Hey guys, a few people have shown an interest into me doing a university type series, so i thought i’d kick it off with my own experience.
As some of you will be aware i started uni in September 2015. I was super excited and nervous about living away from home, but i was so ready for a new chapter in my life.
When applying for uni, i knew exactly what i wanted to study: dance. It was something that i loved and the thought of dancing everyday made me so happy and so i went to 4 auditions and eventually chose and was accepted into Derby Uni.
The ‘freshers bubble’
So fast forward to September, i moved into my flat on the 10th September. Once i’d moved in, me and my flat mates got on so well and i was certain that this was going to be the best 3 years of my life.
For the first few weeks everything was going perfectly well, yes the days were long and difficult, but i was really enjoying it. I was loving the new found freedom i had. This is what i’d call the ‘freshers bubble’. It wasn’t until the buzz of freshers wore off that things started getting more tricky.
Post ‘freshers bubble’
Things started to get a lot more difficult after this. I found myself not really going out to socialise, i spent a lot of time with my then bf which, i don’t completely regret because he helped me through a lot of difficult times, but i do think meeting people earlier on would have been good for me.
So my first bit of advice would be to try and join a society. Its the easiest way to meet new people, and it will also help get you out more because of the many socials they will hold.
Where did it go wrong?
It started when i found myself not wanting to go to dance. Which to me was super confusing, i was the type of girl at sixthform who would be in the dance studio at any possible oportunity. This is when i started to wonder whether the course was right for me. These were concerns that i spoke about, however everyone kept telling me to ‘give it more time’.
‘Give it more time’
This phrase was something i’d hear a lot for the many months to follow. And i kept listening because deep down i really wanted it to work out. But the more i hung on the worse it got. And finally i decided it was time to talk to the well being centre. But please if any of you are struggling ask for help as soon as you can, please don’t suffer in silence, there is always something that can be done to help you.
I began to have weekly meetings to talk about what was going on and all my worries. It became evident through these meetings that i had anxiety; which was something i’d thought about before but never really delved into.
As the days got harder, i began to get ill again. I have IBS which is mainly triggered by stress. I don’t want to go into too much detail here because i am planning a blog post on it, however, it made me really ill and i started having to miss uni and go to the hospital. Again i wanted to quit, but i was told to ‘give it more time’.
Around this time, not only was i getting ill but i also had many problems going on in my flat. I no longer felt comfortable living their because i was constantly on edge. So i decided to move into another flat, which was honestly the best decision i could have made during my time at uni. So that being said, if you ever have any problems in your flats that don’t seem to be getting resolved that are causing you problems, don’t be afraid to move. I’m so glad i did. I met some amazing people when i moved.
On top of that, the stress and difficulties i was facing began to have an impact on my relationships. Looking back on it, i do think there were occasions where i over reacted a lot because of how i felt in myself. But i also wasn’t in a place where i wanted to talk about things. I kind of just wanted to be in my own little bubble.
‘My own little bubble,’
This is where it all went downhill, i isolated myself from my flatmates, i started skipping uni because i couldn’t force myself to go in and generally things just broke down. Including my relationship, Things were generally crap. I still wanted to leave but still people were telling me to ‘give it more time’,
After the initial break down passed, it sort of pushed me into socialising again. I started interacting with my flat mates, i started going out more, i joined a society and for the month to follow i felt genuinely happy. Yes i still hated uni but i was starting to meet new people and i was loving the social aspect of it. I’d go out at least twice a week, i’d host pre drinks and it was the best time ever.
In January we had refreshers and i made up for all the nights out i’d missed by going to as many events as possible. It was great and i had so much fun however, it still wasn’t perfect and this is where i realised i had a difficult decision to make.
In January i decided that i could no longer carry on doing the course. It wasn’t right to make myself do something that was making me so unhappy and ill. However, i’d always wanted to do psychology so after talking to the uni they agreed to transfer me onto Psychology and Criminology joint honours starting in September and i was and still am super excited.
It wasn’t an easy decision but im so glad i made it. Moving back home gave me the time i needed to make myself happier and healthier.
It doesn’t end there.
With my transfer officially in place i spent the next month or so spending as much time as possible with all the amazing friends i’ve made. The last two months of uni were full of some of the best memories i have and those two months made the whole ordeal worth it. In that time i found who my true friends were, the ones who supported me through all of that, and i met my current bf.
This doesn’t mean i’ve quit dancing for good. I very much still love it, however, doing it as a degree just wasn’t right for me.
The lows were awfully low but they made the highs incredibly worth it. It was a tough year but its an experience that has made me stronger and i can’t wait for the new chapter to start in September.
Bring on freshers 2016, i’m ready for ya!
Side note: I am honestly not trying to scare any one with this story. If anything i am hoping that it will help people. If uni doesn’t work out the way you hope it too there is always an alternative. I hope it will also make you realise that you always have support ready and waiting if you need it and that if something doesn’t feel right you have the options to change it.
At the end of the day yes university is important, attending lectures, getting essays done, But your health and your happiness is way more important, why pay all that money to study something if its negatively impacting your life. You only get one life so live it to the best you can.