18! A positive mental attitude is everything when it comes to doing well in your degree, and that includes the network around you! Encouragement, positivity, and motivation are all essential to doing well. By surrounding yourself with people who reflect these qualities is the best thing you can do for yourself.

I recently heard that the 5 people you spend most time with are reflected in yourself, and that really hit home! I have found that having a good network around you can really help with motivation. For example, if I’m feeling demotivated or lazy, my best friend will encourage me to get out of the house and rock up to the library, usually in joggers and a hoodie but who cares! If you actually turn up to the library to get that essay done that has been lingering over you for days, you will feel so much better in the long run. Going to the library, or to a coffee shop to do work with a friend makes it seem so much more bearable. (You can have some chats in between)! The library isn’t all doom and gloom I promise.

Course mates included, they can really help you to progress. Often within degrees there is a lot of teamwork involved, which means everyone has to pitch in, turn up, and contribute towards getting that grade. Teamwork can seem daunting to begin with, especially in first year when pretty much everyone is a stranger! But, honestly, it’s such a good transferable skill to gain. Teamwork helps motivate you to get to the work done, but it is also something employers really look for! If you can demonstrate you work well in groups, you’re a people person, and easy to work with, employers will I’m sure, give you that second glance you need. During one of my seminars we had to create a powerpoint together, which involved analysing a book in depth, along with theory. It took a long time as unfortunately, we got one of the hardest texts!! But, it really showed us that if we pitched our ideas in together, we would finally understand the book.

What I’ve learnt during university is that you usually gain back what you give. The more you motivate your friends to do well, the more positive they will become, and vice versa. If you’re motivating them, they will motivate you! Not only this, but the more work you put into your degree, the more you will take away from it.

In hindsight, my 1st year I perhaps did not work as hard as I should of. With so many distractions like watching TV, going out on nights out and not giving myself a strict timetable, I didn’t put that much effort into the actual studying. I maybe wouldn’t outright recommend it, but I also think that you have that fun first year freshers experience! That can mean making mistakes, and learning how to make uni life work for yourself. I knew which friends I wanted to keep around, because they were the ones that would never let me down or go behind my back, but rather keep me focused and positive! There is no room for toxic people at university, there is enough stress to deal with already. So make sure your friends are true, honest and good people, and you’ll benefit so much from it.

But back to my point, I didn’t put much effort into my degree during that year, but fast forward 2 years and I’m studying my final year, putting in so many more hours, and really engaging with the work. Believe it or not, this is my favourite year, even though it’s been the hardest. That’s because I’ve given so much more to my degree, helping me to understand and get to grips with the work I’m given. If you’re a fresher reading this, then enjoy every moment of first year, meet new people and try out new things, try to enjoy the experience . It’s probably during this time that you’ll learn a lot about other people and yourself! Then after first year is over, you can go full steam ahead. Surround yourself with positive people, food, and activities, and go get that amazing degree!

I hope you’re all having the best start to 2019, it’s gonna be your year!

Ames x