One of my favourite places in the world. Another helicopter crash tragedy.
I personally hate it when people say this to me, but I think it can only get better! I like to think that I’ve completed the first semester and done the groundwork. You’ve done the hard bit of leaving home and living in a new environment with complete strangers. Even though it feels like all anyone wants to do is get drink and fool around all the time, it’s important to focus on what you want to do. Facebook in particular glamourises the student lifestyle (all that ever appears on my newsfeed is photos of people partying) and makes anyone whose chosen a slightly different path feel like a loser; obviously speaking from experience here. I’ve found some great people to hang out with and I rarely go clubbing (something I think is seriously overrated).
I don’t know if it’s easy for you to get home, but what I’d say is maybe spend a weekend at home once or twice a semester. If seeing your family is what you need to do and will help you with the stress of student life, then don’t be ashamed to do it! One girl on my course went completely cold turkey and didn’t go home once in the whole twelve weeks… I went four times, sounds a bit pathetic! But it really helped in the transition. Seeing my family and familiar friends for a couple days was revitalising and meant I returned with a fresh face.
Anyway, I’ve rambled on a bit here but I hope I’ve helped in some way. You’re definitely not the only one struggling from the weight of it all. Everyone finds it hard, whether they express it or not.
I go back to university in six days and I should not be dreading it like this. But I am obviously. My first term as a undergraduate student was way more challenging than I expected. Everyone tells you that university is the ‘best time’ of their lives and they wish they could go back. So you get there full of impossible expectations and realise that it’s not all that glamourous when you’re only remaining milk has gone off and nursing a killer hang-over. An example of my student problems!
I’m writing this while lying on my bed wearing my cat onesie (best Christmas present ever). The past few days, I’ve gotten up at midday and not done much apart from laze around watching Netflix and chatting on the phone. But that’s what the Christmas period’s about, right?At university there’s the constant pressure to be going out and getting hammered - at least in first year. Fresher’s Week was my nightmare. I live with this guy who made me feel like a loser if I didn’t go out every night. Where’s the fun in that? I’m no angel and sometimes having too much to drink is just part of being a student; but I only enjoy drinking when it’s with my good friends. I don’t feel like I need to impress anybody.
That’s been my biggest hurdle since I got there. The desire to make a good impression and be liked by everyone. And I think that’s a standard thing. I used to want everyone to like me at school. But that didn’t affect me beyond 4 o’clock and I could go home and just be. I had my downtime to recharge. Whether that was taking a marathon bath or watching an entire season of 'How I Met Your Mother' (thank god I discovered that show during my final year of school). No one wants to be the person who spends all their time in their room; and I’m not saying that that’s me. It’s just hard when you go from spending time at home with your family, eating good food, and chilling in your onesie to depending on your best-friend/flatmate for every emotional need, living M&S ready-meals, and feeling like your outfit is being judged every time you walk into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. At university, I feel like I need to be sociable and up for a huge night out all the time. But it’s okay to want to stay in and watch a movie with your flatmate - the night we watched 'Finding Nemo' in bed was one of my favourites.
I think that’s what university is about. Being out of your comfort zone means you have a lot of revelations about who you are as a person. I clearly care too much about what others think. Yet I try not to let that affect my actions. During my first few weeks there, I was hanging out with a group of girls who seemed like they would have been the ‘popular crowd’ back in school. They were never nasty to me but were never particularly friendly. Now I’m going to sound nasty but they were that kind of girl group who all look the same - same blonde hair, same fake tan, and same party clothing. And they never spoke about anything other than guys which I found really boring. I realised then and there that I wasn’t interested in spending time with a group whose company I didn’t enjoy. What would be the point?
'Cool kids' don't exist at university. There are simply too many people for anyone to conform to some infantile social structure. I went to an all-girls school for seven years. My experiences with superficial bitchy girls there taught me that I'm not interested in fake friends. The people you want in your life are the ones who will stay in and watch 'Finding Nemo' with you or buy you a chocolate mousse because you’re having a shit day. And not judge you for your onesie because they own one too that has 'Sexy and I Know It' written on the back.
I love my onesie <3
So university is not quite home but I’m getting there with the help of some special people. Of course I’ll continue missing my family and my many animals here, but it’s something I need to do. Looking back on it, university has been the push I needed to confront my insecurities and continue moving forward with my life. Sometimes it’s hard staying true to yourself but I’m certainly getting better at it.