Firstly, congratulations on becoming so petite over summer, you look great. However, all that running, walking and working was completely pointless, give it a few months time and you'll have put on a stone, have eaten more pizza, more cheese and pasta, and consumed more alcoholic beverages than you can keep count of. Whilst each mouthful will be seriously delicious, especially those huge bacon and egg sandwiches you'll make after a night out *dribbles* you'll begin to look at yourself in the mirror and feel a little shocked. Though it's okay, because you sort things out in second year!
You'll make bad choices, and drink more than you intend. You'll receive bumps, bashes and bruises and thanks to your alcoholic consumption you'll have blackouts and wake up in the morning without a clue how you got there. You'll take hundreds of photos, pulling stupid faces, pouting with friends or posing with strangers. You'll become best friends on your first night with the girl next door, and later be joined by Sara, who will complete your trio. You'll make course friends and block friends and many more drunks friends, who you'll awkwardly say hello to less as the year goes by.
You'll smile a lot and cry a lot. You'll witness and experience break ups, and fallouts, and breakdowns. You'll feel exhausted from late nights, hangovers, essays and experience a roller-coaster of emotions. You'll comfort friends who cry on your shoulder, despite the fact you've only been friends for a few weeks or months. You'll hope friends are okay when you know they feel as defeated as you did, frustrated there's nothing you can do. You'll dish out advice but fail to take any of it yourself.
You'll lose the boy you loved for 2 and a half years. You'll cry over the phone, or hold things together so your parents believe you're okay 300 miles away from them. You'll naively tattoo your body, at the fragile age of 18 to prove to yourself, and that same boy, that you've moved on. You won't move on for well over a year, and you won't admit that to anyone for that time too, especially to someone who deserves to know. You'll never be quite sure if you're up or down.
Sometimes you'll drink for fun, sometimes you'll drink to forget. You'll have confused feelings about almost everything, your friendships and relationships especially, and you'll make sensible decisions, and some big mistakes.
You'll watch the snow fall from your room window, and make snow angels with your best friend visiting from Cornwall. You'll march drunkenly through various weather conditions just to have a good night. You'll slip and fall, and laugh and be caught. You'll make a real idiot of yourself but feel breathless from laughing at the hilarity of it all, too intoxicated to worry about what people think.
You'll go red in the face, but you'll also speak up in seminars, present your thoughts in groups and write essays you're truly proud of. You'll achieve firsts, 2:1's and 2:2's, and despite initial disappoint you'll recognise you have the ability and know how to improve.
You'll flirt a lot, you'll kiss questionable characters and become best friends with girls in bathrooms whom you'll never see or recognise again. But their compliments, and the ones you give back, make you feel good about yourself, despite the fact your hair is sticking to your face, your ridiculously huge eyelashes are hanging by a thread and you've got ladders in your tights from foot to well...all the way up.
You'll watch repeats of TV shows, and have days catching up with tubs of ice cream. You'll have movie nights, and game nights, in which you'll discover Tubbyslender and scream your lungs out at Slenderman. You'll learn new drinking games, and share too much or discover what you need never know about housemates whilst playing I have never.
You'll witness the most horrendous dirty pints being made and somehow, being consumed.
You'll meet people from all over the country. You'll miss home but refuse to admit it. You'll never regret your decision to attend Keele. You'll love the cheesy chips, and £1 shots and Monday nights. You'll love food fights, but hate real fights, keeping your block awake refusing to accept the truth that you've overheard. You'll experience drama, and experience bullies. You'll have a moment of desperately wanting to drop out of university, worrying your sister who feels helpless 6 and a half hours away.
By second year you'll have learnt very little, and experience the space you need to do something in an inconsiderate way, understanding you never had a future with the person you tried to move on with. You'll always appreciate the months you spent together, but understand that in the end you never let go of the first boy you loved. You'll realise that you need someone all the time, attempting to find someone new to love you. But sensibly, give up and spend a few weeks, with more planned, to focus on yourself.
You'll meet a boy who you take very little time to fall for, but tread ever so carefully so you don't make the wrong decision.
You'll make a fool of yourself and miss out on some pretty decent bands at the union. You'll venture out in Hanley and Newcastle, finding yourself drawn to a bar with a light up dance floor, questionable music spanning from the 80's to the early 2000's, and also realise that you're the youngest people in there being eyed up by drunken 60 year old's. Oh Reflex.
You'll continue being a drama queen, sometimes being a bitch. You'll moan a lot. But you'll laugh a lot and smile a lot. You'll do more day trips and find yourself in Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield. You'll spend days at a time addicted to Gossip Girl.
It may be cliche but by the end of second year you'll finally realise you've changed a lot. You'll stop comparing yourself to the gorgeous blonde and beautiful brunette you spend your nights out with, and realise you have your own qualities. You'll work harder, and achieve better marks and finally truly feel the desire to get more involved.
You'll come a very long way, and only writing it down will help you realise quite how much fun it's been so far. Whilst the low parts will be the lowest you'll ever experience, the highs will be higher than you could ever imagine. And 6 days shy of your final freshers' week, you'll sit content in the bed of the young man you're planning a future with, understanding that all the ups, the downs, the tears and the laughter have made you who you are right now. The wish to do it all over, and do it right, is no longer something you desire. You'll understand you never did your first two years wrong, and no time would have been the right time for any thing that happened. You'll be happy in the end, and you'll be looking forward to one more year to give it everything you've got.