So, the month leading up to uni isn’t one I’ll forget in a hurry. Excitement is the typical first feeling. Then comes the rest of the predictable ones too. Terror! Of everything, really. Will everyone hate me? Will I set fire to everything whilst cooking in a new kitchen? How lost will I have to get before learning to live in a totally new place? And, is there any truth in rumours that some people really just can’t hack leaving home and go mad within the first week? Looking back, I know I had a blanket of ignorance and curiosity.
The social side became the most intriguing aspect about leaving home and entering the society of higher education and ‘maturity’. The different people and the atmosphere where family opinion isn’t so readily available leave us to our own judgement (of ourselves and the new people we’re thrown together with). When at school the social side is sorted for you. You have five days a week mapped out as to who you will see and what you will do…university is not so much like that.
I definitely had no idea how I was going to take on the big bad world of other humans without family or school confines as some sort of vague guideline. I believed that when I said goodbye to family and friends, it felt like it was the last time I would see them (probably because I’d seen them nearly every day for many years prior) and I questioned the ability those connections had to survive. I also spent a great deal of time sure all my growing up and answering ‘the big questions’ of life would be done and dusted pretty quickly once I’d left home. Basically, I was wrong about a lot of stuff, and I now realise how much that doesn’t matter at all. I think in that cliché way it was after doing lots of things I would not have even guessed I’d end up doing, I learned how much I didn’t know, and just how ok I was with that, and how much more I know now.
So, going into third year, my perception of what is in front of me has changed ever so slightly. My fears have perhaps gotten a little broader, and some have gotten smaller because they seem so insignificant in comparison to what matters now. I don’t know if wiser is the word I want to use about myself (probably because it sounds a little too arrogant) but I guess it’s something along those lines, at least when it comes to understanding how I see the next year going and what it signifies.
I see it as the finale, the last big statement to create a legacy for what university has meant to me and where I want it to help me get to. It’s your last chance to enjoy living so close to a cluster of pretty epic people who you could never have guessed would have such an impact on you. It’s the last year to join a society if you’ve not done so before. It’s the last year to go to all the places in the city you’ve heard of, but felt you could always visit later. I feel like my peripheral vision has stretched; priorities have taken different shapes. What were deemed the ‘big and far away and impossible’ concepts have now burrowed towards the front of my brain. Where, when and how have become a lot more pressing, and wow, I have total control over my own life! Fears now revolve more around things that can only be fixed by me; I can’t delegate as much as when I was younger.
When it comes to the academic side of university, I’m stunned at how much more cutthroat I am with myself. I’ve had to become more tireless with work. For me, it’s much easier to enjoy my degree because I wouldn’t put up with doing so much work if I didn’t love what I study- just a simple realisation.
Knowing how freakishly quick these past two years have gone, how much has changed, how bizarre so many things have been, and how difficult and brilliant it all is: I just want to try to make this year as memorable as I can. I get how little time I have to enjoy this place with these people and these chances, and however cheesy that may sound I don’t think it’s too bad a philosophy.