In a week I head back to Leeds, and although there is still a while until my final year actually starts, I’m already starting to worry about what life might hold after it and I already have a strange sense of nostalgia.
The truth is that for me, university wasn’t everything I wanted it to be, at least not straight away. I found the majority of my first year incredibly lonely and overwhelming, which was something I hadn’t experienced before. I think perhaps we hear so many stories about how amazing it is and how you meet so many people who become your friends for life that you’re not prepared for what happens when it doesn’t meet those expectations. I found it could be quite isolating. I loved being in a city though and pushed myself to keep meeting people and by the end of the year, I was sad to leave it all.
Second year was much better, I felt far more settled and preferred being in a house. I surrounded myself with like minded people, made sure my days were busy and took advantage of opportunities that came my way and the city I was in. I spent a lot of the year laughing and doing things that made me happy with people who made me happy.
But now, I’m thinking about my final year, about all the things I said I would do at university but haven’t, about how quickly it’s all gone and about what I’m going to do after it’s over. It’s not that I’ve got no idea what I want to do, it’s that there are so many things, I have so many different paths I could go down. I need to remember that there’s no rush, I have 9 years left of my twenties and as hyped up as they are, there are plenty of years after them. I guess I just have to make the most of what is planned, because after that who knows where I’ll be.
So this year, I’m going to work, yes, but I’m also going to join the societies I didn’t quite get round to joining and explore the city a bit more. I promised my mum I’d do a night of stand up comedy but perhaps that’s still a bit far-fetched. I want to actually do my readings so that there’s less late night library sessions and more time spent with friends.
Most importantly, I’m going to try not to compare my experiences with everyone else’s, because I’m pretty sure they’re probably just as stressed about it all as me.