My First Year At University / What I Learnt

My first year at university is officially over! I cannot believe how quick that has gone and I don’t think I’m ready to remove my title as a ‘fresher’. However, I have also learnt a lot about life since moving to university and I would like to share those with you today.

-Long Distance Relationships are hard-
I have been in a relationship for (almost) three years, and moving to university was the first time that I had been separated from my boyfriend. We both moved to different universities, creating a 4 hour distance between us where our only form of seeing each other involves paying £60 for three different train journeys. We would only see each other for 2 days each month. Considering we used to see each other daily before uni, I didn’t cope with the distance too well.
My main piece of advice when going through a long distance relationship would be to remember how you feel when you’re with your partner, and use that as motivation to keep on going. I am the happiest when I am with my boyfriend, but we have had so many downfalls to our relationship since moving to uni. This is because we can only communicate through text messages, Skype (which crashes ALL the time), and fuzzy phone calls. It’s really difficult and there have been so many times when I have felt detached from my boyfriend and as though I don’t know him anymore, but it’s always immediately resolved when we are together. So the distance may be a hurdle, but it’s worth jumping over because of how happy he makes me.

-Flatmates will always annoy you-
Luckily, I was blessed with flatmates that I actually like. There have been times where I’ve complained about them and disliked them for a few days, but the negativity is never long-lasting. My main issues with my flatmates are noise (WHY DO THEY PLAY THEIR MUSIC SO LOUD???) and mess (clean up your dirty dishes, please!). However, I have most probably annoyed them way more than they annoy me, as I’m not exactly the greatest person to live with.
Basically, I loved my flatmates this year so much that I am going to be living with them in second year too. I have had flatmate troubles at the beginning of the academic year where someone had to move out in order to stop the drama, but now everything is smooth-sailing. Although my flatmates annoy me over the littlest things, I feel really lucky to be living with them.

-Money doesn't grow on trees-
This one is obvious – I’m a student, so I’m broke. However, I live right next to Aldi, which is perfect for people on a budget. I usually spend around £5 on a weekly shop and rarely treat myself to items I don’t need. I guess that’s a good way of budgeting, as I’m in a stable position now and don’t have to worry about whether I will have enough money for food next week. It’s crazy how much money you save when you stop buying unnecessary items.

-I'm the worst drunk you will ever meet-
I don’t even want to talk about this one. But let’s just say that moving to uni has taught me that I need to tone it down on the alcohol – and that I’m not good at getting vomit out of carpets.

One of the main reasons why I’m glad I moved to a different city on my own for university is that I am so independent now. Before university, I relied on my parents for everything. However, moving to university taught me how to manage my finances, how to look after myself, how to clean and cook, and more useful skills that will benefit me in the future. I settled into university extremely quickly and rarely felt homesick, and I think this is a good indication that I am independent and can look after myself. I wouldn’t have felt this way if I stayed at home instead of moving away.

-Making friends becomes natural-
Being someone who has difficulty in social situations (due to my Asperger’s syndrome), I’m really surprised that I have a group of amazing friends. Like, how did that happen?! I’ve never been a sociable person and I’ve never had a large group of friends – usually I’ve only been friends with one girl from back home and my boyfriend. However, moving to university automatically gives you friends; there’s too many people here for you to NOT make friends. My flatmates became my friends, and my coursemates did too. I’ve met the most amazing people at university and my confidence levels have risen due to gaining friends. My friends have given me incredible experiences which I never thought I’d have, because I never thought I’d make friends! If someone as socially awkward as me can make a group of friends, then anyone can.

-My immune system is stronger-
Living in an environment where hygiene isn’t 100% perfect means that my immune system is stronger and I rarely get ill. Our cleaner would only arrive once every 2 weeks here in my accommodation, meaning the flat could get quite dirty at times. However, this has actually benefited me as I don’t get ill and I now know how to clean (kinda).

-Time flies-

My first year at university has gone so quickly that I felt it flash before my eyes. I’m glad I didn’t take any of my moments for granted and appreciated each experience.

I’m really sad that my first year is over but I’m so happy with what I’ve learnt. I feel like a completely changed person, and I love myself a lot more than I did before I moved to university.

One year down, two to go.



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