Life as I know it is over. For the past 4 years I have been at university, and now... it’s over. In fact, my identity for the last 18 years as ‘student’ is over. A rather surreal moment for me right now. And no, to be quite honest right now, nothing feels any different. No sudden transformation into a sensible adult, no endowment of maturity, no instead, I’m trying to hold onto my student image just for that bit longer *said with a packet of gummy bears in right hand, cup of coffee in the left*
University has been one of the most rollercoaster experiences of my life. Honestly, looking back, I wonder how I’ve come out so normal.
Pre university, I was a completely different person. I wouldn’t recognise myself now. I was totally shy, to the extreme that I struggled to talk to people. I would stutter on the phone, stutter if a ‘cool kid’ talked to me, and don’t even get me started on trying to order food in a cafe! I was also bullied and made fun off, leading to all round low esteem.
Going to university was a big step, it could have been make or break really, but my god I’m grateful I made it. From the minute I stepped into my student house of 12 I just felt at ease, I didn’t feel shy, I didn’t stutter, in fact I suddenly realised here I had the chance to reinvent myself, I had a clean slate where no one knew that I was shy. And boy did I take that opportunity. I became so confident, so fearless; I wonder how I managed before.
My first year of university is a close contender for one of the best years of my life. I loved my housemates; we played ridiculous pranks on each other...
But most of all, I loved every second of it.
Second year... not so much though. Second year was the nose dive I never envisioned, and while I don’t feel like talking about it, I’m grateful to every single person who was there for me, I will never forget all those tiny moments. Just to make sure people don’t get the wrong impression, I didn’t do drugs, I didn’t do anything illegal, nothing like that!! I just was in a bad place.
Third year I moved to London Baby!
As part of my degree I did a year working in Industry, or an undergraduate placement as it’s also known. This is a full on, proper job, and boy was it! While I defiantly had my ups and downs at work, looking back now, I see how much it shaped me, and gave me so much confidence. I learnt such valuable skills that I never even knew I was missing. Honestly, anyone reading this who has the opportunity to do a placement- DO IT. It was the best decision I ever made. Of course, living in London was fantastic too, and I’m stroked to be going back permanently come September!
But then final year of university came, and back to student reality. Finally year of university had been a crazy journey. It really does get harder, or not so much harder, just a lot more full on. More pressure, greater deadlines, its a very stressful time. However this year, I’ve really worked on the career girl within me. Honing my skills, while raining in the pranks of first year. This year has been the year I joined career worthy societies such as Enactus, which I wrote about earlier this year. I gave presentations in front of 100s of prospective students, completed my dissertation and I am so proud to say I won Placement Student of the Year.
This year I feel like I’ve really achieved something worthy, really something to make myself proud. There were times when I would question my ability of course, times when I wondered what was I doing? But final year- so long as you put in the effort- can really open doors for you.
As I’m sat here typing this post, trying to put into words what my university journey means to me, I’m finding it difficult. There are so many different words and feelings I have, but one phrase that just sums it up completely is LIFE CHANGING.
Now without being all OTT about it, it really has changed my life and me as a person and that if something I’ll never forget. However I cannot wait to go forward and start a new chapter of my life.