My controversial uni experience

This is definitely a much more personal post than my usual but a topic I have a real opinion about. I write this after completing my second year, two thirds completed in about £30,000 so far. I had always wanted to go to Uni, but on reflection I’m not too sure if this was because I wanted too or because of the expectation of going to Uni from College is the expected. I remember being in my tutor group and those not going through UCAS were told not to bother coming in as what we’ll do is pointless to them, so you were blacklisted as a result. This pressure to continue studies was one definitely pushed on everyone and I believed if I didn’t go, I’d be a let down and an outcast. Continue reading to find out more about my controversial uni experience.

I’ve always been greatly motivated and after getting A*, A* and B on A level results day I was over the moon, I was going to uni and I hadn’t failed. Those that were not offered a place were upset and I was so thankful I wasn’t one of those, my teachers said they were proud and off to London I went for the weekend with my boyfriend to celebrate.

I was fortunate that my boyfriend surprised me by getting a job in London and I shortly followed his move to my Uni. I was excited but the obvious nervousness but this was the dream and I knew people that didn’t make the cut so YAY I WAS GOING TO UNI. I’m going to be a success. Get a job I love. Yay I’ve made it.

controversial uni experience

However I got to halls. My room was tiny and this is no exaggeration. It was the width of a single bed and I instantly felt so claustrophobic. I cried. The reality suddenly sank in that my family & friends were going to be 6 hours away, I knew no-one and saying goodbye to my parents and sister was the hardest thing I have ever done. I felt so alone when sat in my room, I developed depression and renamed Sundays with “homesick days”. I was always with someone at home and going from being surrounded by a loving family and lots of friends to being sat on my own in my room having nothing to do. I realised I had no real hobbies, in my spare time at home I’d walk my dog and go to the beach. These were all so far away now and I felt so distant from myself. If it wasn’t for my boyfriend being here, coming to mine after he finished work with a tub of ice cream I know I’d have quit. I don’t like quitting anything, I had worked so hard for two years to get here and I felt like this. I hated myself for not feeling like how I had expected, I should be going out all the time but London is far too expensive for that. I would go to my boyfriends room, above where he worked, and felt like such a relief to get out of halls. But he was hardly in the room as he was working all hours, I can’t complain as this meant I could see him, cry to him and in all what I felt he was my rock and I couldn’t never thank him enough. When I look back at my first year, I don’t see a wild fresher’s year, more one where I was in a dark place and certainly suffered from depression, anxiety and home sickness as a result.

I’ve never said this before and I am not too sure why it is I’m writing it on my blog. I guess I always felt that I was alone in feeling this way and kept it from so many people and only ever explained to my boyfriend just how unhappy I felt. So many use depression as a cop out which draws a bad light on anyone that feels this way. But what encouraged me to write this post and post it so publicly? If I could help one other person who feels this way then please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me!

The reason I didn’t swallow my pride and quit Uni was that my boyfriend and I had decided to move in together and I knew that getting my own flat knowing I would see him every night even just to fall asleep next too would change my whole perspective and would make me happier. Also if he could move to London on his own for me, I couldn’t let him down. Going from halls to my boyfriends place meant I never felt like I belonged, always in the way and just a let down. But now, a year of living in a flat with him I feel so much more content. I still have an anxiety, I still feel alone when I’m in the flat by myself but I have hobbies and have made sure I have some ‘me time’. My blog has given me the biggest distraction of all and gives me a place to write my opinions and meet so many other lovely people! I still miss home like crazy, the summer is the worst when I’m so far away from Devon beaches but having distance from Uni means I can study and then come home and feel at home. I don’t want to leave so far away forever, it is hard and no-one teaches you about that. Some people live the party life and that works for them, some don’t. And that is okay. Just find things to do that you enjoy, that make you love being where you are whether that is making great new friends, joining a gym or starting a blog.

I am starting my third year in September and time has seriously gone so fast, but I don’t feel as though I should be finishing. Not all projects I have been proud of or developed skills in the process, some I’ve been in groups that were just a total write off and I can’t actually contemplate my final major project is next – I have no idea what to do and how this may affect my job prospects in the future. But what job? I still don’t know and it is so overwhelming trying to decide but I can only take one step at a time. The look people give you when you don’t answer their “So what’s your plan after Uni?” question. I do not regret carrying on my journey through High Education. I’ll be in so much debt and have gone through emotions I have only ever read about but at least it’ll hopefully lead me in the right direction but not going to Uni is okay. Going into a job from College and working your way up is okay. Learning a trade and doing an apprenticeship is okay. In fact, doing what makes you happy is the best thing to do whether this is going to Uni or not.

I don’t know how I put that into words, or if anyone will even read it but again, if I can help one person understand it is okay to not be okay that you’re not weak and no-one will feel less of you. I’ve been on one hell of a roller-coaster and no that even if I don’t end up getting a job from my degree, it has shaped who I am today and has made me so much stronger.  I’m in the minority when I say I can’t wait to finish but who knows where I’ll end up? Only time will tell.

Have you had a similar experience? Have you loved Uni? Please let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

Amy x

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