Let's be real, when you're at uni it can become all too easy to get completely wrapped up in what’s going on there, and forget that the rest of the world still carries on when you’re not there. Although there’s nothing bad about enjoying university life, and being busy and engaged (in fact this is a definite positive), you don’t want to be so much in your bubble that you simply can’t imagine life existing outside of Sheffield. So in this post I’m going to give a few tips for how we can break out of our little student bubble, and remember the rest of the world around us.
Keep in touch with your family: This really is so important. Whether you miss them loads or not, do make the effort to chat to them and keep them up to date with what’s going on in your life, and ask how they are too. Be there for them and support them, just as they have done for you.
Equally, keep in touch with your friends: Remember that everyone’s experience of university is totally different and unique to them, so just because you might be doing okay doesn’t necessarily mean your friends feel the same. Keep in touch via regular messages, calls, Skype, whatever you find works best. Additionally, if you have friends who aren’t at university, definitely make the effort to stay up to date with their lives as well, whether that’s a gap year travelling, or some kind of paid employment. Remind yourself that, while it can seem like the whole population of 18 year olds in the UK have gone to university, there are lots of other options available outside of further education. Personally, I find it really interesting knowing what my non-uni friends have decided to do with their lives. It can be also be very refreshing knowing that when you meet up you won’t have to talk about uni things the whole time!
Stay up to date with what’s going on in the world: This one is especially important with all that’s going on in politics at the moment. Whether you prefer to read, watch, or listen to the news, find some way of staying connected to it all.
Join a volunteering project: This is a great way to give something back not only to your university, but also the wider community. Whether you decide to volunteer with children, at an old people’s home, or even helping out in a community garden, know that what you are doing is making a difference, and that there is a whole world of new people and experiences out there outside of university that you can be involved in.
Go home: It depends how far you live from university. Personally I live about 3-4 hours away, so don’t make a habit of going home too often. I’m not advocating going home every weekend if you do live fairly nearby, but when you do visit home that you make the most of it! Enjoy doing all the things you can only do when you’re at home, such as catching up with friends, being with your family, going to your favourite local places and so on. Really appreciate and savour the time you have there, making the most of all the things being at home has to offer you. Yes, I am talking about being cooked for! Nothing beats a bit of home cooking.
I hope that reading this has encouraged you to step outside of the bubble that is university life, and to make the most of all experiences available to you out in the world. While university is, on the whole, a wonderful time of life, it is also certainly not everything. Personally, I find this very comforting, as it makes me feel less stressed about university. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a bit of perspective, in order for you to fully make the most of and appreciate everything that university and the wider world has to offer.
Have a good day!