Labeling any experience as ‘the best years of your life’ is pretty daunting. But ultimately, going to university is an experience like no other. Being a student provides you with a unique chance to broaden your horizons and try things you’d never even thought about. Never again will you find so many opportunities laid out before you.
University is also a brilliant tool for allowing you to connect with like-minded people, those who share your values and opinions. As well as this, it can also open your eyes to new ideas that you wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to. There really is nowhere else I can think of where people from different backgrounds with such a wide range of interests and passions come together.
Another brilliant aspect of the student experience at Leeds is that so much of it is shaped by our ideas. If there’s something any of us want to change about our University, Union or the city of Leeds we can submit ideas and proposals which could become policies.
Inevitably, university life can take some time to get used to. It certainly took me a while to find my feet during my first year. It wasn’t until my second year when I joined a couple of societies and started mixing with people outside of my course and halls that I really started to have the time of my life. I can see that University has definitely played a huge part in forming the person I am today. It allowed me to meet like minded people and really aided my personal development.
As I return to Leeds for my final year, I am forced to accept that my university experience will soon be over. I do have about 10 months until I graduate, but July will soon be upon us, and the university system will cough me out into the cold harsh reality: ‘the real world’.
Despite having enjoyed my university experience, I am aware that a lot of these offers will unfortunately expire after I graduate. In contrast to the wilderness of a barren job market, the university system does provide relative comfort and structure. Nevertheless, I argue that to suggest that my university years will be the best years of my life is not only wrong, but ultimately foolish.
University is a lot of fun and it is a great chance to make the most of new opportunities and experiences, but why should the fun stop there? I want to use all the skills that university has taught me – social, academic and otherwise – to have a lifetime of new opportunities and enjoyment.