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In my first year at university, I wish I had not postponed having fun. It was never really my intention to put the good times off until later years, it just sort of happened.
It started because of a whim and a fancy I had when I was filling in my UCAS form, back in the good old days. I realised that to apply for Linguistics at Lancaster, you had to have ABB A-level grades. Listed below that was ‘Linguistics/North America.’ Same degree, same grade requirements, but you got to do your second year at a university in North America. “Well, why the hell not?” I thought to myself. So that’s what I applied for, and then I got in, and then I began the course. Soon into my time here, I realised I didn’t really want to go away for my second year.
I didn’t want to go away, but I didn’t want to explain to people why I wouldn’t be going on my year abroad even more. It was the terrifying thought of not liking it over there, and missing all my friends from here, and my family even more than I did when I was just an hour away from home.
In the end, I decided to man up, and go on my year abroad, but so terrified was I of missing Lancaster that I decided not to get involved in anything extra-curricular, or even to make that many friends. I had a small group of close friends, and nothing to do but get drunk and do my coursework. Soon the novelties of being drunk all the time started to wear off. Plus, I was getting a bit chubby and crying all the time.
And then, in a way, I was saved from making a decision I didn’t really want to make, and I was given a second chance. Due to health reasons (which I shan’t bore you with here), I was told I couldn’t go to Canada, and so I would be doing all three years of my degree at Lancaster.
That just about broke me, really. For the next three months, all I could think about was how I wished I was doing my second year at Carleton University in Ottawa. It’s a cliché, but you don’t realised what you’ve got until it’s gone. I was a bit of a state until, whilst on a holiday my family and I had decided to take with the flights we had already booked to Canada, I saw an article a lot like this one.
It helped me realise that I had, at least on paper, ‘wasted’ a year at Lancaster University, but I still had two years left. So, that Summer I decided I’d attempt an article for the News section of SCAN. Now I’m still writing, I’m on my college JCR Exec and I know what I want to do with the rest of my life; I’ve come a long way.
So, basically, the moral message beneath all this whining is: Don’t waste your first year, but if you do, it’s not too late to have a wonderful time.