Self-discipline

I briefly mentioned in one of my previous blog-posts about budgeting the idea of Adulting. I expressed that University is an opportunity to become independent and begin adulating.  The term adulting can be found in the urban dictionary, it is essentially the process of becoming an adult by behaving like an adult, to do the things that adults regularly have to do. I also mentioned the new financial responsibilities students have to take on at university which prepares them for adult life, such as: budgeting, paying their rent, grocery shopping, laundry, purchasing text books, printing etc.

In this blog-post I would to emphasize another area of adulting which is the importance of self-discipline. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines self-discipline as the ability to make yourself do things you know you should do even when you do not want to. As students these things can be making yourself go to your lectures and seminars, this can be especially hard for students that live off campus. This a struggle that all undergraduate students face but once you think about your long term goals this should hopefully be enough motivation to get up and do what you have to do.

Also, when you think about all the time, money and general effort that has gone into you doing a university degree, you want it to all be worth it at the end of the day with a great degree classification on your graduation day. Another point I’ve heard people make regarding this topic is that, in those moments when you are feeling demotivated, to think about what a privilege even being able to further your education is. We are all aware that further/higher education in some other countries for example developing countries are restricted or limited to certain groups of people. Also, the ability to use student finance is a great benefit because it provides a system which enables students who based on their family income would normally not be able to afford university education.

Apart from thinking about the previous points, another way in which you can motivate yourself is by having a vision board. A vision board is a tool used to concentrate and maintain focus on specific life goals. This can be any board (physical or virtual) which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life. In addition to this you should also consider the practical actions needed to put in place to achieve that certain goal.

Realistically, there will be times when you feel stressed, demotivated, anxious, overwhelmed, home sick etc. A natural reaction in these times would be to confide in your friends who can be your support network but whatever you do it is important to seek help and not keep it all to yourself. There is help provided by the university to help you deal with issues outside of your studies, whether financial or personal. Don’t beat yourself up, give yourself a break, we are all humans and hence have imperfections. Self-discipline is very difficult, planning each day can be a great way to ensure you are being productive with your time and doing the things you know you have to do. For example, make a ‘To Do’ list, it can be very satisfying to tick off the activities on the list once completed.

Dealing with everyday activities – doing the dishes, cooking, cleaning, laundry etc., although they may seem simple can be challenging for some people. At the end of the day, most people start university as a teenager (average age in the UK is 18) and most people live on campus during their first year so they can no longer rely on other people to help them with certain activities.

With this new found freedom and independence it can be tempting and easy to fly off the rails.  Especially if coming from a strict environment back home, it can be tempting to initially just do whatever you want when you want, eat and sleep when you want etc. There is no one bossing you around and telling you what to do, you are essentially completely in control of managing a whole life – your life, which can be a very big responsibility.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

This quote by Theodore Roosevelt supports the idea that nothing good comes easy, so we should expect the challenges to come, if we struggle or fall we should still endeavor to get back up and learn from our mistakes.

Overall, I’m sure after university we will all be able to reflect, see the growth and the difference between who we were when we came to university and who we are leaving university as.