Coming to the end of my first year at Edge Hill University I thought it would be worth while writing a blog as a homage to one of my all time favourite songs and essays. The title of this blog might seem odd if you haven’t heard Baz Luhrmanns “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”, adapted from Mary Schmich’s column “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” – (You can listen here and read here) but here goes anyway.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, studying would be it would be it. The long-term benefits of studying have been proved by professors, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own first year experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the experience and ease of first year. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the experience of first year until you graduate. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as far behind as you imagine.
Don’t worry about exams. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to write a dissertation by chewing bubble gum. The real exams in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 8 p.m. before social on Wednesday.
Give something a go every day that scares you.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Invest in relationships.
Don’t waste your time on social media. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s not on a mobile phone.
Remember firsts you receive. Forget the fails. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old essays. Throw away your old timetables.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what job you want from your course. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they were even studying. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds are still in classes.
Get plenty of sleep. Be kind to your ears. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Don’t expect anyone else to write your reports. Maybe you have a best friend. Maybe you’ll have a smart partner. But you never know when either one might not want to help.
Don’t mess too much with your looks or by the time you’re 40 your dyed blue hair will have fallen out.
Be careful whose classes you take, but be patient with those who teach them. Teaching is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the bin, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the studying.