Hindsight is an incredible thing. I look back on things that I have done in my life on a regular basis and think about whether or not that was a good idea. Whether or not I should have done it differently. And I’m sure that there will be many more of these moments in the future, because life is all about making decisions, and they’re not all going to be the right ones.
One example is that I often look back on where I was last year. I was in South Africa, trying to enjoy myself with the fear that I wasn’t going to pass my A-levels and that I wasn’t going to get into university. I did pass my A-levels, so I guess the worrying didn’t need to be so bad, and I did get into university, but I didn’t get the grades I waned, nor did I get into my first or second choice of university. In hindsight, I think my choices of universities were incredibly ambitious, and I didn’t realise at the time how ambitious I was actually being. All I knew was that the university which was my first choice was the best place I had ever been to, and nothing else would be any better and nothing else would live up to it.
I’m now studying at the University of Winchester, and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to study. The campus is fairly small, which is something I thought I wouldn’t like because I wanted to be immersed in student life with thousands and thousands of other students on a huge city campus… but being in Winchester has an amazing community feel towards it. I think I’ve made more friends because of it than I possibly would have done being in my initial choices, just because of the size differences.
Another example is the fact that, even though I have passed my first year at university (with a 2:1, might I add) I definitely could have worked harder. I probably should have spoken to my tutor more, or asked my lecturers more questions. Semester one was much more difficult because I didn’t have many close friends on my course who I was comfortable around, and I think I was worried about looking like I was stupid because I didn’t understand the text, or I hadn’t finished reading it, or I didn’t get a particularly high grade on that last essay.
Since January, I have met the four greatest friends on my course and I couldn’t ask for anyone else. So, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have worried so much about what people thought of my academic ability, because at the end of the day, friends don’t really care that much and they’re there to help you. Plus, they’re a lot less scary to ask questions to than lecturers and tutors.
Basically, there are a lot of things that I have learnt through this last year and when I look back on certain situations, I realise that I could have gone about doing things differently, or that I should do certain things to improve my grades next year. But overall, looking back on this experience has taught me that I wouldn’t have it any other way. I mean, I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am right now if I hadn’t made those decisions, or if things had gone a different way to how I expected them to. And who knows, if I had gone to another university, I may not be as excited to go back in September as I am right now. I cannot wait to move into my house and meet up with everyone again. I can’t wait for round 2.