These creatures from mars were near to alien to me when I started uni. I mean sure I went on the odd awkward date or had a few short lived loves at college but here's the thing:
Boys brains are wired very differently to girls. And somehow... they compliment each other. No matter how long the relationship; each interaction has something to teach us and only at uni did I decide I wanted to learn what it had to teach. Learning to let go of control, valuing myself, learning my boundaries, speaking up and carefully listening to my feelings were only some of them. I've more recently learnt the power of being open and vulnerable and also the strength you can create from really resonating with someone.
Ahhhhh time! We don't really come across you that much at uni. Quite a rarity these days. But the bottom line is, if you want to do something enough, you will make time for it. Whether that's going to a the pub with friends after a paddle, going to that dance class every week, making that YouTube video, taking that online course; if you really want to do it, time will bend to let you do it. A lot of my friends look at me and say 'How do you do it all? How do you fit it all in?'. I just say 'I like doing them too much. I can't have it any other way'
Procastination! The biggest time waster of all. When I started noticing the patterns of my procastination, I changed my attitude towards it. Now here's the catch: Procrastination is a result of our survival instinct. And that instinct operates on the time frame of 'now'. So even if the thing we're doing may be really useful to us once we finish it, it its making us tired or stressed right now our instinct comes into play. 'She's getting stressed. Make her stop. Do anything! FaceBOOOOOOK!'
Once I noticed this pattern I came up with a process:
Play vs. Work
'Laboris Gloria Ludi'. Thats what is says on the shield of Camborne School of Mines and was the first thing we were told when we talked to the older years in the department. It means 'Work hard, play hard' and the department lives by it. Once coming to uni, it didn't take me long to realise that I couldn't function properly or be any form of productive without seeing friends, getting outside or being active. Once I acknowledged that my priorities were very quickly rearranged.
Future vs. Now
'Be in the moment' they said. 'Now is all you have' 'Now is where all the change happens'. I believe them. It's a really amazing feeling just being in the moment. I get it when I have a really great day out with friends, being active, having fun and outside. I get it when I meditate; I get it when I sit and just relax in a bath or when I'm eating an amazing meal I've cooked for myself. But when you have dreams and goals to fulfill, occasionally we need to gently shift out focus from 'now' to 'the future'. I mean spending hours perfecting the font for 'Be Water', rearranging my blog from scratch or making a video on a programme that keeps on crashing isn't exactly what my 'now' self would like to do. But I do it because my future self will thank me for it. And it's a real balance. The energy and motivation for our dreams comes from our passion right now. Too much 'future work'; we loose enthusiasm. Too much 'now'; and we're not any closer to our dreams than last week. Just right, and we're cooking with gas!
Art vs. Science
'Alara, what do you do at uni?'
'I do Geology at Exeter uni'
'Ohh, my grandad used to live in Exeter!'
'Yeah, no. I'm not in Exeter. I'm in Cornwall. We share campuses with Falmouth University, an arts uni'
A very common snippet of my conversations with family friends and one that usually results in a confused 'Ohhh'. Truth is I love living in Cornwall, in a tiny town, being all sciency while having flatmates that do Natural Marine Photography, Dance or Music. I think its often forgotten how nice it can be to use both sides of our brain together. After hours of counting the grains of sand in a thin section under the microscope, going to a graphic design exhibition or dancing in a friends final year dance assessment feels great. Even discussing the most efficient way of making a bronze cabbage with your creative crafts friend! Its refreshing, its interesting and this beautiful balance keeps you sane.
Types of close friends
There are many many different people you meet at uni. Close friends, friends, acquaintances, 'I'd recognise them if I saw them's. You name it! However, once coming to uni I noticed a pattern in the people I would call close friends. All of them seemed to fall into one of these three categories.
Amplifiers: We're really similar. Have the same interests, usually the same crazy ideas and get overly excited about something that excites us both and get even more excited when we realise how excited we both are about it! Amplifiers are people you resonate with and usually ones you get a great sense of 'alive' when you're with.
Completers: Without my completers in my life, I would be nothing. These are friends you are naturally attracted to because even though you have a lot in common they are stronger in areas in which you're not. You both get satisfaction in helping each others weak spots. You complete each other and that creates a beautiful and special bond.
Supporters: They get immense satisfaction from being your cheer leaders. They love seeing what you do, they get excited when you do something exciting. I still have not figured out what magic lies within these friends to give them this supportive energy; but I think it takes so much love, belief and positivity to play this role. I really admire these people. Their presence feels like home; Safe and loved.
If you have a good idea, make it work
Finally, university has taught me, ideas that you think about all the time is just reality that hasn't loaded yet. So GO GET IT. It will work. Don't be afraid to fail, they're just lessons in disguise. Don't be afraid to ask for help, you're not meant to be on your own. Remember, you have a bombproof group of supporters here for you and they love you 🖤
Alara believes that the path to a fulfilled life is to make a unique meaningful impact in the world. So she now helps business owners and is an NLP practitioner, a yoga teacher and a Contemporary Rites of Passage facilitator. She helps entrepreneurs align their life and business with their purpose in 8 weeks.