My Uni days were some of the best times of my life. Although work was thrown at me left right and centre, it was almost like living in a really exciting, fast-paced bubble. Once I graduated, the bubble popped, reality set in and now almost two years down the line, I'm realising that there are some things Uni don't, forget to or simply can't teach.
1. Not everyone will love what you do
In a Uni setting, you’re mostly surrounded by friends and others who want to succeed so although there's constant critique from tutors and peers, I wasn't prepared for the rejection I felt during the job application process. I strongly believe that my loud, culture-filled voice was too much for a lot of employers to handle, so much so that they didn't actually want to employ me, or couldn't see how my fashion handwriting would work alongside theirs.
But wait - Not everyone will love what you do, and that's ok because not everyone loves broccoli either, even though it is the best vegetable known to man, in my eyes for sure. As long as you love what you are doing, who cares what other people think? Someone, somewhere will be able to appreciate your skill and talent and that is the person you need to invest time in finding.
2. Your grade certainly isn't everything
I know so many people that crumble at their grade because they didn't get the first they thought they deserved or worked so hard to achieve. The school system does tell us that grades determine how 'clever' we are, how important we are and how successful we will be. I know so many people who may not have got a first class degree but have by far got an amazing career lined up ahead of them right now. Then there are people who did get first class degrees but are sitting in offices, doing admin (and that's not because they want to).
I got a first class degree in uni, but that didn't push employers to hire me. I had determination, drive, passion and I was so ready and excited to start work, but those employers will never know any of that because they didn't even give me the chance to show them. So I guess it works both ways really, but if my five year plan had gone like i'd hoped it would, I wouldn't be here, with a voice, sharing my struggles and experiences through a brand I get to call my own!
3. You are your own tutor
What? Really? Yes. When you start school you're passed from Teacher to Teacher to Tutor to Lecturer until you decide it's time you stop studying and start working instead. Common mistake - we should never stop learning! Humans were made to learn and grow and develop and just because University ends and you are no longer graded does not mean you should stop striving to be better
4. How to go it alone
This links heavily to being your own tutor, in terms of learning. I recognised that there were so many things, pertaining to business that I didn't know. Not because I didn't want to but because i'd never been taught them. At university I was all set to go from University into employment and I had a diverse range of things I could be employed in too, but becoming my own boss? Being the one to start up a company? That's something new and alien. That's something I guess uni could never have prepared me for. Armed with all the ambition in the world, I launched my brand. Time has taught me that without my drive to succeed and this God-given purpose in my heart, I would have failed time ago! But, I'm still standing!
5. Your confidence can't come from others' perceptions of you
Being petite and babyfaced, i've always lacked a certain confidence in myself. I think that's mostly because from the outside people think i'm a 15 year old girl who has just started her GCSE's. Things aren't always what they seem! To combat this frustrating misconception, I decided to be an extrovert - yes, I decided to be an extrovert, (believe it or not I was shy once) and stop caring about what others thought of me. Although it was sometimes a front and I didn't even believe in the confidence I was exuding, it worked, for a time. The older, the wiser they say, I've now realised that my confidence can't come from such a place either, it needs to come directly from the source. God.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
And He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
These two verses are the ones I run to when I feel my confidence fading, Psalms 139:14 tells me that I'm amazing, not because of me, but because of who I was created by. For this very reason I can be confident, I can praise God because I am His and He has made me to be something wonderful. Corinthians tells me, yes I am weak, but God's strength is made perfect in weakness, so no matter how inadequate I may feel, that's ok because through Christ my weakness is strength.
I could probably go on and list a thousand more things that Uni didn't teach me but instead I'm actually glad I wasn't taught these things because this learning experience, my journey as an entrepreneur has been one I'll never forget and one I'd never change.
What has life after Uni been like for you? Or what are your fears after graduating? I'd love to hear from you so comment your thoughts below!