All throughout education you will have adults telling you that this is going to be the “best time of your life” and to enjoy every second of it!!!
I can tell you this was definitely not the case for me at least. High school sucked with bullying and mental illness a large part of my experience, I think I’ve blocked most of it from my memory. College was pretty great though, I was studying subjects I enjoyed, had a great group of friends (shoutout to the cres crew) and the only real negative I can find is based on my total inability to get prepared for exams until the day before which gave me so much stress that could’ve been easily avoided.
But university is the place that everyone raves about.
I’m currently in my second year at uni and even though my experience hasn’t been totally disastrous to the point that I want to leave, it’s still not been the most wonderful so far. I’m not going to completely slag off uni, because I do really enjoy it, but sometimes it’s nice to reminded that you don’t have to live up to the unreasonable expectations people give you or the false view of constant positivity that you see on social media. We always put our best selves out there and all the good times we’ve had, which is fine but can leave you feel very deflated if you’re looking at them while having a bad day or feeling alone or fed up.
I honestly believe that you get what you want out of university, on the education side and all the other stuff that comes with it. If you choose a degree that you wanna learn more about but may not end up in a job linked to it, at least you spent 3 years on a subject that you love anyway! If you choose a degree in which you have to spend hours in placement and it’s tough and challenging and a lot of work but you know you’ll end up in a career which you are very passionate about, then that’s great! If you only go to a few lectures and spend the rest of your time partying and meeting new people and getting some wacky weird stories at the end of every week then good for you! If you wanna spend your weekends at home chilling and watching bad tv in your pjs because your mental or physical health means you don’t feel like exerting too much energy and the week of uni has taken it out of you then cool! If you join societies which you will learn new skills or get new hobbies or to beat everyone at the pub quizzes or just wanna go to the socials where alcohol is involved or if you wanna go on trips to others places then why not take that opportunity?
I’m really sad that I didn’t end up joining anything in first year but at the end of the day moving to a different place, starting a degree, learning how to live on my own, making friends with the people on my course and dealing with separation anxiety from people at home meant I kinda had enough on my plate so I can’t go back to change that. HOWEVER, I’m determined this year to be more social and join some societies. (I’ve already been to film soc and joined up for my course netball team so progress!! not to mention the spoons pub quiz I go on Mondays)
Also, halls kinda sucked in first year. In a flat of 4 people, 3 of us just stayed in our rooms most of the time and the one sociable person ended up dropping out a few weeks in. So, I kinda became an antisocial caterpillar (as opposed to a social butterfly) in my little cocoon of safety and isolation. But that’s one of the reasons I’m in a shared house this year and it’s fun living with strangers who all seem pretty nice so far and I appreciate the invites to get out the house to watch the football and get to know them better.
This year I’ve made it my goal to not only do the obvious thing of handing in essays before the due date, pass all my exams, get my placement hours BUT to also to get more involved in the social part of university as much as I feel I am capable. All I can do is try.
I can tell you right now that no one probably has the perfect time at university, it’s tough and a big change. But I’m determined to get the experiences that I want out of it and not try to compete with others because we are all individuals and life is different for everyone.
ttyl, Jess / x