The Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University

The Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University

Starting university can normally lead to one of three things: excitement; fear; or a bit of both. For me, it was definitely the third. I had no idea what to expect on this new journey, and it didn’t help that I wasn’t the most confident person. You almost want to watch a trailer of your university experience to see what you can expect, but as that’s not possible, I’m rounding up just a few of the things I wish I knew before starting university, based off of my own experience.

You’ll grow more than you ever thought you would

I only really noticed this within the last year and a half of my university experience, but it was really the case for me that I changed quite a lot. Although some scenarios still see me become a little shyer potentially than others in the room, my confidence has grown tremendously, which I didn’t really expect to happen. I was (and still am, to some extent) a person that doesn’t express myself fully until you get to know me, but just making that move to get to know people in the beginning really helped. I also put myself out there a little more in different ways, and done things I’d never done before, which really just made me feel a lot better about myself than I ever did. University had quite a positive experience on me, and I can only hope that it does the same for you.

(For all of you that are a bit shy like I was at the beginning, please put yourself out there! You could potentially meet some of the best people, or people that will shape you as a person. Try out that new activity, go to that event, introduce yourself to the person next to you – it may be one of those moments you look back on fondly, and if it’s not, you’ll probably never see that person again because university is MUCH bigger than college and sixth form).

It’s all about balance

I don’t think I made enough time for the social side of university, which probably sounds like a surprise, but I also know from friends that spent too much time on the social side that it’s not entirely beneficial. When I wished that I spent more time going out, I also realised that it’s all about that work/social-life balance: make time for everything, realise what’s smart for you to do at the time (and sometimes you’ll make the wrong decision), and realise it’s okay to say no sometimes!

Don’t listen to everyone else

I can’t stress this enough: unless someone done the exact same course as you at the exact same university, don’t listen to their experiences of how much work you’re going to have to do/what you need to do to get a certain grade! I heard so many things about second year during a degree, but honestly none of them matched up to my own personal experience, so the advice I would give is always prepare yourself, but don’t take everything everyone tells you word for word – everyone’s experience is different.

The more you put in, the more you’ll get out

Pretty self-explanatory really: if you really want to achieve a certain grade at university, you work for it. If you don’t ask for help, you won’t get it. If you want to make the most out of university, put in the effort for it.

There are big things to come

Ending my undergraduate degree made me realise that even though this is the end of a chapter, I’ve still got so much to go! There’s a whole world waiting for you out there, so don’t lean into that common post-university assumption that you go straight into a low-level job at a company you may really like to build experience and go up in the ranks, because the truth is, you could end up doing that, or something completely different – your post-university experience can be whatever you choose it to be.

I would love to know your feelings towards starting university, or if you’re a post-grad, if you related to any of these (if not, have a little laugh about these, and then share your own experiences). If you didn’t go to university, what did you learn from the route you took? Drop them in the comments, or on my Instagram.

Sightseeing In Oxford – My Top 4

I’m finally back (hopefully with a bang), starting off my Oxford series from when I stayed there back in late August. Oxford is by far one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in the UK to date: its beautiful Gothic and Baroque architecture are the star of the show for me, but there’s plenty […]

The Best Olympians To Follow For All The Tokyo 2020 Behind The Scenes

I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics: I love seeing how insanely talented athletes are and watching records get broken with every four years (or rather five, in this case) that passes. I love watching it with my family, and seeing the spirit of the nation rise with every medal that’s achieved. What I’ve […]

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The Truth About Being In A Rut – The Process Of Getting Over It

The Truth About Being In A Rut – The Process Of Getting Over It

It’s official: I’m in a rut. Ever since finishing university, I’ve been in this “I don’t want to do anything” phase, which I thought would last a couple days. A couple days turned into a month, and here we are now.

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5 Ways To Spread Mental Health Awareness And Support Those Who Are Struggling

5 Ways To Spread Mental Health Awareness And Support Those Who Are Struggling

For those who don’t know, Monday 10th May to Sunday 16th May 2021 marks Mental Health Awareness Week! While mental health should always be in the spotlight, this week (and month) allows us to shine a light on exactly how we can help each other during tough times. As someone who has been vocal about my own anxiety in the past, I wanted to make this post to remind others that you don’t need to give people the world in order to help out – it can be as simple as clicking a button.

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“What’s next for you?” – Let’s Talk

“What’s next for you?” – Let’s Talk

As I approach my 21st birthday, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future: I’m in my last year of university, and in a global pandemic – a combination I never saw coming. There’s always this pressure from adults around you as you approach the big 2-1, and even more so in your final year, to know what you’re doing next – I think a lot of us can relate. I received this question back in February, but now feels like the right time to answer it.

