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What I've Learned After 5 Years of University

Date:20 August 2020
What I've Learned After 5 Years of University
What I've Learned After 5 Years of University

Back in 2015 when I started studying for my Bachelor’s in law I had no idea whether I would enjoy my program, find new friends or even like the city. Fast forward five years to 2020 and I am still in Groningen with the best friends I could wish for and graduating soon with a double-Master's degree in my field. Five years is not a short period of time and during my stay here in Groningen, I’ve made a ton of experiences that have shaped me as a person. In this blog, I’d like to share with you how I have changed during my studies and why I believe it was all worth it.  

I am a lot more critical about things and ideas.

Probably the most single valuable thing that you learn at university is critical thinking. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t mean the kind of ‘critical thinking’ where contrails are taken for chemtrails or the interest of the ‘Illuminati’ are questioned. Instead, I’ve learned how to differentiate between science and opinions, reliable and unreliable sources or use scientific methods to question or support arguments. Nowadays being critical is as important as it ever was and learning how to do it properly is a great asset to have. 

I’ve learned how to cope with pressure. 

While university is a lot about having fun with your friends and sleeping in on random days of the week, there are also times when you are faced with a lot of pressure. From paper deadlines to exams and presentations, sometimes things get a little bit hectic and you have to manage your time and get to work. Of course, this is not always nice but looking back I think it has taught me to stay cool in certain situations and focus on my work in the most efficient way.  

I’ve learned how to interact with different people in different situations. 

When you go to university, one thing is for sure: you will meet a lot of people. Be it your roommates, people from your class or friends you meet in sports clubs or study associations, you will meet many new people in all kinds of different settings. In addition, most of these people will usually come from different backgrounds and cultures. Learning how to work and be friends with all types of different personalities in various different social or work situations, is a great life lesson and an experience I definitely cherish. 

I’m more self-confident.

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t confident at all before coming to uni. However, getting through various different challenges and managing to get a degree is definitely something that adds to your self-confidence even more. I feel like this confidence really reflects into professional situations (e.g. at work) when it comes to making a suggestion or presenting/defending an argument. Another thing that boosted my self-confidence, especially as an international student, is the fact that I managed to live in an entirely new country hundreds of miles away from home. Having done that while overcoming a lot of challenges, has definitely been a great experience.

I know myself better as a person.

Okay, this might sound kind of cliche but it is definitely true. Having gone through all of these experiences which have essentially been a 5-year long learning process, I feel like I know myself a lot better as a person. Not only do I know where I want to head career-wise, but I also know how I cope in different situations and even where I still need to improve. I like to think that only half of the time you spend at university has directly to do with studying academic material. The other half is about learning about yourself and others, while developing certain skills which will benefit you for the rest of your life, regardless of whether it is in your job or elsewhere.

What have you learned during your time at university? Let us know in the comments! 

Tags: Student life

About the author

Hey there! My name is Asmo and I’m a Finnish/German student exploring life in the Netherlands. Besides being into photography and politics, I am currently completing my double master's degree in European law and international law. Oh, and I write blogs as well.


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