In June, I graduated from the Bachelor’s Programme in Business and Economics from Lund University, and I now officially have a university degree. I was one of those few who decided to continue with economics, and I wrote my bachelor thesis within finance. My grades during these years has been varying, however they have become better over time and on paper it now looks as if I know quite a lot. But then again, that’s only on paper. What have I actually learnt during these last three years in Lund? It would be great to say that I have a deep and broad understanding of both business and economics, and feel totally prepared for handling a grown-up job in the near future. Well, that is not actually the case. I don’t have an idea of what you actually do at these grown-up jobs where people wear suits and have important meetings. However, I realised that my years in Lund actually has taught me some other quite valuable life lessons that can come in handy in the future.
This might sound stupid, and also a bit spoiled, but before my time in Lund I had never ever paid a bill. I have always paid for my own phone bill when I lived at home, but the actual invoice was sent to my parents and I just transferred the money to them each month. I remember the first time I had to pay a bill, and called my mom for help as I did not understand how to do it, when to do it and the consequences of just being a few days late. Well, now I know (most of the time) how it works, and don’t call my mother in fear and panic whenever a bill shows up. It’s quite easy; just fill in the amount, write the OCR number and account number and you’re done!
I had never cooked a day in my life before I moved away from home. I did actually move away from home before I came to Lund, but I would say in Lund was the first time I started cooking actual food (the first year of not living at home consisted of a lot of pasta with pesto and egg sandwiches). My first few semesters I would call my mom whenever reading a recipe asking “Is this important? How do I do this? Can I do this? Please come cook for me!!!” With time, I have learned quite a lot and can say that I am decent in the kitchen. Still, there is great room for improvement and I definitely do not see myself as a good cook. However, now I at least have some go-to recipes and can make a seriously good lasagna.
Calling customer service.
Did you know customer service existed before you had to start contacting them yourself? No? Me neither. Of course I knew it existed, but I never really thought you ever had to contact them. Now I am one of those who call or e-mail whenever I have a question or complaint, or just want something clarified. I realised it is so much easier to just call and make sure, instead of walking around and wonder. Furthermore, I have learned that other people apart from my mom actually knows stuff, and sometimes it is better to ask the people who actually know the stuff you are wondering about. Also, I learnt that if you have a complaint about something, they are usually very keen on giving a good customer experience and then giving you stuff for free (pro tip from someone who almost always ride Tire for free nowadays)
Who knew it could be so challenging? Again, from the beginning I called my mom every single time just to make sure I did not ruin any of my clothes. I used to send pictures of the washing tag on all my clothes and make her help me interpret them, as I was terrified of doing something wrong. However, with time you learn what all these weird little signs on the tags mean, and you also learn that most clothes actually can handle a little more than it says on the tag. But, you also learn that this is not the case with all clothes, and unfortunately you only learn that the hard way. Still, some things I bring home to my parents in order for them to help me, just to be on the safe side.
Prioritizing and saying no.
I have always had quite extensive fomo, and has always been very afraid of missing out on anything fun. After-parties has never been my thing, but out of the fear of missing out on something amazing, I have often still decided to go. WHAT IF something incredible historical magnificent happens just that one night when I missed it? Nope. Nothing that incredible ever happens, and if it does, you will soon hear about it anyway. Furthermore, my time in Lund has taught me to prioritize my time. At times, the study load can be extremely heavy at the same time as you have work to do for the union, while your boss is calling you and asking if you can come in extra to work. Well, your logic tells you it’s not possible to say yes to all of that at the same time, but it takes some time to learn to actually say no. I once listened to a podcast where they discussed the meaning of saying yes to something. Whenever you say yes to something, you always say no to something else. It might be that when you are saying yes to going out, you say no to a chill night with netflix and that can be totally fine and good at times. But also, when the study load is too great, you actually also sometimes have to say no to that in order to spend a night with netflix or your friends. Underestimating the need and importance of recovery is not sustainable in the long run, and I think most students here in Lund needs to learn the ability to actually say “no, not today”.
Even though I might not remember Porter’s five forces, the Cournot model or the extended version of the Romer model by heart, I still think my time in Lund has taught me some valuable life lessons. It might sound like a total cliche, but I have grown up a lot over these three years. Don’t have me mistaken though, I still make terrible choices and have no idea what I am doing most of the time. Now though, my choices have become slightly better and I know what I am doing at least some of the time.