What life teaches you as a student


THE OTHER week I was cycling to work through the city centre on my new keep fit régime, it is important to look good in the graduation photos in July, you know.

It is half an hour in the morning when I can forget about everything except getting from A to B along Glasgow’s wonderful Clydeside cycle path.

But I turned my wheel, hit ice and the next thing I knew I was lying flat on my back at the bottom of a hill with my bike on top of me.

Ouch. Those who normally rush from home to work without looking up stopped in their tracks to make sure I was okay.

The only thing protecting me from pain was sheer embarrassment.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a sympathy story. My fall got me thinking.

Shaking, with shredded waterproofs and a dodgy back brake – I had to get back on my bike again.

I had no option but to keep going to work, even if all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball.

This reflects life as a student – or more fittingly, what life as a student teaches you.

Four years of assessment, essays, exams, group work and generally finding your feet in life means a lot of falling off and more importantly getting back on again.

It can be hard to find out you have failed.

In my course it was shorthand exams which caught us out more than anything else.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am included in this. It turns out no matter how much you think you have studied, you can always study that little bit more.

And when it doesn’t work, you try again.

In my year and class alone there have been babies, relationships, illness, failure due to technology, or initial understandings which have gotten in the way.

But I am proud to say that everyone has got back on, powered through and will make it to the end.

When I graduate I am prepared now to fail. But in the most positive way. I have learned that if I don’t get that job I apply for, then that is okay, I just have to try again.

I have learned that if I believe in a project that has so many hurdles to overcome that it can be done, eventually.

It is an important lesson to learn in life and as much as I would like it to be my stupidly dramatic fall off my bike which did it – it wasn’t.

Studying for a degree doesn’t only give you that bit of paper at the end. It gives you preparation for the real world.


Originally written for The Evening Times which can be found by clicking here.




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