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A Letter To Everyone: Do You Get it Now? Any Woman You Know Could Have Been Sarah

A Letter To Everyone: Do You Get it Now? Any Woman You Know Could Have Been Sarah

TW: sexual assault

I’m sure that by now, we have all heard the news about the killing of Sarah Everard. If you haven’t, hopefully this will give you more insight. If you have, I wanted to explain why I’m writing this: ever since I heard this story, it has hit me hard. I always grew up with my parents wanting me to text them whenever I get somewhere, or them teaching me what to do to be ‘street safe’. I remember my secondary school PE teacher once giving us girls a lesson on what to do if a car pulls up beside you, and telling us to keep our keys between our knuckles for self-defence. I’ve been taught to be what I thought was hyper-aware of what’s around me always, but this story more than ever proves you can’t be too aware, because there’s some really horrible people in this world.

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The Teenage Cancer Trust – Who They Are, The Challenge And Why You Should Donate

The Teenage Cancer Trust – Who They Are, The Challenge And Why You Should Donate

Last month, an old school friend of mine (hi Sofia, if you’re reading!) reached out to me and told me about this 2800 Squat Challenge she’s doing as a charity fundraiser. She told me it was for the Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity I’d never heard of but I thought the name was pretty self-explanatory. Together, along with another old classmate, took on the challenge together to do 2800 squats each in the month of February and posted a fundraiser on Facebook. Today is the last day of the challenge, and I wanted to share what I’ve learnt about the charity and what they do, as well as how I got on with the challenge. I will leave some links at the end on how you can donate (and please do if you can – every little helps!)

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Why You Need To Embrace Your Body and Stop Wanting What Others Have

Why You Need To Embrace Your Body and Stop Wanting What Others Have

“I wish I looked like ____”

“I wish I had her stomach”

“I hate my legs”

“I wish-“

Let me stop you there. We’ve heard all this self-loathing before. We’ve all been there. If anything, it’s promoted all over social media to desire what other people have. I’m a big fan of social media and I’m also a big fan of appreciating other people’s features, but I’m going to draw the line at desiring. What’s wrong with what we already have?

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“I Want To Start A Blog But I Don’t Know Where To Begin. Any Tips?” – Let’s Talk

“I Want To Start A Blog But I Don’t Know Where To Begin. Any Tips?” – Let’s Talk

Starting a blog was a huge milestone in my life, but I just didn’t know it at the time. It’s something that I always wanted to do, having loved writing from such a young age, but I just didn’t know where to begin and I was beyond nervous of what everyone else would think. I remember constantly googling “how to start a blog” or “blog ideas” for years before I actually made the move.

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My One Year Blogiversary : A Year In Review

My One Year Blogiversary : A Year In Review

Where do I begin? I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started blogging already!

This time last year, I had come back from an amazing, last minute trip to Amsterdam and was filled with inspiration. I finally had that buzz to just write and thought that this was the perfect topic to start my blog: 72 hours in Amsterdam: the must-see sites. That’s how this blog was born.

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You Are Never Alone – Mental Health Links And Helplines For Whenever You Need It

You Are Never Alone – Mental Health Links And Helplines For Whenever You Need It

Coronavirus has really impacted on the mental health of millions of people around the world. For my non-UK readers, the majority of the UK are in lockdown, meaning we’re once again restricted from living our everyday lives, which has massively taken a toll on many of us.

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It’s Time To Romanticise Your Life – Blogmas Day 8

It’s Time To Romanticise Your Life – Blogmas Day 8

“In the movies, we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.”

“You’re so right. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God’s sake.”

The Holiday (2006)

If you’re active on social media, I’m sure we’ve all seen or heard that one audio clip that starts “you’ve got to start romanticising your life…” (if you haven’t, where have you been?). Although repetitive, the clip never fails to inspire me mentally to go and do all the things I want to do – the question is though, what stops me physically?

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Acts Of Kindness You Can Do This Christmas – Blogmas Day 7

Acts Of Kindness You Can Do This Christmas – Blogmas Day 7

It’s the time for giving, so why not create a blog post with random acts of kindness you can do this Christmas? I believe that you should always give what you can, no matter what time of year it is, but this is always the time that people tend to give more. Especially with the year we’ve all just had, people may need these acts of kindness now more than ever.

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The Essential Lockdown Care Package

The Essential Lockdown Care Package

After seeing a post over on the British Black Girl’s Instagram , she created a ‘covid care package’, I thought this was something that was right up my street. I love the idea of creating care packages, so I thought I’d try my own virtual one for a change!

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