Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion and I apologize in advance if I offend anyone.
At the moment, I am having a good experience so far at the university. It was one of my big dreams to get selected to the University of Colombo, since the first day of the advanced level class. Now I am proud to say that I have achieved my goal, and I am doing my higher studies at the best university in the country. You may wonder why I praise the university so much. It is because I cried when my first attempt results were not enough to get selected for the University of Colombo. Then I did the Advanced Level examination again, after which I managed to rank 6th in the district for the old syllabus. After which I took one of the hardest decisions, I have ever taken in my life by applying for the Faculty of Arts over the Faculty of Law since I was aiming for the Honours degree in International Relations for a long time. I am thankful to the lecturers who guided me so far and the best part is the friends I met at the university. I got to meet students from different provinces with different ethnic and religious backgrounds, it is evident that I am having a good time with them. The best experience so far has to be my time as the Co-Vice President at the Rotaract Club. I will forever be thankful for that opportunity, and I have 3 more months left to continue as the Co-Vice President of the club. This is a small summary of some great moments.
My university journey began on 9th April 2021 with the placement exam in English and IT. I posted a photo on my Facebook profile on that day with a caption of “UOC the place in my dreams, here I come”. However, we had our first lecture on 10th June 2021 after finishing registration and subject selection procedures. If I’m being honest, I am not happy that I got to spend my first year online. From what I heard which I agree now is that the first year is the best year of a university student, which our batch missed. The first year went extremely fast without noticing much, which I think was because we were in our homes. However, by the end of the first year, I had good results and got selected for an Honors degree in International Relations. It was a dream true as I was passionate about the subject since the very beginning. Apart from my studies, I worked as a blogger for Colombo Beacon Club where I won the best blogger of the month of July in 2021. Later I joined the Rotaract Club of Faculty of Arts on July 6th, 2021, where I now hold the position of Co-Vice President. Additionally, I am an active member of the Catholic Students’ Movement of the University of Colombo, where I met a lot of friends from different faculties, and they helped a lot to maintain my inner peace through religious sessions and events.
If someone asks me what my favorite memory as an undergraduate so far is, I have three answers for that. The first place goes to our Catholic Students’ Movement’s Christmas carol service in 2021. It was one of the best moments in my life. I have two favorite memories with the club, first one is our journey to Kandy for the project “Writing Clinic”, organized by our Rotaract Arts and the Interact Club of Girls High School Kandy. We travelled by train, and it was the day that I got to know our President Gethmi aka Getta can sing for hours without even drinking a single drop of water. The annual club trip has a special place in our memories, whoever came on that day knows how fun it was. Honestly, it was hard to choose one among the Club picnic and trip. We went to a holiday resort near Padukka right after finishing our end-semester exams. The exco members got into a fully packed bus, where I was stuck in the middle and there was not even a space to breathe properly which contributed to my short temper. I got down from that bus after passing a few halts and went to the destination on another bus. I mentioned it here because it was super fun, and it always makes me happy. There was another sad moment for us when our Club Service director Oshini went abroad for her higher studies, so we are now completing our Rotaract year without one of the most hardworking and helpful people in the club. I miss the time we spent with you Oshini, hope to see you soon. I’m sure that Baila night will be another memorable night. You might think I have no other memory apart from the time I spent with the students from different clubs, (more than studies it was those cool people I met from different clubs and societies that gave me the memories to remember.) It was different personalities who made the moments worthwhile. However, I will mention my experience regarding the studies and some valuable points for freshers as well as those who are not in a club or a society yet.
We all came to the university with a huge dream of completing our higher studies. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree is not the end. We start our higher studies with a bachelor’s degree, and it continues until we discover or introduce something new. It may be a theory, concept, formula, or any kind of other research. There is indeed no ending to the learning process, but we can say according to academics, our higher studies are done after obtaining a Doctorate in general. So, keep in your mind, your bachelor’s degree is just the beginning of a great career. Getting back to the serious topic. For me, working as a volunteer for a club or society, always reduces my academic stress and increase my soft skills. I never found it as a disturbance to my studies. It always gave me opportunities to develop my soft skills, including communications skills, teamwork, organizing and timing. We undergrads need to develop these skills according to what we study. For example, I must have good communication, negotiation, and organizing skills as an International Relations student. You cannot learn or gain these things solely through lectures. Also, the Friends we met at clubs and societies helps us during tough times. I have experienced it and kudos to them. My final message to who reads this to the very end is to stay optimistic, accept challenges, and appreciate what you have in the university. You should respect the effort of the staff members because it is not that easy to get into a such position and make sure to enjoy every second at the university. Cheers and stay focused on what you came here for. Make the University of Colombo a place of your dreams until the end.
Rtr. Yohan Romesh
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