… Is the fact that university is an opportunity to take control!
When I was given the title of my first assessment, I was so confused. We had no direction on structure or content, so I did not have a clue how to start. I honestly thought that I was doing uni completely wrong. But what is ‘right’? How do I do uni in the ‘right’ way? I realised at that point that I was too used to being instructed, now that I have freedom to choose the direction of my work, I’m not sure how to use that freedom. We were directly told that “university is all about finding your voice as the critic, and using that voice to give people an insight into your way of thinking”. Although this sounded so scary to begin with, I now appreciate the lack of direction so much more. I feel like it widens the opportunity to explore the subject you are studying and delve into theories, ideas and big questions you may haven’t asked yourself before university life and the freedom it entails.
Although both A- Levels and university are challenging, the challenge of university is different. University brings with it excitement and newer, enriching insights. You can dive deeper into areas of your interest and whilst mid-dive, encounter people who want to join you in your adventure. You can surround yourself by amazing people at the cutting edge of the field of your studies. Whilst diving deeper into your course, you have various opportunities at your fingertips waiting to be seized by YOU. Unlike A- Levels, university does not tell you HOW to dive and where to dive to; university teaches you that you CAN dive and gives you the practical tools you can use. You are free to think and learn for yourself, rather than getting told what you should know and how to know it. Ultimately, university is an enjoyable and useful tool facilitating your career path and the future you have potential to achieve.
A- Levels is like catching a lift with a friend heading for the same destination; University allows you to become the primary driver, the leader of the journey, taking people on a tour of discovery. University life can sometimes lead you into the realms of the unknown; into a space where you decide what happens and how it happens. Throughout A- Levels, you study the discovery of some of the greatest individuals; from the works of Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Aristotle to the works of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. On the other hand, at university, you are on a mission to find a place to fit in amongst some of the greatest discovery- you initiate a discovery. You are a critic journeying in search of a voice amongst the already existing voices.
I see similarities in the difference between A- Levels and university to that of having your drivers’ License for the second year…. The only difference really is that your drivers’ license gets cheaper but life gets more expensive 😊.
Written by Rufeida Alhatimy