I've done many posts looking back at my first year, but for those of you who've missed out on some of the antics, I thought I'd compile everything up. The nights out, the break downs, the break ups, it's all here on my little blog. I've held a little back whilst trying to still make this a lovely personal insight into my life as a student. And looking back, it's been a pretty crazy year.
This time last year I was days away from hearing my results, discovering whether my first choice - Keele - would want me like I hoped. As you can guess, they did! With one A, two B's and a disappointing C under my belt, I began blogging, organising and considering all that I could for the big move up to Keele. It was one exciting, stressful, heartbreaking, happy time. As you can tell, I was full of emotions.
I was more excited than anxious to leave the comfort of home, and knew I'd miss people. I also knew my parents had their moments of realisation - much like yours will, even if you do a lot or go to a lot of places without them already, it's a completely different feeling when you return to your actual home, and refer to university as home. I know my parents felt a little hurt by this, I know other's did too, but that's what university should feel like, home. But I, like many, had my moments of homesickness. When I did feel homesick, I never really wanted to tell anyone, I felt silly and petty, and honestly a little weak. But don't feel like I did, you're in a new situation and you're bound to, even if you don't admit it to anyone. You'll have a yearning for some creature comfort that reminds you of home, whether it's your double bed, your pet or even your parents, it happens to the best of us.
I spent the summer working, as many of you who are preparing to go or return to university have probably done this summer - trust me, every penny helps - and working came with its stresses. My relationship became distant - I wouldn't blame this entirely on work, but more so our fears and silly thoughts of what our future would become and I think anyone in a relationship heading for the university milestone would understand this. I met a few block mates over the internet who were also in relationships and unfortunately almost a year later, none of us are with the original partners we arrived at Keele with. Don't take this as it'll never work! It will - I even offered some advice on how to make it work (okay, so it didn't work for me - but it takes a lot of effort, the energy for which my ex and I no longer had).
It wasn't all negative I swear! There's been plenty of parties, fresher week was nuts, Halloween was pretty crazy too, and refreshers week didn't let us down. Honestly, allow your first year to be your time to go wild - yeah, this isn't the advice parents will give you. Even if you are already wild, embrace it. But learn from your mistakes, or maybe try not to even make them. I learnt rebounds were a terrible idea, sleeping in bus stops and libraries wasn't desirable, last minute deadlines sent even the most organised of people into a fluster and that I'm a real stickler for smashing or losing phones...oh, and that I do love a good plate smashing. I think I've been at my most angry at university, my most confused, my most happy, satisfied, settled. It's a crazy place.
I do believe it's where you find yourself. It may sound lame, but it's a bit like a journey of self-discovery. I came to realise I was naive, I wasn't who I pretended to be, I wasn't 'hard' or 'laddish', I came to realise I care a lot about what people think and that I'm actually pretty sensitive. Block feuds got swept under the rug, and friendships formed from convenience filtered out to find real friends. All in all, I had a crazy yet amazing year, there's a few things I'd change, but that's life.
My advice to all freshers heading up to uni in a month or so's time is remember to work hard, have an amazing time, and be able to look back a year later and say, yeah, we had a pretty damn good time.
For me, it's onward to my second year, of work, another relationship involving distance, a house with 5 of my closest Keele friends and an awesome freshers week to look forward to.