September 29, 2019, by Shweta
It’s ok to not be having the best time of your life at university
“I’m having the best year ever”
“Fresher’s is going to be unforgettable!”
“Fresher’s was a non-stop party”
These are all things I heard people say during my first year at university and I absolutely hated myself for not being able to relate. Ever since I was a little girl, I looked forward to the fun, independent life that is synonymous with university. When I first arrived at university, I had already looked up every fair, club night and bar crawl that the SU had to offer. I couldn’t wait to live the year that everyone nostalgically looks back at even decades later. Unfortunately, none of that materialised for me. In fact, first year was probably one of the most difficult transitions of my life.
For those of you who have just joined us, you will be told all sorts of things about how this should be the best experience of your life. And it may turn out to be! But if it doesn’t, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re so much more than your Fresher’s experience and your life will give you so much more to be grateful for.
My first year was plagued by homesickness, adjustment issues, academic stress, personal failings and mental illness. But you wouldn’t have seen any of this on my Instagram. What you would’ve seen is just another first year having the time of her life. Social media has an increasingly bad reputation for harbouring lies and it couldn’t be truer in your time at university. Whilst your followers may be tanning in Santorini or staying up all night at Crisis, you might be living your worst 9-5 nightmare already. But remember that you cannot compare someone else’s highlights reel to your behind-the-scenes shot. Every single person in this world is fighting their own battle and those pictures don’t always portray the full truth. Don’t let social media become your enemy. Use it to inspire you instead. Use it to motivate you. Use it to help you grow.
Most of you will only be on the cusp of turning 20 when you start at university. Don’t let anybody fool you; your 20s are meant to be uncomfortable. This is when you should be working your hardest. This is when you should be saving. This is when you should be learning and growing. Invest in yourself and your future so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor in a couple years. You won’t regret it.
Having said all this, don’t hate on those who may have it better than you. Like I said earlier, everyone has a deeper story that you know nothing about. Moreover, no two people are the same and while what may be a day in the life for your friend, may be a luxury for you, a routine for you can be someone else’s biggest dream.
You’re at university. You’ve made it! You’re on the cusp of adulthood and yes, you should try your best to enjoy it. Try new things, meet new people, and have a blast. But don’t let your time at university define you. Good or bad, you are more than your Fresher’s experience. Don’t ever forget that!
Until next time,