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  • Shanley McConnell

Life Lesson: The How-To I Treasure Most From My University Years.

Updated: Aug 18, 2018

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A few months ago, a friend of mine asked me about my experience at University; this was before we donned cap, gown and heels to walk towards a beloved diploma-------towards the thing that represented both the past and future. In those few minutes as we crossed that stage on graduation day we realised we were holding, in our outstretched hands, something more than the academic and dreamt-----we were clasping, tight, and handing, over, everything we had become through the last three years of studies. Whether that be gathered-up from ink and tree strewn across library carpet, or wrapped-around the hard, healing everything-else-in-this-world.


When this sweet friend, Emily Fletcher, asked me to choose one life-lesson from my University years, I wasn't entirely sure where to start. But here, I've uploaded the-how-to I treasure the most from my time at Dundee. I still, and forever will, continue to, like all the things treasured most, to experience it in new ways, in new time.



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Sometimes, always, there are those who stand out in a crowd----not because they are the ones to step up front and kneel to rise again.


What makes them stand-out is that they don't seek-out attention at all; they bow before the world and remain there. They are like cracking the stiff spine to find a language so lovely one cannot but whisper its words aloud and watch the letters wrap themselves in all the silence spaces between the lonely and the loved. These people are a combination of many things-----humility, kindness, quiet resolve, endurance and sincerity.


I have learned many things at university. How to embrace culture. How to listen. When to speak. What to say. The time it takes to scribble down a list in the library. How many skips on Spotify to save whilst studying. Where to find the best Chinese Crispy Rolls. The most calming woodland walk to escape city centre bustle.


When to give-up and rest. The lyrics to subtitled songs. Three lenses on an old camera. How to save pennies. Public-speaking. Interview-questions. Sitting quietly--------with other people, all alone. To love without all the rest----without knowing what comes next.


I have learned many things at university, and still, I think the most valuable lesson I have learned these past three years is how to find those who stand out in a crowd; the ones whose gracious speech is as sweet and soothing as honey to the soul.


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Proverbs 16v24


Please find Emily's blog here: http://www.emiloue.co.uk. With its bright reds and yellows, this site is such a delight to read.


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