I made it!

My first year of university is over and I survived, just about. I can’t deny that it was not what I expected, and I definitely ran out of steam by about April.

Fortunately, although my first few weeks (months) were a little lousy I finally found a friendship group and I have made some great friends. I found an ally in my flat in halls and we are definitely besties now too.

Finding friends was such a huge thing for me, which probably means I blew it way out of proportion. I just know that in a new place with a lot of new people, it’s good to feel as though you belong. Belonging is a real issue for me, I need to have my people around me – but I managed to find some!

Related to this is ‘going out’, we all know what everyone thinks uni is like, drinking all the time and staying up all night. Well… I’m not sure I would say I’ve taken part in much of that but I have had my share of fun going out with my pals. It has actually stoked my love for going out again, as over the last year it was getting a bit old.

I had my 19th birthday which I think was my best birthday yet! I did come home because I wasn’t so happy about not seeing my family on my birthday.

In terms of the work, it was just as difficult as I expected. I worked hard and I read a lot of books, not just course texts. There is a lot of research that goes into every university essay or assignment and I know now that you can’t put things off week after week, no matter how much you don’t want to.

I’ve also learnt that having a support network around you is vital. I felt as though I needed it before, and my family and very close friends have always always catered to my ridiculous needs! I have created my own family and I have relied on my boyfriend a lot these last nine months. It is very emotionally tiring being away from home and dealing with what uni has to throw at you – but if I made it one year I should hope I can make it the next.

Dan and I recently celebrated our anniversary, so IN YOUR FACE anyone who says you can’t do long distance at uni, or shouldn’t. It has been invaluable having someone to rely on and to chat with who has uni experiences of their own. Especially because of how much time I ended up panicking alone in my room.

I’ve also realised how much I can accomplish, and really how much I’ve learnt as well as how much I have left to do. I was excited for the learning experience that I was going to get at uni and it hasn’t completely disappointed. I love seminar discussions about books, and my lectures are often very interesting – it’s just a shame about a few of the things that didn’t turn out how I expected. I’m excited to see what my modules next year bring.

My last day was on June 1st, when I had my exam. I was quietly confident going in, and I was really pleased when I saw the questions. I’m so happy with how it went, I think the exam was the thing I was the least worried about.

I found my first year really difficult, but I worked really hard and I’m proud of what I accomplished and happy that it’s over.

With all the essays, assignments, portfolios, netflix, nights out, grocery shopping, sleeping and general adulting I’m so glad that I survived.

Bring on year two!