A revelation that I’ve had about university since starting a summer internship: being a student is actually pretty cool.
Admittedly, I may not be one of those people who always talks about how university is the most amazing thing to ever have happened to them. I’ve always had a fairly balanced attitude, enjoying it a lot of the time but also seeing that it’s not necessarily the be-all and end-all in the way that some people (particularly on social media) make it out to be.
However, something I’ve never truly appreciated until I started working full time (despite it only being for two months) is how much freedom you have in terms of how to spend your time when you’re a student. Okay, so maybe you have to get up early a few times a week to go to a lecture or you have an assignment due and an exam to revise for, but the great thing is that you can do this in whatever way you like. As long as you get the work done, you don’t have to answer to anyone and can work whenever and however suits you best (for me this is at my desk in my room with lots of cups of tea and biscuit breaks, for others it could be an energy drink-fuelled all-nighter in the library).
There is also a large proportion of time, especially in first year, where there is no obligation to be doing work and you can literally do whatever you like. Just think for a moment how great this actually is. There is a saying: ‘Time you enjoy wasting isn’t always wasted time’ and this couldn’t be more true. If you want to spend all day under a duvet watching rubbish documentaries on Netflix then you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Maybe you want to wander around the city without a real purpose, go out three nights in a row or simply just go to the gym in the middle of the day when you know it won’t be crowded, then you can. And you should. Because, without wanting to sound like the voice of doom, once you start a ‘proper’ job, it can be difficult to do some of those things.
Although my internship has been a valuable experience and I’ve learnt a lot, I have also found it difficult having so little time to myself to do the things I love. I’ve realised that being a student is an experience like no other which I’ll never have again. Therefore I am going to make it my mission to have as much fun as possible during my last year of university, work hard, and enjoy being in charge of my own time.