So, today’s post is about university and my first year experience. As the year comes to a close, I have some time to reflect on this whirlwind of a journey from September to now. It’s been a lot, I’ve had my ups and downs, but I have had the best time. Let’s start at the beginning.
For a while, I wasn’t even going to university
I left it fairly late to submit my university application, I had no idea what course I wanted to take or which universities I would apply to. After several emotional breakdowns and meetings with a careers counsellor, I made the decision to apply, and I haven’t looked back since. Choosing a uni was difficult, but in the end I chose 4: Bristol, Bath, Southampton and Winchester.
Obtaining the grades was stressful
As someone who doesn’t cope the best under stress, revising for my A2 exams put me in a very anxious place. Three of the unis I applied to were Russell group, (I will leave a link here explaining what that means) which I think made me put even more pressure on myself simply due to this. At the end of the day, this ‘status’ is almost meaningless.
I worked my ass off throughout the whole of my second year of college, determined to achieve the grades needed to get into Bristol. And well, I did! I was absolutely over the moon, and really didn’t believe I could do it! But here we are coming to the end of my first year as a Psychology undergraduate! (Wow it sounds strange typing that). So, hard work really does pay off.
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For first year, I have lived in student accommodation, in a flat with 9 others. This in itself was a big step for me. It took me a good few months to get to grips with cooking, washing and generally looking after myself. This was a completely new experience, but one that has shaped me into a more independent and confident person. It was a very emotional day when I packed up my life at home and moved 3 hours away, it felt so abnormal. In hindsight, I’m so glad I picked a uni slightly further from home, it’s been a positive change in my life.
Meeting new people
The social side of uni was the element I was most afraid of. How was I going to make friends? Who would I talk to? Would I even make any friends? These thoughts circulated my head in the weeks leading up to moving out. However, what I needed to remember was that every other person was in the same position as me. We had all moved to a new place full of strangers. I was very lucky to be put with great flatmates, and I have also made great friends on my course.
The course and workload
The jump from A Level to Degree felt more like a leap across a never ending canyon! It was a completely different academic experience. Until I came to uni, I had never used references in my essays, written a fully scientific piece of writing, or calculated statistical tests. It was all very full on to begin with! As the year progressed, the concepts became clearer and my writing improved, and at the moment I am sitting at about a 2:1, which I couldn’t be more happy with.
So there we have a pretty long and detailed reflection on my university experience. It has been a fantastic thing for me, and if you are considering applying, I wish you all the best! Have you been to uni/going? Let me know about your experience below!
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