A few weeks ago, I wrote my last exam of first year — completing a big transition in my life. The past few months have been a journey of exploration, learning, and realization — something I'd like to document here. Here are some important lessons (and/or changes I've made in 1st year):
Pay attention to your surrounding environment.
In high school, many things come to you, whereas in university, you have to go to things. Keep your eyes on a swivel for interesting events and opportunities.
Walk with your head up (eyes not looking at the ground). Introduce yourself to peers. Wave as you pass people by.
Go to the gym. Watch what you eat and drink. Pursue what makes you happy. Care about yourself.
Build good habits
Humans are creatures of habit, so build good ones. Get a solid sleep schedule. Do meal prep. Set aside time for chores and errands.
Getting more clarity/resolving misunderstanding is often the solution. If you're introverted like me, reach out more than you might feel is necessary.
Notice good traits in other people.
I've shifted my perspective from having an idol — i.e. another personality I aspired to have — to wanting to copy certain behaviours from people I met.
Think and reflect about life. Reaffirm some decisions and realize mistakes in others. I've learned a lot about myself and now have a better sense of where I want to go and what I want to be.
Recognize people's intentions.
A lot of people are good at making you feel a certain way about them. A lot of others try but are are terrible at it. Keep your relationship with others in mind.
Don't let decisions be made for you. Be active in choosing what you want in your life. Oftentimes this involves saying "yes" more.
Be open (1).
Let people know your opinion. Let people know your calendar conflicts. Don't delay revealing anything.
Be open (2).
Admit "I don't know". Let others speak before you do. Recognize when others are right.
Write cards. Take people out for dinner. Call them. Let them know you appreciate them.