The thing about university is it is the place where you discover yourself.
The problem is, once you discover yourself, you might find that you don’t actually like what you’ve discovered at all. You might discover that this period of your life that you hoped would be a fresh beginning, a new opportunity, the defining experience of your life, is actually not as utopian as you had hoped.
But that’s okay.
You might discover that people you knew from college have made new friends. This doesn’t mean that they don’t like you anymore (but it definitely feels like it). It might seem as though everyone around you has found people they can relate to, people just like them who they can be firm friends with forever. Meanwhile, you feel as though you don’t quite fit in.
You might think living away from your parents, with other people your age will be the most fun you can ever have. But the reality is, in your first year, you have been randomly placed in accommodation with people you know nothing about. The only thing you have in common is the university you attend.
You don’t have to like these random people (although it helps). You just have to get on with them. For a year. That’s all.
So, like me, you might feel as though your old friends are drifting away and not being replaced by new ones, and, by some cruel joke, you’ve been placed in a house with way too many people, all of whom are super confident and outgoing while you’re slightly scared of every human being on the planet. My first term was not ideal. Not at all.
But once I got home, my memories of the term just passed were slightly overshadowed by the amazing last night of term, and that optimistic feeling you get the morning after you’ve gone out when you’re not quite still drunk but you’re not hungover either. Just sleep deprived and happy. Once I got home I realised what an amazing term I had really had.
I had met some amazing people, and was already missing my friends after a few hours of being away from them. I had completed all my work on time and was beginning to know where I was going with my degree. I am just about to start a teaching placement. I do aerobics and go running every morning (well…some mornings). I volunteer with kids and have met some amazing people through that. I have joined societies, made friends (well, a friend) outside of my course and outside of the people that I live with. I have successfully cooked and shopped for myself. Just a few weeks in to living in a completely new city I managed to find my way to a massive retail park which soon became my regular place of worship (bye bye student loan).
I have moved to a new city and I have made new friends and I have enjoyed it. Not every second of it, but enough of it to make it all worthwhile. I even managed to give directions to a complete stranger on the street (if you’re reading this, I am sorry and I truly hope you found your destination in the end).
The moral of this story is to count your blessings. You might feel like nothing is going right for you, and yeah, maybe it isn’t, but if you step back, I am sure you will see that you have a lot to be proud of, a lot to be grateful for, and a lot to look forward to in life.