“Begin as you mean to go on” is a well know phrase, originated by historical religious figure Charles H. Spurgeon. There are, however, many forms and adaptations of the saying, although I’m sure most would agree that living life by this general philosophy would be ideal. However, it is simply impossible to consistently live by this maxim, as tough times will occur, even at the start of something new.

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After beginning university five weeks ago with this philosophy in mind, it has already been a rollercoaster ride in which this saying has been thrown out the window and brought back again a couple of times. Of course my best intentions were evident, but university throws up many more challenges than many, and certainly I could anticipate.

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– Well, that is the idea anyway!

For starters, the much famed “independence” I had heard about, which accompanies university didn’t, at first, prove to always be a positive. I didn’t even know about one of my very first assignments until a few days before it was due. Don’t worry though, I got it done and did well, but that is not the point! There is no one there to guide you and constantly remind you like in the school days! However, on the flip side, I can already see the added independence being a very good thing as time goes on, but particularly at the start of university life, it is a harder than expected transition.

Furthermore, the workload has proven to be a significant step up. It would have been foolish to under-estimate the amount of work I would be required to do, however, I certainly wasn’t 100% prepared for this coming out of school, particularly as such different subjects have vastly different styles of study and learning.

The lack of relationship with lecturers, tutors and classmates, the sheer size of the university (how many times did I get lost in week one and two!) and the lack of in-class time have all been unexpected problems and proved to thwart me in my attempts to begin as I meant to go on.

All of this aside though, I am here, in the mid-session break, and not only have I survived, but I have also thrived! (subtle reinforcement of my web address lol!) I have completed all assignments on time and as best I could, I have found all the online learning resources, begun to adapt to so much study time by myself, figured out my basic bearings around the university, met heaps of awesome new people and arguably most importantly, am finally in my studying career, despite doing the most work I have ever done, enjoying it more than anything ever before!

You see, in life, you cannot always start faultlessly, highlighted by my start to university. But I have learnt more than I would have imagined, not only academically, but about myself, life and others already! I am actually grateful that I haven’t had it all my own way in these past five weeks, and I think it has been a blessing in disguise, because I have had to learn and adapt, however, it has not come at any great cosr (yet anyway)! While the challenges I have faced have been reasonably small in the grand scheme of what may be to come, (best demonstrated by the fact I have faced and seemingly overcome these within just five weeks), it is important to get these out of the way early, to prepare oneself for the hard work that will follow.

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In hindsight, not quite beginning as I meant to go on has indeed, in my opinion, worked out quite well and in fact shown me more positives than if I had experienced a perfect start to university life.

Stay tuned over the next three to four days as I will be posting some more content to do with my journalism assignment, including intriguing vox pops, enthralling portraits and a simply must watch interview with an exciting young student at the University of Wollongong!