Archeologist of your own student life

During my studies I moved several times from one apartment to an another. I also saved several boxes of material I had made during studies. Maybe I need this some day I said to myself. To be honest, as lazy student I rather moved the stuff to another flat than went through everything that I could have thrown away.

Later on I noticed in my current home with my wife, that I still had a huge amount of this stuff lying around. What you leave behind – you find in front of you one nice or not so nice day – old Finnish proverb. When I went through the papers and stuff many years afterwards it raised memories of my student life and exchange periods.

It felt nice to find some layers of different times in studying. Some courses were easier than others. Through the papers I could also go back to feelings I had that time because I had written down some anecdotes from the teachers etc. Main thing I learned from the papers was it were the last physical remains of the hard work I had done and what I can be proud of. Yet all the papers were more or less not worth saving. You can be proud of what you have achieved during your studies without a pile of paper.

So if I could recommend younger me what to save? Keep pictures and contact information of your friends in digital form – you need them. Name and sort the files by year and happenings and people, so you find them easily. Get rid of course materials on paper – you wont use them anyway and those static Materials are about to change / get updated in time. Rather learn the place where you can find the always up to date information online in case you need it. Keep your own digital material organized on a cloud service in case you need it. Put the papers you really need in one single folder and write down on the back of the folder what are the contents (tax papers, excerpts of courses you have taken abroad etc). Recycle the papers carefully in right places, rip of the headers containing your personal information so nobody can misuse those.

Going through your study materials is somehow therapeutic so I recommend you to do it every once in the while. It helps you go on, relaxes your mind and it saves your time and back becouse you don’t have to carry all irrelevant stuff from an apartment to another or even worse from a country to another. What you definetely win, is that you don’t feel bad about the piles of junk paper in the corner anymore. What you lose is becoming an archeologist of the student life later – trust me – you don’t want to keep all the layers of your studying period – you need to keep just the ones that matter to you like friends and networks and the knowledge how to find info when you need it.


Hannu Järvistö

Executive director of JAMKO

Next article

The Magic Of Lapland

Browse all blogs