Starting university is a tough time for anyone, no matter how confident you are or how much you can't wait to get away from home. I'm a completely different person now than when I started university the first time and there is so much I'd tell myself if I could go back in time. When you start university, you don't know what to expect; will you like it? Is it how it's portrayed on TV and in the media? Is it as good as people say it is? Here's what I would tell myself if I could.
First, I'll just mention these wonderful photos of my graduation. I much prefer the shots taken by my family on special occasions rather than the professional ones taken by the graduation photographer with the backdrop. I like natural photos that really show the memories rather than the studio ones and WallSnaps was the answer to my graduation photography prayers. It's always nice to get photos from special occasions like graduation framed and made into really special pieces, whether it's for yourself or as a gift and I got this framed box print for my mum and dad. It only costs £29.99 and is of such high quality it makes the perfect gift, especially if you like the photos taken naturally on the day like the one here taken by Karl (as usual!).
My mum and dad have just got their print stood in the conservatory for now as we're in the process of getting a new kitchen and that's yet another beauty of the box prints. They can stand like a normal photo frame or they can be mounted onto the wall to create a simple but chic interior design.
Anyway, here's what I'd tell my fresher self!
UNIVERSITY IS NOT EASIER THAN A-LEVELS.
Before I went to uni, so many of my teachers, my friends, relatives all told me that university was a breeze and that my degree would be easier than my a-levels. I have no idea what the bloody hell they were talking about because my degree was hard hard. It had 200 hours of expected reader per module for six modules plus lectures, seminars and assignments, followed by the most difficult and harshly marked exams I have ever come across in my life. Don't fool yourself into thinking that university isn't hard because it is and it's supposed to be.
GRADUATING DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL HAVE YOUR LIFE SORTED.
When I started university I had the standard idea that everyone has; that in three years you'll know exactly where your life is going and what job you want to do. As a recent graduate, I know that for nearly everyone that is not the case. Of course, some people do walk out of university and into their dream graduate job (or further training for their dream graduate job if you did a law degree like me) but for most of us, that's not the case. I think I just assumed you graduate, you work and that's it. Sadly, life doesn't always work as smoothly as we think it will and that's okay! We don't have to rush things and I'd tell myself not to panic about my career.
DON'T PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON YOURSELF.
In hindsight, I put way too much pressure on myself while I was a student. Working three jobs and doing my blog whilst doing assignments, reading and revising for exams was probably unwise and although I'm so proud of everything I've achieved in the past three years, I think I made myself too stressed and pushed myself harder than I perhaps should have. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?
TIME GOES AWFULLY QUICKLY.
When you're a fresher, you think "wow three whole years of being at university" or "it doesn't matter about that decision because that's three years away." Well, those three years pass in the blink of an eye and before you know it, you're walking onto the stage to shake hands with the university chancellor during your graduation. Don't take anything for granted because before you know it, your time at university will be over and you'll be an adult *gasps*.
JUST DO YOU.
I've never been the type to conform to other people anyway and I've never been susceptible to peer pressure, even as a young child but when you go to university there is a pressure to live the typical student lifestyle and that's not me at all. Even though I never tried to be something I wasn't, at first I still had the niggling feeling in my head that I wasn't "normal" or "fun" because I didn't want to join in the things everyone else was but in hindsight (isn't it a beautiful thing?!) not joining in everything didn't make me any less happy.
What would you tell your fresher self?
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