School is that little comfort blanket. That comfort blanket you didn’t realise you depended upon so much until the realism that you have left hits. This was me this time last year. There were the university open days that left you wondering around all the student living halls. The endless drafts of personal statements that you had so many of you didn’t know which was which. And the rigorous UCAS application process which you felt like you were writing down your details 100 times over. I get it. I did that last year.
But in a few weeks I am going into my second year of university. I can now look back at the first year and realise that it was one of the best decisions of my life. At the time though, going to university was one of the god damn scariest, and overwhelming moments of my life. This whole new chapter of what I thought was going to be booze filled memories and a little bit of learning was opening and I wasn’t sure if I was ready. Whether I was ready or not it was happening, at what seemed like 100 miles an hour. In fact my whole first year went at that speed. But lets not think about that because it will remind me of how fast the whole thing is going… gives me heart palpitations.
Not everyone’s university experience is going to be the same. I can’t say mine is the same as yours. Or if you are reading this then your experience won’t be the same as mine. But it is a perspective. Looking back I wish I could just give myself that pep talk and snippets of information that I could have done with then. So if you are in need of that information because everything feels a little bit rocky then here are some tips…
Ahhh freshers. That week or two thats filled with clubbing, drinking, partying, socialising and going to your welcome lectures blurry eyed because you went to that zoo themed party the night before. My uni experience isn’t the standard uni experience because I chose to live at home. Yah know save money rather than spending it on rent? I also live within 30 mins of my uni – highly convenient. But because of that freshers isn’t that easy. You don’t have that opportunity to go out with your flatmates that you have just met every night. I did go out once. Believe it or not I did learn multiple things from that one fresher experience that had.
Firstly you will never see a night club THAT BUSY… trust me. Secondly if you don’t make it out every night, or want to get involved in freshers, its not that big of a deal. I did meet my best friend Lauren on that one freshers night out I did. If I hadn’t of met her that night, I don’t think my university experience would be the same. But at the end of the day, if you don’t do fresher, you have three years to go out partying with friends.
I remember the weeks running up to university I didn’t have my student loan yet but I wanted to get everything in preparation to starting. All the notebooks, the hard drive, the memory stick, the pens, the pencil case, the bag. I bought so much, and I even got a notepad for every single module I was going to be doing. But if you take away one top from this the let it be this. NOTEBOOKS ARE EXTREMELY HEAVY. Jokes aside carrying around notebooks all day at uni was not only making me walk like I had a 20kg weight hanging from my arm – but it was also impractical.
I now do all my university notes on my MacBook. My MacBook was one of the best purchases I have ever made. I knew it would help me for my blog and university so I actually bought it 6 months before I started. So don’t go around buying notebook after notebook. Highly recommend a Mac or laptop.
If you have seen my blog post about Learning To Like Change *hint go read it* then you will know I HATE change. It puts me out of my comfort zone and its something I really struggle with. So going out of that 14 year comfort blanket of school into a whole new glorified life almost was SCARY. I was ready for it but I didn’t know it at the time. Moving yourself into a whole new atmosphere, with people you don’t know is a massive step and its okay to be afraid.
But looking back on it, I would like to remind myself that its not a bad thing. The week before I went to uni was pretty crap. All my friends were moving away into their uni halls, meeting new flat mates and making friends already. I felt isolated and overwhelmed by the idea of university looming upon me. I know people starting this year, and some of my friends who even moved away felt like this. In fact most people feel this way so you aren’t alone.
A month before I started university I got added to a load of random freshers and university group chats and I was a bit like ‘WTF is going on here then’. The whole concept of making new friends was rather daunting. I thought that by living at home it was would my chance of becoming close with anyone on my course. But in reality this couldn’t be further than the truth. I am lucky that my course is a bit like a close knit family as there isn’t very many of us. Not every course will be like that unfortunately but you will still meet friends who you will end up seeing every day. Now I am gasping to go back to university in two weeks just to see their beaut faces every day. It will surprise you who you will make friends with I promise you that.
So the point of me sharing my tips with you is to prove that this time next year you will most likely think the exact same. Even if you go to university just to get the degree and leave again, you will find some positives along the way. For some it is the best years of your life. As long as you are pushing towards what you want to do in the future, then you can worry about the rest later.
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