University has always been a goal for me, ever since I was little. This was partially due to hearing my Mum’s University lifestyle stories, but also due to my burning passion to learn.
However, on completely my A Levels, I had zero motivation to start looking for prospective Universities or to even consider picking up a novel, and I was in no place to rush such a huge decision. I chose to procrastinate and took a gap year, one of the best decisions I have ever made, because let’s face it – University is SUCH a big decision nowadays – we have extortionate tuition fees to thank for that! But I’d better move on before I get too heated on that subject…
In that year, I worked two jobs and spent lots of money on a holiday with my friends and many nights out enjoying my freedom as many 18-year-olds desire to do! I made some wonderful memories in that year. I spent quality time with my friends and family, and importantly it was also in my gap year that I first started to get close with my boyfriend, Dan <3
Here are a few photos of the great experiences I created with my friends in my gap year:
As you can see, no part of me regrets taking my gap year to sort my head out and to enjoy a little part of my early adulthood!
I am now in my third and final year at University of Lincoln, my dissertation is behind me, and there are just a few assignments and one exam between me and that graduation cap!
With the last few years of experience behind me, I thought now would be the perfect time to share with you why I am so glad to have taken the leap and to have gone to University.
So here are my 7 things I have gained through going to University
1. Life skills
This one seems pretty vague – but I shall elaborate. I never really thought about the details when I eventually did decide to go to University. I only thought of my education, the friends I was hoping to make and finding a place to work. But one VERY important thing I have learned is how to live independently and more importantly, how to take care of myself. Two years on and I am a fairly confident cook, and actually enjoy planning and preparing my evening meals. I look forward to laundry day, I separate my washes by colour, I can iron efficiently and have created a cleaning rota for my house mates… [I rule with an iron fist]. I’m actually kinda dreading going back home and having to work as a team to get these daily activities done.
2. A new-found respect for money
Wow… They weren’t kidding me when they talked and laughed about the poverty of students today. I’m in that rubbish middle bracket according to Student Finance, and therefore receive… well, not enough to cover rent. My family are unable to subsidise me through University [regardless of what Student Finance have concluded], which meant that I have had to work two jobs. I work at Tesco full time, transferring from my store at University to my store back home in the holidays. My second job is doing administration work in an office in Cambridge in the holidays. The lack of free time sucks, but it has got to be done in order to survive unfortunately. One good outcome however: I am SO much better with money than my three years younger self.
3. SO MUCH KNOWLEDGE
Although this seems like a given, I cannot believe how much I have learned over the past two years when I think about it. There are so many theories, theorists and novelists which have changed my life, and I may have never even encountered them were it not for this degree! An example? FEMINISM! I honestly did not know what feminism was before I came to University, though I have always believed in gender equality. It feels so great now to be able to say “I’m a feminist” and to share my beliefs and to have the knowledge and confidence to talk about big issues within society!
4. The love of my life
Coming to University forced Dan to make a decision as to where our relationship was going, and he drove the 90 miles to see me on my first weekend, which really proved to me his commitment. What can I say? We have been best friends for three years, dating for two. Long distance relationships can be hard, but we make it work. He is absolutely amaaazing. We squeeze in short phone calls throughout the week and he drives up to visit me each and every weekend [I’d hate to think what I owe him in petrol money]. Dan truly is my rock, I’d be totally lost without him.
5. Time management skills
I cannot stress this one enough! Before I came to University I was a very ‘last minute’ type of person. I skipped breakfast, I snoozed my alarm and I was always arriving to work two seconds before my shift started. Having four novels to read in a week, alongside socialising, 12+ hours at work and making time for friends and my boyfriend have taught me that I can no longer be that kind of person! Now I set an alarm thirty minutes before I actually have to get up [whether I actually wake up to it is another issue entirely].
6. The most amazing friends I could ask for
I have met some of the most amazing people at University, and have made friends for life in my house mates. In particular, Katie [my best friend], Tom and Dan. These guys are so incredible and I know that we will continue to meet up afer graduation. The thought of not living with them next year literally brings me to tears. In them I have found a real support system, and I will cherish their friendship forever!
7. The unforgettable memories
If there’s one thing I’ll definitely be taking with be after the last two years, it’s a wonderful set of invaluable memories which can never be replaced!
I hope you have enjoyed this post! Are you a student at University? Do you have any burning questions which are slowing your decision? Please comment below with your experiences of University!
Thank you so much for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on my other social media accounts! Links are posted in the sidebar!