Four years ago, I stepped into the University of Colombo for the first time with nothing but my admission letter in hand. I was so excited because I was finally starting uni! I remember having butterflies in my stomach and telling my father I didn’t want to go. Today I’ve grown to love this place so much, I don’t want to leave. If I could, I would freeze some moments in time, just so that I could live in them for as long as I like. But life doesn’t work that way. We need to keep moving forward, and sometimes that means we have to leave behind people and places we love.
I had heard so many different things about university life before entering Colombo Uni. More often than not, we only see and hear of the tantrums thrown by university students. We complain about the endless traffic jams and are appalled by their behaviour. But after having gone through the system for four years, I can assure you that university has more to it than what the media portrays!
To me, these last four years at the university, have been some of the best years of my life. I won’t deny the fact that it was a little difficult at first to adjust to the new environment. New beginnings are always tough. Your mind is filled with fear and doubt. Once I got accustomed to the workload I joined a few clubs and started playing tennis. These extra-curricular activities gave me ample opportunities to push myself out of my comfort zone and to meet new people. You need be with people who bring out the best in you. You will find them in places you least expect. And with them you will always feel at home. I was lucky enough to find mine across the university – at FOS Media, UOC Gavel Club, on the tennis court and the Department of Zoology and Environment Sciences!
My degree in environmental science has taught me a great deal about the ENVIRONMENT, and has instilled in me a sense of responsibility in taking care of our planet. But that’s not all. My life at the university has taught me remarkable lessons about PEOPLE. I have learnt to not be quick to judge people and to not expect them to be a certain way. That way you’ll never be disappointed. When a group of individuals from different backgrounds come together, friendship is built on the understanding and respect they have for one another, and it is a truly beautiful phenomenon.
Don’t just ‘talk’ to people, have a conversation with them. Each person we meet has a story to tell. They are the unsung heroes of their stories. Their stories will move you to tears, make you laugh so hard, inspire you and even make you believe in things you didn’t believe in before. Engage in a conversation with a friend and you’ll be surprised to find how delightful and refreshing an experience it could be for you.
Life, as it is, is quite a simple thing. Our feelings are what make it complicated. Don’t over analyze situations. It’s important to think before you leap. But don’t overthink. It may prevent you from taking that leap! Never regret the decisions you made. We tend to look back and imagine how things would’ve turned out if we’d taken different paths. But this is the path you’ve taken and there’s no going back. There is always a reason why you did what you did.
Four years ago, I walked in to the University of Colombo with nothing but an admission letter in hand and butterflies in my stomach. Today I walk out with not just a degree but a whole heap of memories I cannot put a price on, experiences that have moulded me into a better individual and people who have become so close to me that life without them is unimaginable! I am happy knowing that I have made the most out of my time here. How you spend your time at the university is entirely up to you. Grab every opportunity you get and make the most of it. Because as someone once said,
“It is not the years in your life, but the life in your years that counts.” 🙂
Photo credits: Praneeth Ratnayake