So it appears that after a year of living it up in the south of France for my year abroad, followed by a long old summer spent relaxing in the Greek Islands, I actually have to come back down to reality. A reality that involves abysmal weather, multiple essay deadlines and a student house that is all but falling apart. Yep, you guessed it, I’m talking about university.
I feel like after taking a year out (a year which just so happened to be one of the best years of my life), I felt quite distanced from my university experience in the UK. It was something that felt somewhat like an old memory, yet simultaneously, the prospect of going back loomed over me like some omnipresent cloud during the final summer months. I must admit that I was quite conflicted about the prospect of going back to uni, and in many ways, I still am.
It’s fair to say that my return didn’t get off to the best start when I managed to lock myself in my bathroom within the first half an hour of moving in – without a phone or any other housemates in the house might I add. If you follow me on my instagram then you will know very well how the bathroom saga played out, and incidentally became more of a series, with myself, my landlord, and two of my other housemates all managing to lock ourselves in at different times. For those of you who don’t know, all I can say is thank GOD for Ian the virgin media man who was working in the kitchen downstairs and (after extensive banging and shouting on my part) prevented me from starving to death in that toilet. Me? Dramatic? I don’t think so.
So after scaring myself into never locking my bathroom door ever again, I felt like I finally started to settle into the house. That was when our kitchen unit decided to fall off the wall, almost decapitating my housemate in the process, breaking a whole load of crockery and most importantly, smashing my mango chutney to smithereens. Since then I’ve started to question my sanity walking round this house in anything but steel capped boots and a hard hat. However, much to my relief, there haven’t been any more casualties. Although I am still yet to replace my mango chutney.
Of course, these housing dramas are all part and parcel of being a uni student, in fact they’re pretty much a rite of passage, ‘teething issues’ shall we say. So for now I’ll just be thankful for the funny stories to tell. But aside from this, there are a few other things making me conflicted about my return to Birmingham as a fourth year. A fourth year. Wow, am I old? I certainly felt old when I didn’t recognise a single face in my local pub, or when I went out a few times in freshers and subsequently felt like retiring for the rest of the year. You’re 21 Alice, get a grip. Yes, aside from this, I think it’s simply the general prospect of final year workload that is putting me off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hard worker, but I’m also a perfectionist, and my own toughest critic, so the prospect of the work (not to mention the dreaded dissertation) is worrying me to say the least.
This isn’t meant to be a negative post, and in reality, I am glad to be back with my friends, finding a new routine, and working towards my degree (despite the stress), but I am definitely not going to underestimate the difficulty of this year. To most people who have asked me ‘how are you feeling to be back?‘, a question that crops up multiple times a day when you’re in a cohort of students fresh out of their year abroad, I always give the same answer. I’m glad to be back in Birmingham, I love my uni, I love the uni experience and the opportunities it has given me, but in regards to my studies, I’m completely unprepared and somewhat terrified. Is this normal? From the stories I’ve heard from my now-graduate friends, apparently it is. So I am trying my hardest to suppress the ball of stress growing within me, and enjoy all the other great aspects of university life.
If you’re currently anxiously entering into your final year, I can’t offer you much in the way of advice, because the odds are that I’m equally, if not infinitely more lost than you are right now. But what I will say, is that we should try to take a step back, breathe and try not to forget all the other great things about university aside from the degree itself. After all, as every adult you ever come into contact with will remind you, ‘it will be over before you know it!’
We got this guys.
Are you a university student? If so, how are you feeling about going back to university? If not, what’s your opinion of university? Do you have any big life changes going on at the moment?
If you liked this post then please please please subscribe to my blog via WordPress or email so you can get all my posts delivered to your inbox- how magical!
If you want more blog updates and other content then you can also follow my instagram!