I wish I had known that I am experienced enough, that I was experienced enough. I could have applied for good jobs, for internships, but did not do so because I was afraid that I was, in fact, not good enough.
I wish I had known that my tutors are my allies. They do not plan to fail me. I wish I had forged a better relationship with them, perhaps even having a cup of coffee or two. You know, just to learn more from their experience.
I wish I had known that a simple thank-you email at the end of the semester goes a long way.
I wish I had known that group work will always go wrong. Expectations will not be met, and there will always be those who take advantage of you. And you, oh my friend with high standards, will have to face sleepless nights in trying to resurrect that incoherent, awful report with no argument. I wish I had known that it’s okay to being professional instead of being nice. I wish I had known that those experiences taught me a lot about managing people.
I wish I had known to always choose the subjects I’m passionate in learning. I wish I had known that my relationship with the tutor predicts whether I would do the bare minimum or go the extra mile with ninety one per cent accuracy.
I wish I had known that networking is the holy grail. On a second thought, I did know it – I just hate doing it.
I wish I had known that doing thesis is okay. It’s awesome, even. Doing thesis is a steep learning curve, but with a lot of luck, hard work and caffeine, you’ll get there. Of course, you have to consider these things: your supervisor, your aptitude for research in general, your willingness to Google the hell out of things that you don’t know and your sense of humour.
Yes, sense of humour. I wish I had known that a good laugh makes every essay better.
I wish I had known to always look for a silver lining in every assignment. Knowing that it’s for your own learning process and really believing that it’s for your own learning process are two different things. I wish I had tried to see the practical side of every communications report, the job prospects of every presentation. Every assignment is an opportunity to learn a skill, only if you know where to look.
I wish I had known that you will reap what you sow. The more effort you put in a project, the more you get out of it.
I wish I had known that help will always be given to those who ask, and to those who know where to ask.
I wish I had known that Google Scholar is much easier to use than the library system. But probably I shouldn’t be telling you that.
I wish I had known that finishing a degree is only part of the journey. It’s a wonderful part, but still only a part, nonetheless.
Author’s note: I wrote this in a sheer, spontaneous response to an e-newsletter from the Unimelb: ‘What do you wish you had known?’ Considering that yesterday was probably my last class ever in university (I am planning to do an internship alongside with my thesis next semester), it seems apt to write this.
Photo of author by TJ Aminoto, all rights reserved.