People often joke about setting your priorities straight and knowing what the most important thing is: coffee. And although that is true for many people, priorities encompass so much more.
Upon entering university, I was excited, nervous and hoping for some big change within myself that would officially mark the start of a new chapter.
Although there were plenty of changes, it wasn’t as obvious as I would’ve liked and more gradual than I had anticipated.
The result of going to university with my high-school friends in the city I grew up in was familiarity with the city, the campus, the type of university lifestyle and security with having my family in close proximity and a stable group of friends who would attend events together.
However, as university began rolling along, people adapted and reacted differently to obstacles and life events (aka midterms, making friends, juggling work alongside school, etc).
Unintentionally, I started adopting a mindset that prioritized everything else but my friends, whereas I did the opposite during high school.
The optimistic view of “hanging out every week” was contrasted with the actual “hang out never, see you sometimes if lucky.”
From this, I came to realize the reality that my friends weren’t as important as prioritizing myself and my family, which was what I needed at the time.
Reorganizing my priorities made me feel less conflicted with all the change that was going on. Although there was never a moment in time where I blatantly stated “I am changing my priorities from putting all my effort and focus into friends, to cherishing more time with family and taking care of myself,” the underlying motivation behind my actions were exactly that.
Surprisingly, there were many benefits after I shifted my priorities. I felt better when focusing on what I really cared about versus something I thought I was supposed to care about.
Most likely, the expectations and values you have in this current moment will be different in a month from now because events are always occurring to shake up our lives.
I’ll be honest, it’s scary knowing that something you’ve put so much attention and resources towards might not be beneficial to your well-being (ex. friendships that turn out to be toxic) and even more scary not knowing what to prioritize. However, that’s what university is all about; letting yourself be vulnerable and figuring out what you really care about can make all the difference when adapting to new experiences.
Even though it’s only been two years, I’ve already seen a huge shift in my priorities and I’ve still got a couple more years left in this crazy adventure at UVic for more reorganization.