Five life skills you should nail before graduation

March 01, 2017
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We talk about life hacks and #adulting all the time, which are skills we pretty much need to get through the minefield of uni. But life after uni is (for most people) longer than their tertiary educations. So as important as it is to be able to make rice, pay rent and #adult, it’s also important to #notbeashitperson.

Keeping things in perspective

At uni, there are people who lose their frickin’ minds if something doesn’t go their way. I’m talking telenovela, end of the world, Britney circa 2007 meltdowns. Even if you’re not one of those people, you need to learn how to go Zen and not let the muggles get you down.

I know it’s such a cliché and an AA motto, but if you can’t change something, don’t stress about it. At the end of the day, if you’ve got a place to live, some food and some nice people around you, is is it really worth freaking out over something beyond your control? Nah.

Fight the good fight

We all know those people that say stupid shit and have a bullshit argument to go with it. Things like “I would vote for Trump” or “I don’t see what these feminists are complaining about” or even, God forbid, One Nation supporters. Sometimes we’re even related to them, but we don’t have to see them and work with them every damn day.

As wonderful and vitriolic as it is to verbally beat the shit out of them, sometimes you really shouldn’t. Unfortunately there will be times you need to lead by example, politely listen to their drivel and calmly and logical explain to them why they are giant douche canoes. Why? Because these people will come up time and time again all throughout your life and in some settings, it’s not super appropriate to scream profanities at them and make them cry.

Tequila for all!

What are you supposed to do when you’re forced to work with “those people” or even just people you don’t like? You’ve got to make lemonade (or take tequila shots). You’ve got to try to see the good in them, even if it’s scraping the bottom of the barrel of compliments. “They never bring a piece of paper or the required reading to class, they’re just saving trees, right?” Anything that makes them seem less of a scumbag to you and lowers your blood pressure, is a good thing.

Avoid the burnouts

This is the one I struggle with the most. I will work and work and work until I’m lying on my kitchen floor, in the foetal position, crying. Not cute. But it’s through learning my limits and unlearning some dangerous behaviours that I’ve come to recognise that people don’t work well when they’re tired, stressed and unhappy. By spending an evening on the couch with some takeout and crap TV, you’re saving time, not wasting it, because you’re going to be more productive over the week. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.

Different backgrounds

One of the wonderful things about uni is that you get to meet people from a variety of different backgrounds, countries and experiences. While it’s easy to stick to the groups of people that are like you, or even the same people you went to high school with, it’s a great opportunity to broaden your social and cultural horizons and learn to empathise with different people. Not only is it a skill you’ll need for the rest of your life, it makes life so much more interesting and enjoyable.

Annabel Sweetnam-Groom

Annabel is a Journalism graduate who is completing her Law and Criminology degrees and a Modern History minor at Murdoch. She enjoys whisky, pizza, and sleeping.