Friday, 21 September 2018

Things I Learnt Whilst at University

Five years ago today I moved from Suffolk to Sheffield to begin my English Literature degree at The University of Sheffield. I cannot believe it has been five years (!). Going away to university was a really exciting yet scary time, and throughout the three years of my degree I learnt a lot of things about myself, with a few English Literature related things along the way. This week was Fresher's week for 2018 and sitting through a welcome talk with the stench of weed and energy drinks took me right back to the start of my degree (not that I had any weed or in fact energy drinks). I thought it would be fun to share with you some things that I learnt whilst I was at university (this list is not an exhaustive list as you would be here all day).

Baby faced me! This was taken within my first week of being in Sheffield when Tom and I ventured into town for a look around

You can create a home almost anywhere as long as you have a few things around you and the right people. Growing up I had always lived in the same house and so moving away to Sheffield not only meant leaving home it meant leaving the only house I had ever known as home. From my experience of going from halls to a student house, and then into mine and Tom's house, once you've put out your bits and feel comfortable in the space you're living in, you've made yourself a home.

Some of the people you meet in the first couple of days of moving into halls/starting uni can end up being your friends throughout the whole of your degree (and after!) What's great about moving into halls is that everyone knows nobody so you're all in the same boat, and everyone's up for making friends. The amount of people you meet may seem overwhelming, but some of those first few can go onto become proper friendships. On my second day in Sheffield I went on a tour my Residential Mentor was running, where she split us into subject areas so we could get to know people on our course before lectures started the week after. It was because of this that I met Lucy and fast forward five years we're still the best gal pals and we even went on holiday to Whitby together. 

Cheese costs an absolute bomb. 

I like being able to wake up late every morning and I miss this in my graduate life.   

It's hard trying to share a single bed with someone where you either end up pressed against a wall, or gripping onto the side of the bed for dear life so that you don't fall off (cheers Tom). 

See your friends as much as possible. Whilst at university all your friends are within a 10 minute walk, but suddenly you've graduated and one friend has gone down south, one's gone up north, and another has gone back to Australia (Will come and visit soon please). 

Sometimes it's going to be hard, and that's okay. 

You shouldn't carry a bowl of coco pops down really steep stairs as when you fall down the bowl will end up flipping up your wall leaving coco pops and a milk residue stuck to it. 

Having a food or drink enough times can make you like it. When Tom and I went to Krakow we kept accidentally buying sparkling rather than still water and because I didn't want to waste it I would always drink it, which eventually made me like it. Some people may think it's disgusting but it means more water for me at a buffet when everyone's gone for still. 

Everyone works differently and at different paces, and there isn't a 'one size fits all' kind of life. 

I need a coffee when I get up in order to function throughout the day.

You can watch a film for the millionth time and still notice something new (for me it was who I've termed 'Weird Hagrid' in Harry Potter and the Philsopher's Stone, and CGI Neville)

Everyone has a different idea of when it's 'cold enough' for the heating to go on. 

Fresher's Flu is a real struggle. 

Train journey's are not always fun, sometimes it can be delayed for 2 hours, sometimes it can miss your stop completely, and sometimes you can get a train mid-August in the baking heat where no windows can be opened and you feel like a stunt double for the Wicked Witch of the West. 

'Don't go to university in a relationship' is a load of crap. (To fill you in if you're new here: Tom and I have been together since we were 15 and we both ended up going to the same university because we individually liked it, not because the other was going there.) I completely get that when you move away and go to university how you are as a person changes but that doesn't mean that your relationship can't grow with these changes. Tom and I always said that we'd give it a go and if it didn't work out it didn't work out, rather than throw it all in before we left (because imagine where we'd be today if we had!)

Jess x


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