university diaries

First Year: Looking Back

Hey guys!

I officially have one more week left of university. One more week left of being a fresher. One more week, in which I have an exam and a presentation to do. One more week…

I know I keep doing these kinds of posts, and don’t be surprised if you get another one next week, but I’m feeling very nostalgic and happy right now, so don’t blame me. I thought it would be nice to have a look back on the last year, and how much I’ve grown since May-August 2015, when I was an emotional wreck… in fact, I think most of 2015 I was an emotional wreck, but mostly between May and August was the hardest part for me.

If you haven’t already read my posts from back in August, please do. I’ll even be nice and leave a link for a couple of them, here or here. It’ll just mean you’ll understand the whole thing a bit more and I hopefully won’t have to repeat myself!

For my A-levels, I took English literature, French, and Media Studies. During my exams, Media was the only subject I was truly confident in, and my French and English exams were much more difficult than I could have ever imagined. At the beginning of 2015 I was stressing out so much about passing French, because in all of my essays I was just about scraping a pass, at a push, and this might sound weird, but I am very competitive against myself sometimes, as in I always want to do better than I actually am doing. So when I could see that I wasn’t doing well, I was kicking myself the whole time and getting myself down. I very nearly cried in one of my lessons, and on parents evening I had to force myself to go and talk to my French teachers without bursting into tears.

It was tough.

Then of course, I had to wait for my results to come back, and when they weren’t what I wanted, I felt even lower than before. Following that, I had to wait for three days to know if my back-up university had accepted me or not (they didn’t), so then I had to call other places to see if they’d let me in. Thankfully, Winchester accepted me, but then there was the whole deal of finding accommodation, as I’d applied late so I wasn’t guaranteed a room on campus until October. I had to find a house because they couldn’t guarantee that I’d get a room in halls, and then when I did find a house, the other two girls dropped out because they both found cheaper places elsewhere (one of them got a room in halls before I did, and the other found a place down the road from the university). Luckily, my aunt used to live and work in Southampton, and had a contact with whom I could contact, and I eventually ended up lodging with her for a month, and I couldn’t be any more grateful.

Eventually I moved into my halls, and I couldn’t have asked for better flatmates. Would I call them my best friends? No. However, out of the ten of us who live on my floor, two of them I would call my closest friends out of them all. I also already had a friend who lives on the floor above me who is on my course, and he also lives in a town 10 minutes away from my hometown which was really ironic because where he lives was a place where I swam five days a week and I also worked there, so how I successfully managed to not bump into him while living there, I have no idea. I have made some really close friends who I know will stay in my life for a long time after university, and even now I’m becoming closer with people I’ve known since September. Things change in ways you can’t always expect, whether they’re for better or worse, but when the changes are good it’s refreshing.

Moving away from home was weird but it was needed. I was tired at home, I was bored, and frustrated, and seeing as I had a whole load of crap dumped on my during last year, I wanted to go as far away from “home” as possible. Winchester was the perfect place. It’s two and a half hours from where I live, which I personally think isn’t too far but it’s a very different place. Yes, there are as many hills as there are in Devon, but apart from that, the people are different, the place is different, although Winchester is small there are different things to do. So it’s nice going home every so often in between essays and assignments because even though I wanted to get away from home in August, I’ve now had time to calm down and become myself. So going home isn’t that bad.

So many memories have been made in this first year alone, and although I have done some very stupid things, they make for great stories (some of which I will not be writing on here because I know my parents read my blog and they don’t need to know all the shenanigans I’ve been up to just yet…)

Has this year been easy? No. Not in the slightest. There was the whole getting into university thing, then there was the settling into a new city thing, then there was the whole settling into university. Then there was getting used to how to write essays for university level, and trying to improve your grades without looking like too much of an idiot and trying to balance your work life with your social life on the side. Trust me, that doesn’t get easier at university, you still have to make a good balance and I still find myself trying to figure out the best way to do that, even now!

This year has been a rollercoaster but it’s been a very fun one, and I would definitely go through it again. Well, maybe not the May-August 2015 part, but I would certainly go from freshers fortnight up until this point all over again!

-The Storyteller


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