As I’m entering my final years here at UBC, I’ve been reflecting on all of the advice that I’ve received so far. Some of the advice was asked for, and a lot of it was unsolicited. Regardless of how I came across them, I’d like to share which ones I found were worth listening to and which ones are not.
Cs Get Degrees
It was in my first year here at UBC that I heard this saying for the very first time.
As the first person in my family to go to university, I was under an enormous amount of stress trying to adjust to my university curriculum and lifestyle. In an effort to help me take off some of the pressure, some well-meaning peers advised me that I would still be able to obtain my degree even without achieving the highest grades. I genuinely took that piece of advice to heart for the remainder of my first year and ended up with rather disappointing grades.
At the time, I didn’t realize that in order to qualify for some job opportunities and admittance into higher education, one needs to maintain a certain GPA. Aside from the opportunities, I was also disappointed in myself because I knew that I was capable of performing better in school.
After my first-year experience, I spent the next couple of years trying to figure out which learning and studying methods worked best for me. I’ve also been taking this opportunity to further develop my tenacity and self-confidence.
With all of that being said, my advice to you is to try your best and forgive yourself when things don’t go according to plan.
Keeping up with the Joneses
A new restaurant has recently opened up? Let’s check it out!
A well-known artist is coming to town? We’ll have to grab some tickets to see that!
So-and-so is launching a new product for their beauty line? Sign me up for their mailing list!
Trust me, I understand the pressures of trying to fit in. While I was trying to stay on top of the latest trends, the figures in my bank account were dwindling lower and lower. Towards the end of my first year, I had a sudden epiphany. I realized that nobody is going to care about what I have or what I did as much as I cared!
Understanding that “nobody cares” was incredibly liberating for me. When I began to spend more of my time researching financial wellness rather than spending my hard-earned money, I became so much happier. No longer did I care about being at the hot spot of “what’s happening”. I was just as happy staying at home listening to those same artists on Spotify but only at the rate of $4.99/Month (student discount). When I finally stopped hoarding beauty products, my physical and mental spaces finally started clearing up!
If you are finding yourself unhappy with trying to fit in, I suggest that you work towards (or try) focusing more on what makes YOU happy, instead of what others expect of you. I know, this is way easier said than done! And honestly, I am still working on trying to achieve that mentality sometimes. However, with the amount of progress that I have made so far in decluttering and rebuilding my financial health I can say that this journey has definitely been worth it for me.
Sign Up, Sign Up, Sign Up
Here’s the thing, many studies show that for the majority of people having some form of social interaction is beneficial to our mental and physical health. While I am not attempting to dispute the evidence, I would like to caution people that there may be some detriments if this advice is taken to the extreme.
From personal experience, I have experienced burnout when I’ve tried to commit to too many social activities. The reality is, some individuals are more introverted than others and by nature do not require as much social interaction as our extroverted counterparts.
In my opinion the student culture at UBC heavily promotes being involved in clubs or social groups. But what the reality is, is that not every individual needs to be in a dozen clubs while trying to maintain their GPA and their part-time/full-time position at a job off campus! When I tried to balance my school life, part-time job, and even just two additional clubs I ended up feeling very unhappy and burnt out. Ultimately my advice for you is to try and aim for the perfect balance of fulfillment and happiness. Your university experience is yours alone and you should not need to feel like you’re ticking off someone else’s checklist!