On Monday 14th May 2018, I handed in my final assignment of my university degree and was overwhelmed with all sorts of different emotions. First, I burst into tears as the thought of ohmygodwhatdoIdonow entered my mind, but then, after closing down the online-submission tab on my browser, I felt a huge sense of achievement.
And here’s why.
Growing up, I was a very anxious / nervous / awkward girl who was always labelled as ‘shy’, ‘quiet’, and, to my dismay, was even called a ‘mute’ a few times! I never thought I’d be able to tackle something like university as I didn’t think I had it in me. The thought of leaving home and living alone for three years actually made me want to crawl beneath my bed covers and stay there forever. I thought I was too quiet to be able to make friends, too nervous to live alone, and too awkward to go to parties.
The thought of university, in my mind, was a distant cloud of a possibility. It just didn’t seem do-able.
Then something changed.
In year eleven of high school, I began looking at what sort of course I would do, if I were to go. “Let’s just see what’s out there, let’s just window shop.” I looked at Counselling, Journalism, English, Media, Film Studies… but didn’t settle on anything in particular because obviously I wasn’t going to go.
But, as it so very swiftly does, time went by and I began to change my mind. Perhaps university wasn’t so far out-of-reach after all; I could get the grades to get in, so what was really stopping me?
That’s when I realised that the only thing that was stopping me from thinking about going to university, was me.
I started booking open days and trips to different towns, even cities where I could potentially see myself living. I started feeling happier about the whole thing, because it didn’t seem like such a massive deal anymore. Now in sixth form, my friendships became more solidified and I started to gain a little bit more confidence and independence.
I was looking forward to starting a new life.
I chose my university and my course and started planning for it. I bought new pots, pans, kitchenware, duvet sets, stationary, decorations, and I felt excited about it.
Eventually, the day came and I moved into university halls, which – in comparison to most universities – were pretty small. This made me feel more comfortable as it was less daunting to me. Yes, I was nervous and, yes, I found it difficult to say goodbye to my family for a bit, but I found myself coping rather well. I was so lucky to have moved into a dorm with five other girls, who were – and still are – such lovely people. We instantly got on well with each other, and my university journey started.
The past three years have involved some low points (let’s not dwell), but I have also had the absolute best times of my life! It has been such a positive experience for me, and I’ve met the best people who I hope will be life-long friends.
I found a passion when writing my dissertation, and am lucky enough to have found an internship which develops this passion further. (I’ll write another blog post on this.) University has made me ‘grow up’, and – to end the cringe-talk – has shown my fourteen-year-old self that it’s okay for me to say, hey, look what I can effing do!
So, “what next?” I hear you asking me. Well, I’m currently doing my internship in Cheltenham as a Social Media Assistant, and really enjoying it. I hope to stay and live here and so I’m now on the hunt for a full-time position in editing (hopefully for a lifestyle magazine ((someone hire me)).
All in all, thank you UoG for getting me here, thank you to eighteen-year-old me for applying to university, and thank you for reading my blog!
Left: The time my housemates and I walked back from my birthday meal in the POURING RAIN
Above: pictures from first year
Left: first year
Right: third year, still sporting the ‘glasses-on-head’ look