As I avoid measuring my chest, head and height in order to purchase appropriate graduation attire I can’t help but think of the journey I am about to embark on. I have always been a nostalgic person, constantly looking back at excellent memories and unfixable regrets, so I thought I’d document my University experiences and feelings throughout the past three years.
I moved to Brighton, a severely unconfident girl with no idea how to look after myself or cope with any kind of stress. I had twenty pounds in my pocket, far too many Adam Sandler DVD’s and absolutely no idea what would be install for me at University. Making friends was much easier than I had imagined and in no time I was crammed into a tiny Halls of Residence bedroom playing Mario Kart with three people that quickly became my close friends. (An absolutely wild first year, I’m sure you can imagine) But once again I was looking into the past; missing home terribly and questioning whether University was the right decision for me.
We eventually ascended into the second year, moving into the worst house imaginable. A rest-home for an array of mould, fungus and vermin. It was in this year that I realised I should take some responsibility over my life, which in retrospect is funny as this was the year I spent trollied and spending way too much money on things I did not need. I got my first job and met a ton of new people. I realised that humans weren’t so scary and began to talk to people without being an awkward mess. I met someone to embark on adventures with, a sense of security in a world that seemed so unstable. I finally felt settled in Brighton although I still felt conflicted about Uni and began to develop my own ideas about education, concluding that we are all very different – the structure and methods of education don’t work for everyone and perhaps I was one of those people! Regardless I trudged on, determined to get through year 17/17 of the process. The final year before the big scary world.
Third year felt like a stampede; deadlines, career options and the torturous fear of council tax swept over me and left me feeling defeated. The rush of it all made it feel like a month has past and before I knew it I was handing in my dissertation, filled with pride. It was at this time that I realised my time at University had come to an end; the people I had met and shared a communal feeling of excitement and sheer dread with were leaving. Once again I had to pack up and move on, worried about meeting new people and overcoming new obstacles.
This is where we enter the dreaded present tense, I can no longer avoid planning the future and blissfully obsessing over the past. I shall cherish these memories forever but right now I feel it’s time to focus on the next adventure (however scary it may seem.)
When I was applying to come to University people would constantly tell me about how it would change my life and would be the best decision I had ever made. In my first year when I was missing home, I felt anxious about being away from everything I knew and worried that I’d never feel comfortable in Brighton – I remember thinking that those people were wrong and for some reason I was that one unlucky person that just didn’t have the same University experience (because I am an irrevocable and hilariously paranoid cynic like that) but now I see exactly what they meant.
Coming here has allowed me to overcome fears and discover who I am, whilst simultaneously mastering the art of cheap dining. I have met the best people in the world and nurtured friendships that will last forever. I have discovered both good and bad qualities about myself, developed my own beliefs and the understanding that not everyone agrees with them. I have faith that wherever I end up in life, I will meet wonderful people as I truly believe they are everywhere and most importantly I have rekindled an eternal love for Lauryn Hill.
Brighton University has been an absolute blessing and now I look into the future filled with confidence and happiness!