If there is anything that I have learned in my short time in university, it’s that I don’t actually know what I’m doing. As far as I can gather, it doesn’t matter whether it is an assignment, work, social life or finding a balance between all three, I – and likely everyone else – are just getting good at winging it.
Before I got to university in September, I thought that I had everything figured out. While all of my friends had been panicking about choosing a major and adjusting to university life, I was almost entirely calm. I had been incredibly comfortable in high school. I had a system that worked for me and I almost always knew what I was doing and what to expect. So I thought that the o transition to university would be smooth and that I would remain comfortable, always knowing where to go and how to get there . Surprise – I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Within my first week of university the “perfect system” that had done well enough to get me through four years of high school was thrown out the window. It turns out that high school is predictable and repetitive; homework, quiz, assignment, test. University other other hand, is not; I am doing things now that I didn’t even have to think about in high school. I had no idea that when I signed up for a philosophy course that I would be analyzing scientific controversies, or that I would be whiting and performing a skit for my Russian class. Somehow I went from being able rely on a system, and its predictable outcomes to feeling completely uncomfortable and under prepared for life in university. I no longer know what I’m doing or what to expect.
While I may not be comfortable, I am learning. In the past six weeks, I have learned (and already forgotten) an incredible amount of content. In this class alone I have learned – while not perfectly – to look critically at text, identify the motive of the author (in terms of logos, pathos, and ethos), and to edit the work of myself and my peers in order to make it better and more focused.
I enjoy this class – and my others – as well as the things that I have learned in the past few weeks, the uncomfortable state that I have sat in for the past six week has lead me to a realization: I really am just making it all up as I go along. I am uncomfortable because my assignments are no longer as easy and predictable as they had been in high school. While I am able to complete every assignment and test that I have been given, I can’t say that I have been 100% confident with anything from the start. To be honest, I’m still not sure how to write a perfect blog post, or exactly where to start when studying for a test – and from listening to my friends vent about the same issues, I know I’m not alone. But I’ve learned to just start – preferably before 4 a.m. – and know that I will eventually finish. At some point, everything clicks and I figure out exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. I think this phenomenon is called “faking it ‘till you make it”, but maybe it’s just called “being completely under prepared”. Either way, I look forward to getting accustomed to this new system of being uncomfortable.