My first year at university experience has been somewhat different to the norm. I chose to live at home for uni, so I didn’t go through the whole process of moving away from home and adapting to living in a completely unknown town with lots of unknown faces. As I have suffered from anxiety since I was of a pretty young age, especially throughout my teenage years, I knew from the beginning that going to a university away from home was completely out of the question. There was no point in me even trying, which I know sounds like I gave up at the first hurdle, but I know my anxiety and my personality better than anyone, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to cope. I suffer from pretty extreme homesickness and I’m such a home girl, so I decided to attend my local university instead. I fell in love with my hometown uni anyway and the course there was perfect for me, so everything just fell into place.
There are both pros and cons to living at home for uni. You get to finish the day and know you’re going back to the comfort of your own home, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper, you still get your meals cooked for you (which I am very grateful for) and so on. However, there’s part of me that still feels like I’m not quite doing the uni experience how its traditionally supposed to be done. I’m not living with a bunch of people my age and partying day in day out until almost sunrise. I’m not the typical party girl anyway, so this doesn’t bother me as much as it might bother others, but sometimes I just wish I had more opportunities to join in and be part of that lifestyle. Of course, I do get invited out sometimes, but I’m just slightly out of the loop, and plus it’s so much harder for me to get home as everyone else goes back to halls, leaving me stranded on my own. First year has the reputation of being all about partying and letting go, but I haven’t felt like I’ve done that yet. It’s kind of sad really, but I’m getting by. I’m hoping in second year there will be more chances for me to join in since everyone will be living in their own houses, which will have more space than halls, and I can stay round my friends’ houses instead of having to find my own way home. Some of you may or may not be thinking why not just get a taxi, but getting a taxi in the dark on my own at 3am isn’t particularly something I’m that comfortable doing.
Reading that back makes me look like I’ve got barely any friends and kind of like I’m having a shitty experience, but trust me, I’ve loved my first year at university and it’s been great to experience something so new and exciting. And it’s great actually being treated like an adult for the first time in my life. I think I’ve definitely come out of my shell a lot more since I started uni – a fresh start always does the trick. I’ve met an amazing group of girls in my seminar group and we are all really close. One of them, Amy, is pictured next to me in the photo on my phone above, which was taken at pre-drinks on Halloween (hence why we are covered in fake blood and why I am wearing creepy doll makeup). She quickly became one of my best friends; we have so much in common and we have such a laugh together, and we always help each other get by when we have the stress of finishing all of our assignments.
In terms of the work, there have been ups and downs – it always seems that I have a break from assignments and then suddenly they all come at once! But my grades have been really good and I’m averaging a 2:1 in the majority of my units. I’ve received four 1st’s since January which I am so proud of! My course is mainly coursework based, so I didn’t have any January exams and I only have the one exam in June, which makes me so happy! I’m definitely a coursework girl, I just hate revising so much and exams can make my anxiety really bad. My least fave thing about coursework though – referencing, it’s just such a pain. If you’re a uni student I’m sure you can relate to how tedious it is.
As you also might know Aaron and I have been in a long distance relationship for the entirety of our first year’s at university, and I think we have done so so well. He finishes for summer next week so I’m ridiculously excited for him to be home for four whole months. We’re now stronger than ever and I think we’re getting pretty good at the whole distance thing. I’m so happy.
If you’re still reading, then well done you. I hope this post was interesting for you to read and was helpful for anyone starting uni in September, I honestly can’t believe my last week of lectures is next week and then once my exam is done, first year will be officially over! Apologies if my posts aren’t as regular this month (again), but if I’m not posting, it means I’m probably revising!
What was your first year at university like? Are you starting university in September?