Although my first year didn’t entirely go as planned, I still learnt an awful lot – not just about university life, but also about myself.
Of course, I learnt obvious things like living on my own and how to keep on top of cleaning etc, so I won’t go through those as much. I’m quite an independent person anyway, so doing everything for myself didn’t feel like the big change other people seemed to experience.
What was a change for me, though, was meeting so many new people. I don’t often get the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, so moving to university was huge. First, there are my flatmates. People that I have to get along with for a year (our flat wasn’t the best at getting on sometimes). Then, there are course-mates. People that I’m going to be sitting and learning with in huge chunks of time. Luckily, I made friends quite easily, and stuck with them. There were a few hitches in the road – but that was another thing to learn: how to deal with inter-flat conflict. I’m not sure any of us quite went about it the right way, but it is something I’ll be wary of in the future.
I went to a grammar school from year 7 through to sixth form (age 11-18), so you’ll understand that I’ve not really had a diverse school career. Starting at university was great for that. I met people from all over the world, not just the country; and people of all abilities. It was refreshing to meet so many different kinds of people, and something I was severely lacking at school. University definitely burst my little bubble in a great way. I realised just how different everyone is, and I understood more of where I fit in the world.
University has been great for learning things about myself. For example, I’ve become much more confident in my academic and friend-making abilities. I’ve also realised how much I enjoy learning – which was the main reason for my switching courses/universities.
I’ve discovered ways in which I can become a better person, through the way I deal with conflict, the way I present myself, and the way I react to situations. I don’t think I’ve anywhere near perfected this, but I’ve started down the path to becoming the best version of myself. Perhaps that’s cliched, but it’s a thrilling prospect.
Another thing I now know about myself is that I thrive living a busy life. I’ve definitely not had that this year, and have often found myself bored. When I think back to A Levels, I realise that although they were full-on and somewhat stressful at times, I did well. Deadlines push me forwards, they motivate me to get things done well and in a timely manner. I’ve never been someone who leaves the work to the night before – I enjoy doing it and being proud of the end result. My lack of deadlines this year, and the lack of work in general, seems to have really taken a toll on me. I’m not proud of my productivity over the past year. Sometimes it feels like a bit of a waste. I can’t wait to rectify that this year.
Going back to university is getting closer and closer, and I’m getting even more excited. I have to try not to think about it too much, otherwise I get myself truly ecstatic and then have to breathe and remember that it’s still some time off yet.
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