Since the past month or so I have been doing a lot of reflecting. I’ve looked back to life before university and during university, how it has shaped me to be the person I am today and want to be in the future. The future genuinely scares me. I don’t know what it holds. Neither do the people around me. But I’ve understood that by reflecting on my past, it can help me to realise what I want, a step at a time.

Lesson 1: Looking back to how I was before starting university, I’ve realised that I was a person that wanted to fit in, a bit shy and didn’t feel emotion as much. I had friends who would ask me ‘what are you thinking’ and would you believe my response would be ‘nothing’. There was nothing to think about and my mind would always be as blank as a slate. I hung around people who I’ve realised were not my kind of people, but I was only doing so to ‘fit in’ or experience a different kind of ‘lifestyle’. I knew in myself that I didn’t belong to that lifestyle and eventually friendships I thought that were meaningful ended up bitter and resentful. Looking back to those moments have made me realise, I am so much happier now, than I was back then. It has made me cherish the people that I have close to me, knowing that I do not need to change myself to fit in with a certain crowd.

I am weird. Therefore, I’m going to own it!

Lesson 2: At this point I have my circle of friends at home but have now moved to university. I had to make a new circle of friends, while being me. Challenge accepted. Challenge achieved. I got what I wanted and realised over the course of 1st year what people matter to me as I do to them, people I know I can have a laugh as well as talk to them when things get tough. Fast forward to 2nd year, I had to start thinking about placement for 3rd year. I will never ever forget the words one of my closest friends and course mate said to me, ‘You are not going to get a placement. No one in our year has got one’. For some reason that made me even more determined to get a placement, as they say “actions speak louder than words” right? I looked back on friendship. What it truly means to me. I want a friend that encourages me to do my best, just like I would do for them. Would tell me if I am doing something wrong and be there for me when things get tough emotionally.  In some ways maybe, my friend who said those words did me a favour in disguise.

However, looking back, the irony in “actions speak louder than words” would be in this case, the words spoke much louder.  

Lesson 3: University is a weird and wonderful place. You meet all sorts of people, go on little adventures and make memories. Other times it is very lonely. You can feel all caught up in your emotions and not know what to do sometimes. I have questioned ‘why do things happen?’, and when they do happen I question ‘what do I do?’. I have started to see things that don’t go my way as a blessing in disguise. If it was not meant to happen, then maybe bigger and better things are coming your way, in due time. Someone has once told me ‘at the end of the day it is just going to be you’. They were not wrong. The last couple of years have been a major rollercoaster, that only had 1 passenger on the ride. Me.

I will always remember these words, especially when something doesn’t fall my way. However, not forgetting that a blessing in disguise is always near.

Some people might think reflection is not necessary. But like drinking milk to make your bones stronger and grow, reflection makes the mind stronger for growth.

I know I did a lot of that this year, I hope you will too.


Jasmine N Cannon-Ikurusi