I started my degree 8 years ago, which is crazy to say.
It feels like a distance memory. I had no idea what to expect when I started University, I felt so underprepared and frankly, quite terrified. Looking back on it, I laugh at how stressful, emotional and fun it was. If I didn’t laugh, I’d probably start twitching with stress. As much as I did have fun at University, as a whole I didn’t enjoy it. When graduation hit, everyone was sad and wishing that they could do it all over again. I however, couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there. I’ll always remember grad ball and how I stayed for an hour, then went back to my hotel. I felt done with my University experience long before it was done with me. That night, I decided I didn’t need to stick it out any longer. I waved goodbye.
Whenever someone asks me why I didn’t enjoy University, there are so many reasons in mind and so many stories on the tip of my tongue. When I pull back all the drama, the bullshit and the cheap vodka, ultimately the reason is simple. I just didn’t fit in. I didn’t meet my kind of people.
There’s a part of me that wants to offload into this post and be really honest about my University experience. But, I’ve decided not to dive into all the stories because I like to think my unfortunate situations were rare. I will however say two things.
- It’s ok if you don’t like the University life
- Girls can be very horrible
There are things I really wish I knew before starting University. I wish I could have given my younger self advice to prepare better for the situations I went through. But that’s life, isn’t it. When I was 18 years old, I thought I had pretty good life experience but in reality I was just a child. University is a very adult situation to be in and I felt like it was a big shock to my system when I arrived. I’ve always been independent and I know how to look after myself. I could cook, I could clean, I did my washing and being organised is in my blood. I had that part nailed down. I just wasn’t ready for the toxic friendships, uncomfortable living situation and sleepless nights. I also wasn’t ready for the amount of work involved between those sleepless nights and evening shifts in retail to pay my bills.
I had a rollercoaster of a journey for 3 years. I had many moments when I wanted to leave but through my better judgement, I stuck with it. I wanted my degree and that was my push through. I did have some fun times, of course, times where I was crying from laughter and doing crazy things you do when you’re young. But unfortunately for me, there was more bad then good. As I said, I like to think my unfortunate situations were rare.
Overall, I am glad that I did it because it was an experience. I learnt things and those things helped me morph into the person I am now. However, not all the money, gold or jewels in the world would make me relive those 3 years. It just wasn’t for me and I am very accepting of that fact.
So, without further a do – here are the things I wish I knew before starting University:
- House and flat shares are loud, dirty and bitchy
- Wanting an early night and not feeling the need to do shots every night will be frowned upon
- Sharing with girls and guys makes for a better living situation
- It’s stressful to keep on top of University, having a job, maintaining a social life and other relationships
- It’s totally ok to not enjoy the University experience and only want that shiny piece of paper at the end
- You won’t get on with everyone, not everyone will like you
- You won’t like everyone either, that’s for sure
- You don’t necessarily leave University with friends for life
- Fitting in doesn’t mean conforming to other people’s rules
- Life starts after graduation – University is a bubble
It’s that time of year where people are heading out to University with big expectations. I think it’s important to know that it’s ok if you don’t enjoy it, it’s ok if you want to come home and it’s ok if you don’t make friends that stick with you after it’s all over. My life started the moment I turned my back on that place and I couldn’t be happier. I’m glad I got my degree.