My University Story So Far

I haven’t written anything for weeks. Literally, nothing. Not a single short story. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I am currently writing this sat at a new desk surrounded by pretty new fairy lights and lots of random paperwork I haven’t read yet. My new desk, fairy lights and paperwork are 105 miles from home, but I love it here.

My bedroom shelf at uni.

My bedroom shelf at uni.

Two months ago, I did not want to go to university. The thought of travelling so far away and being thrust into the world of adulthood without anyone to look out for me (not to mention more education!), was terrifying. But that was the only thing holding me back: fear. It was getting towards the end of summer and I had been out of college since the beginning of June. My days were blurring together, there was no sign of a job on the horizon, and I was sick of the sight of myself. I didn’t know what to do with my life.

Then, a week before A-Level results day, my mum casually mentioned ‘clearing’ at the dinner table. For those of you who don’t know, clearing is a system that universities use typically if a potential student doesn’t get the grades they need to get into their first choice uni. As I wasn’t going to uni, the thought hadn’t occurred to me, but all I had to do was get released from the course I’d previously applied for and no longer wanted to do (Creative Writing), and then I was eligible for it. This brought round a whole new world of potential. There are so many courses out there for everything, and I needed that week to whittle down all of my options to find the right one for me.

Having completed the BFI Film Academy course earlier in the year, I knew that I wanted a job in the media industry, and once I’d decided that, I looked for any and all courses that held the Creative Skillset tick. The Creative Skillset tick signifies that the course is very practical with excellent industry contacts, which was just what I wanted. Upon finding the Television Production course, I immediately fell in love with it and knew that was the course I needed to get on.

Clearing was both terrifying and surprisingly easy. Bright and early on the morning of results day, I stumbled downstairs and opened the email attachment containing my results. BBC! (That’s got to be a sign, right?) But there was no time to celebrate. After a quick glass of orange juice so that I didn’t sound like I just woke up (which I had), I rang the university and had a quick interview with the head of the media school, who then told me that I had a place. I had never been so happy! And once my accommodation was sorted out – which was super stressful but totally worth it – all I had left to do was go shopping.

Moving day came around quicker than any of us could prepare for. I was a complete bundle of nerves and excitement, although saying goodbye to my dog sobered me up nicely. The journey took about two hours with a heavy printer on my lap, and the four of us were all squished because I had decided to bring along half my bedroom. By the way, if you’re planning for university next year, don’t take along half your bedroom.

I’ve been at uni for a week and a half now and, although it’s hard at times, I can safely say that it’s the best decision I’ve made. That doesn’t mean to say that it’s what would be best for you as everyone’s different with different goals, but for me in particular, I’m so glad I decided to come here. Once all of our parents had left, a group of us in our flat walked into town. We’ve quickly become like a little family and I love everyone I’m living with even though we were strangers a week and a half ago.

If you’re reading this worried about who you’re going to be moving in with when you start university, please stop worrying. You’ll find that if you put yourself out there and really try to be friendly to everyone, you’ll make friends a lot quicker. Everyone’s in the same boat, and they’re more likely to make friends with the person who smiles at them than the person who hides from them.

I borrowed a picture of some of my flatmates - hope you don't mind! XD

I borrowed a picture of some of my flatmates – hope you don’t mind! XD

I know it’s difficult. I’m definitely not a very independent person and going so far from home was miles out of my comfort zone. I’m also pretty quiet and find it hard to be myself around people I don’t know, but whenever I’ve tried hard to talk to people, even if it’s a little awkward at first, everything has worked out well. Homesickness has also been a slight problem for me as I’m very close to my family, but a phone call always makes things better, and I have friends here who I know care for me and look out for me, which I am so grateful for. Having anxiety, this was bound to be a difficult experience at times, but despite that, I am loving every minute of it.

I’m sure the uni life will lead to some crazy adventures, and awesome friends are already being made. I’m excited to see what exciting thing happens next.

You Are Extraordinary

Today, I am going to write to you all about something that I am only just learning myself. I know that at the moment I have a mixed bunch of readers, but I believe that this is a subject that will mean something to everyone.

A few weeks ago, I had something of an ‘existential crisis’ in the words of the wonderful Dan Howell (YouTube and BBC Radio 1’s danisnotonfire). It may have been partly due to stress of my exams, but that didn’t make it any less awful. I got it into my head that I wasn’t enjoying any of my college courses, and because of that, I started to lose hope in everything else that I enjoyed. I’m a writer but I couldn’t write anything. I love acting but I couldn’t find any energy to act. Singing is my favourite hobby but it just seemed so exhausting. I didn’t know what on earth I wanted to do with the rest of my life because nothing seemed to be working out at that moment.

The problem, I realise now, is that I was so consumed in the stresses of that one moment that I couldn’t see past it. I didn’t need to decide who I was going to be right then, and I still don’t. Neither do you.

The future is a wide expanse of exciting opportunities, and it is all yours. As cheesy as that sounds, it is completely true. You can be whoever you want to be and you can change who you want to be whenever you want. It doesn’t matter what age you are – if you’re not happy with the way something is going in your life, then change it. You’re never too old or too young to be yourself.

If you are in the middle of a job but you want to try something new or have a go at that dream that you’ve dreamt of achieving since you were eight, then go for it. If you are just starting at college or picking out your GCSE options, and you don’t have a clue what you want to do when you’re older, that’s fine. Just pick the things that you enjoy doing, even if they end up being a crazy eclectic mix that doesn’t make any sense. You still have your whole life ahead of you; don’t get hung up on this one part of it. There is always the option to change.

It seems like in modern society, people are scared to change who they are, or who they think other people think they are. I think this is due to the huge amount of judgement that is pressed upon us on a daily basis. But I promise you that it is perfectly fine to change things if it will make you happier. No one should judge you for that and if they do then they are not worth knowing. But that’s a story for a different blog post.

The point that I am trying to make here is that you shouldn’t let anything stop you from doing what you want to do in life. You are an extraordinary person and this is no one’s life but your own. You have people who love you and in the end, as long as you are happy, nothing else matters.