Lessons from the Year

Katarina Mueller - June 17th 2022

The school year has drawn to a close, and I have had the time to reflect on what I learned beyond coursework in my first year away from home. Although I am entering my third year, my first year was spent online and at home, meaning not much changed in terms of home life. However, this year was my first time being completely responsible for myself, and there was definitely a learning curve. Here are some of the major lessons I learned this school year.

1) Don’t underestimate the importance of eating well

This year I was shopping and cooking on my own, and got to make all the choices of what I was eating. Unfortunately, university is busy, and I often didn’t have much time to focus on food. This resulted in some poor meals and only eating apples for a week. Over winter break, I realized that I needed to pick myself up and figure out some quick and healthy meals. Once I started eating better meals, my life improved more than I would like to admit. It wasn’t really that I felt better, it was more that I stopped feeling bad. I started to write an actual grocery list before going to the store, and therefore buying enough food to last a week or two. With a little prep and a surprisingly small effort, my meals got better, and I started to perform better. I had more energy, which is always great at university. I didn’t become the healthiest eater – but I figured out that balance is key.

2) The best way to improve your writing is to read more

I read everyday, just out of habit. But this has paid off in school more than I thought. In my degree, I spend a lot of time writing for assignments, essays, or presentations. I have always struggled to improve my writing; I try to use the synonyms button or change up my sentence structure, but it still wasn’t great. But one day, after reading a bunch of articles, I started writing an essay, and noticed that my writing seemed better than usual. Reading the articles provided me with different voices, vocabulary, and grammar choices on the same topic, which became a great source of inspiration for my own writing. It is hard to explain, but all the reading was improving my writing. I’m not saying that you should read for hours everyday, but any reading can help improve your writing.

3) Join a club

Just do it. It was one of the best choices I made this year. Finding a group of people who share a common interest is so great, I cannot recommend it enough! Especially if you spend a lot of time with the same people in class, it can be cool to meet people who are in very different degrees or even stages of life. It is so worth it.