I joined university about seven months ago, so I thought I`d share some tips/advices with you guys! I thought I knew what it`d be like to join the university, but I was taken by surprise and that`s why the first semester was a little hard for me. Here in Norway we have something called “university college” – I know some people only call it “college”, but basically it`s not exactly a university. Anywho, I believe at least some of these advices can be noted down by all students out there SO here are some things I wish someone had told me last year. Also, sorry I didn`t post this yesterday – I slept 3 hours two days ago, so I had to catch up on some sleep. But better late than never, right?
First things first – University isn`t like high-School. “Oh, wow, what a surprise – NOT” you might be thinking, but for someone like me so many people are way too many people, haha. I went from seeing perhaps 50-75 people in high-School to seeing more than 200 people every day. Perhaps even more than that. The thing is – a university is not “personal”. There are people everywhere, doing their own thing and I find that both a negative and a positive thing. When I joined high-School, everything was so new the first month, but after that I felt like Nannestad became “my place”, if you know what I mean? I don`t think that`s ever going to happen at the university, haha… I think it`s important to know that university won`t be like high-school at all. My greatest advice for you will be to visit universities whenever they`re having “open days” for high-school students or people who`re considering joining a university soon. Ask the professors as much as you want to – don`t be scared. No questions are stupid questions – they`ve been students theirselves, so they know a lot. You`re new to this. I don`t know if other universities have those, but we had small lectures so we could get a little taste of what the course`s like and what we`ll learn. Do as much as you to find out what you can do and talk with people who know what they`re talking about.
For a long time I had an idea about what I wanted to do in life. I`ve always wanted to help people, but as I became more socially engaged, I became more aware of my interests and what topics attract me. So, last year I realised I find different societies, cultures and human beings interested. I wanted to find more about how people think, I wanted to seek knowledge about different ways of living and understanding the world. I had and still have SO MANY interests that I don`t know where to begin, so when I finally applied, my list included various courses: sociology, social anthropology, history, philosophy, psychology.. All ending with “y”, haha. Anywho, for a long time I was standing between sociology and social anthropology, as it was hard to tell the difference between these two, but as you might know, I ended up with social anthropology. I did a lot of research, talked with people and called the university because I wanted to be sure about what I`wanted to do. Maybe that had something to do with my wish to not waste any time and go for exactly wanted I wanted, instead of being insecure and just see if it was something for me. If you`re not like me when it comes to that, then it`s alright, but no matter what you do: Do what YOU want to do because YOU want to go for it. I recommend you to do a lot of research online. Know what you can do, what opportunities you have. I had no idea I had the option to study the democrazy, hindi or criminality. So please do a lot of research, because in case you haven`t found your dream course – who knows, it might exist without you not even knowing?
If I end up doing a master in social anthropology, I`ll end up with the title “anthropologist”. Many don`t know what exactly an anthropologist can do and to be honest, I had no idea either. But, now I know better. You can be a professor, a teacher, a researcher, a councelor, a journalist. Or you can work in different organisations such as Amnesty. Some people have told me that I won`t get a job with a degree in anthropology, but I just think that people should chill. Way too many people are worried about money, the future and jobs – I believe people should be more worried about their dreams, hopes and wishes. Worry more about the knowledge you`re seeking. In today`s world there`s not really a road which is “straight forward”. Most people know that a PhD in medicine gives a person the title “doctor” and most people know what a doctor does. But with many other courses, especially social sciences, it`s not that easy. As a therapist you can end up at a place you never had imagined. The same goes for sociologist, anthropologists. When I visited the university, I met a woman who had a master degree in history. I thought she was working as a researcher, or maybe as a teacher. I was therefore taken by surprise when she told me she was working with TV. She was offered a job, which included that. So the lesson is – it`s natural to worry and think of it, of course it is. But not let it worry you that much, that it stops you from doing what you want to do. In today`s society you don`t really know where you`ll end up in the market and you don`t know what doors will open up for you. The key is to be open-minded and chase your dreams – the rest will settle down on its own.
I`ve given you some advices now, but no matter what you do – the greatest advice of them all is: Follow your heart, not your brain. Thinking “Oh, I`ll become a doctor, because I`ll earn so much money then”, might give you money, but it won`t give you a long-lasting happiness. It won`t give you that good feeling every morning, when you wake up and have to get ready for a new day at work. Reflect not only upon the future, but now. Reflect upon what you want to learn and what you can do with that knowledge. Education isn`t only education and a safer way to get a job – it`s knowledge. Learn what you want to learn, do what you want to do and make the world a better place.
Good luck. ♥
PS: If you have any questions – do leave a comment below and I`ll answer.