Today, I’m sat here, staring at the screen, trying to figure out how to put a series of panicked noises of pure disbelief into words. On Monday, I start university for the spring term after Christmas break. This is all very standard.
Expect it’s the last time I’ll be doing it as an undergraduate.
This time 5 years ago, I thought “Fuck it, my life isn’t going anywhere. I need to change that!” and put in a UCAS application. Safe to say my entire life has changed since then!
Since dropping in that application I left my full time waitressing job, which physically and mentally drained me for very little pay. I’ve learned some skills that you wouldn’t believe are useful, such as being able to identify fish gonads. I’ve made new friends. I ended one long term relationship and started another. I moved city. I settled down. I got a cat. I qualified as a SCUBA diver. I then upped my qualification to a professional one, and became a qualified instructor. I’ve completely changed in who I thought I was!
There’s also been a few negatives; I was seriously emotionally abused by someone that I let into my life in a way I’d never let anyone in before. Due to that, my anxiety has worsened, and I’ve definitely put up walls that it takes a lot from people to break down. I also let myself become friends with people that only needed me to lean on, and blamed me when they needed someone to blame for anything. I found myself dipping, mentally, to my lowest point. A point I have since recovered from, thankfully, and moved past.
I may not have had the Instagram-worthy “Student Experience” that most people think of. I’ve not gone out every night partying and I’ve not got a Group Chat going where a group of girls dissect text messages from boys (I currently have one going about seals though. Does that count?). I’ve had my fair share of drunken nights and nights spent stress crying about a deadline as I typed about climate change or fish biology, or dredged my mind through a boring topic about a biological subject I’ve had explained to me 500 times.
At the end of it all, I will come out of it in 16 short weeks with a cap, gown and diploma. And then I need to decide what to do next!
5 years ago, I thought summer 2018 was so far away; how could I possibly manage to last that long after a 4 year education gap? Now I’m speeding towards it wondering where all that time went?
Either way, I am where I am. I’m happy. And I can’t wait to start writing my next chapter in life.
Are you starting to think about the end of university? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below – I’d love to hear them!
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