And here we are! The last post of 2022, and I’m officially halfway through my degree! It’s fair to say this year hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies, but it’s been one hell of a ride.
Because I have no idea what to talk about, here’s a few life/uni tips from a dummy (me!) that I would give to a younger dummy (younger me!) who’s learnt a lot in the past couple of years:
- Caffeine is not a substitute for sleep! I do thoroughly enjoy chugging my morning, afternoon and evening coffees, but it’s most effective in conjunction with proper rest. Sure, you can go a day or two without – but if you keep up bad habits long term, it can really hit later in the semester.
- Do something outside of your degree! Whether you want to dive into some clubs, get active, build something, take on a leadership role, volunteer, explore and try new things – pursue it! It also helps to fluff out your CV, be a topic of conversation in an interview or a shared interest with friends, and adds a little variety to your life.
- Avoid being a hermit. Speaking as someone who is an introvert by nature and needs the alone time to recharge; it’s good to know where your limits are and what’s best for you. On the other hand however, it can be detrimental to isolate yourself for too long. Sure, sometimes you gotta sit in a quiet space and get cracking (or procrastinate), but be sure to surround yourself with people that care and will support you. (I’ll support you! Come vent to me and I’ll cry with you!)
- To follow up the previous one – hit up a social event every once in a while! Don’t skip it because “you could be studying” – I can’t count the number of times I’ve skipped an event because I’ve had things to do, then spent that time procrastinating and moping around. In hindsight, I was better off just going and having a good time. Reward yourself once in a while, even if you feel like you don’t deserve it (you do!).
- Can’t watch lecture recordings for the life of you? Me too! If there’s one thing I did consistently this year, it was turning up to lectures. That’s the biggest lesson that stuck with me from Part I – although lockdown was partially at fault, my inability to watch recordings meant lectures stacked up to a ridiculous extent. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of letting yourself fall further and further behind, but you won’t have this issue if you don’t let yourself get behind to start with! Even if you only take in 5% of what’s being said, at least you know what you missed and can come back to it if you need.
- Burnout is very real! I’m still learning where my limits are, and this year I definitely exceeded them. Some days you’ll be absolutely crushing it, while others you might seriously be considering dropping out of engineering. Don’t fret, it happens to all of us! As a lecturer of mine once said: “if you’re not struggling, you’re not learning.” Learn to embrace the struggle, surround yourself with your peers, and seek help when you need it. Look after yourself and look out for your friends, because sometimes complaining about your degree is the best medicine.
And here we are, at the end of the line as your Part II blogger! It’s been a huge pleasure to write out my ramblings and tidbits of advice for you, and I hope you’ve gained something valuable from it (or at the very least, made you laugh).
This may be the end of my blogging journey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pester me with questions! Engineering is a lifelong journey, and I’d love to keep in touch. Add me on LinkedIn, send me an email (stod140), find and flick me on Messenger, Discord, etc.
I’m always down for a chat (especially if there’s coffee involved! I’ll shout 😊) so come say hi whenever you’ve got a minute.
Thanks for sticking through this journey with me!
Over and out,