The World is Your Oyster

by Grace from headspace Woolloongabba's Youth Reference Group

Finishing high school is both scary and exciting. You’re told that the ‘world is your oyster’. My feelings towards starting university were similar to my feelings for oysters; apprehensive, confused, and scared. At the beginning of my transition from high school to university, I was feeling extremely uncertain about myself. During my first week, I overheard a fellow student saying ‘yeah I study a lot, I study until 3 in the morning everyday’. My jaw dropped. I was sent into a catastrophic spin. Was this normal at university? Were we expected to study that much? I was stunned and I became worried that I would fall behind if I didn’t do the same. So I followed in the lead of this student and started studying every night into the early mornings. As the semester progressed, I became extremely tired from the late study sessions and would nod off in my 8AM organic chemistry lectures. Sorry chemistry. And to make matters worse, my brain was foggy all the time and I was cranky (my Mum can confirm this).

It wasn’t til halfway through the semester that I began to realise something. I suspected that maybe this ‘model’ student that studied until 3 AM every morning was telling a lie. If not telling a lie, they were poor at time management because it became clear that he was skipping tutorials to go to the uni bar and to have long leisurely lunches. Sometimes it seemed as though he talked about studying more than he actually studied.

I felt like a fool. I excelled at high school and had effective study habits, yet I abandoned them because I doubted myself and felt intimidated. The anxiety around fitting in ended up blinding me and this inevitably led to me losing sight of my physical and mental health. But like most tribulations in life, you learn valuable lessons from them and I learnt one which I have continued to tell myself for 6 years. It goes like this: you do you. You know what works best for you and try not to get intimidated by others because we are all trying to figure out it. Starting university is a transformative period so be kind to yourself. For me, that means going for afternoon walks, getting a nice long sleep, and video chatting my friends and family. Find what works for you. But by all means, stay away from oysters.


For more tips on the transition to university or TAFE, check out this article:

Tips for Starting University or TAFE