Skip to main content

My University Reality


Before going to University in England, I was extremely excited. Of course, I was slightly nervous because I was going to live there for the first time and I wasn’t sure my English would be good enough, as I knew I had a foreign accent and I wasn’t familiar with any slang. The overall feeling, though, was excitement. I am now half-way through my degree, having finished my second year and preparing for my year abroad in Italy that will start in September. When I look back on my first year especially and second year, I can honestly say that my university experience is nothing like I expected it to be.

I guess many of us want to use university (or any new school/location) to reinvent ourselves and give out a better version of who we are. I didn’t think too badly of the person I was before starting university but I did want to become a confident person who
would manage to have many friends, go on many nights out and bump into acquaintances without seeming awkward and wanting to run. It worked for the first couple of weeks; I befriended my flat mates, spoke to strangers on campus and even spoke to people on my course. It all seemed to be going fine and I could already imagine the year surrounded by all the people I had met. But little by little I felt my social anxiety creeping in, and taking control of many aspects of my life. It made me go back to my comfort zone and be absolutely terrified of meeting anyone I wasn’t already comfortable with; in fact the friends I still have now are the ones I met in those first couple of weeks.

My friends and I realised that if you didn’t sign up to join any society, it was quite difficult to make new friends. We’d see big groups of people hanging out together and going out thanks to organised events from their respective societies. Before arriving at uni I thought I would sign up to plenty of them and have a great social life; but at the fresher’s fair where there were all the displays, I found myself barely being able to talk to the society representatives, let alone actually go to the meetings and try-outs. So I stayed in my own little bubble with the couple people I already knew. I did manage to attend a couple sessions from one society, but I quit after a couple weeks as it wasn’t really my thing.

In all fairness, I am someone who values quality over quantity so I was never too disappointed not to have tons of fake friends and was glad I managed to find a couple good ones; but  even despite loving my course, I was never happy. I felt like I was failing the university experience and that I was clearly doing something wrong. Depression and social anxiety dominated my first year and prevented me from having the life I wished to have and being the person I dreamt of being. University opened my eyes to the fact that so many people were suffering; the feeling of loneliness was felt by a great deal of people, and too many were dealing with their mental illhealth to be able to enjoy university. I guess that’s a part that films and tv shows never show you. I was too na├»ve to believe that it would be as perfect as I’d seen it on tv, with everyone being loving, welcoming and non-judgemental.

My second year was much better, even though not amazing, and I think part of it was due to the fact that I accepted that university wasn’t what I expected. I got over the fact that I wouldn’t make hundreds of friends and that I should be content with the couple ones I’m proud to call best friends. We shouldn’t try to make our experience similar to the ones we’ve seen on screen or the ones other people have told us about; each experience is unique and depends on the individual’s personality. There’s nothing shameful in only having a few friends, not getting drunk every week and actually attending lectures and seminars. I look forward to my Erasmus year as I feel it’ll open a new chapter and hopefully be better than the last couple of years, since I feel more prepared and open to the fact that I won’t know everyone there.

To anyone starting university or any type of new adventure, I wish you the best of luck and that you will be able to meet amazing people and be happy. Not all experiences are the same, and that’s okay. Just be sure to make yours your own.  
Lots of love,
Eleonore

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Living with Social Anxiety

As soon as I started blogging, I wanted to address social anxiety. It’s apparently one of the most common mental disorders, but like for a majority of mental illnesses, it is often misunderstood. Many people think social anxiety is just another term for ‘shyness’, but there’s so much more to it than just feeling a little uncomfortable in social situations.
It’s difficult to explain what it really is, and for people who don’t experience it to fully understand, because in some cases the thoughts that go through our head aren’t rational. What may seem like the easiest thing for you, is actually extremely difficult for us. Everyone experiences social anxiety differently; a situation that makes me very anxious can be easy to deal with for someone else, and vice versa.

I Like Boys...and Girls

I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for quite a while now, but without ever being sure of the approach I wanted to take. As the title suggests, I’ll be writing about the fact that I am bisexual. It wasn’t an easy journey, nor a romantic one that can be seen in films – where one takes a glance at a beautiful girl and they instantly fall in love and are able to discover their sexuality together, or with one helping the other. It was an emotional journey full of confusion, doubt and shame. I’m not sure whether or not I can say I’ve truly found and understood myself now, but at least I’ve accepted myself – which is more than I could’ve wished for a couple years back.



The Liebster Award

Something I love about the blogging community is being able to discover new blogs about any topic and finding like-minded writers. The people I’ve come across have all been very supportive, and it’s especially helpful when you’re a still a newbie! I want to thank Anjo for nominating me for the Liebster award, you can find her helpful and colourful blog over HERE. It covers topics from travelling to food, with motivational posts as well. 
Here are The Official Rules of the Liebster Award
Write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:
1.Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2.Display the award on your blog – by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
3.Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will