September 25, 2020, by Issy
Dealing with the good, the bad and the downright ridiculous parts of uni life – Part 2: The Bad
I’m now in my 4th year at university, and it’s only with new students arriving this term, some of whom were born in 2002 (unfathomable to me, a 90s baby!) that I have realised that actually, I have now spent *quite a significant* amount of time at university and in doing so, have had a lot of experiences and in turn, learnt a lot of lessons which some people may benefit from reading about. So, here goes: the good, the bad, and the downright ridiculous of my life at uni so far. Part two : the bad parts, which, although it may not seem it when you sit aimlessly scrolling through social media, looking at everyone else’s highlights reels, are inevitable. Everyone has bad days, it’s part of life. I want to talk you through some of the less pleasant experiences I have had at university, and the lessons I have learnt from them.
“You will meet your soulmate at university”, “Your future partner is out there waiting for you!”, “He might sit next to you tomorrow and you never know it!”.
Sound familiar? Yes. Have any of them actually proven true for you? Nope. Well, not in my case anyway (for some lucky people, they may ring true… I may be just a little bit envious!). To be completely honest, I tend to spend a lot of time sitting in my room thinking ‘will I be alone forever?’, it certainly feels like it sometimes – I have entered that phase in my life where I’m scrolling through Facebook and I see friends from school announcing anniversaries, engagements, marriages, and even pregnancies and births! Don’t get me wrong, I’m so immensely delighted for them (and excited by the prospect of having babies to hug and play with – baby fever activated!) but it does make me wonder whether I too will ever get to announce these milestones to my nearest and dearest. I have had my fair share of relationships and ‘its complicated’ situations, but definitely fewer as I’ve got older. I know how horrible it feels to end things with someone who really did mean a lot to you, often just as you move to uni you make that decision to go your separate ways, or someone you meet at uni graduates, or things just don’t work out. Definitely hurts. But, and this is just as much me telling this to myself as I write this, things will work out in the end. It may *seem* that everyone has met their soulmate, but honestly, how much do I really know at 21? I have my whole life ahead of me still, to seize more opportunities and find someone who gets me and appreciates me for who I am.
An all too common experience for first and second year me. But, by third year, I sort of managed to get myself back on track: here’s what I learnt.
I’m sure you can relate to the jump between GCSE and post-16 education in terms of content and difficulty. It seemed there was so much more to learn, in a shorter space of time. For me, I noticed my grades suddenly drop in Y12: I blamed it on myself ‘just not being good enough’, but hey, I got into university didn’t I? So I must have pulled things together. But, then, the same thing happened as I entered 1st year. Same amount of effort, grades dropped. It was so frustrating. I really felt like I wasn’t cut out for my course: no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to stop my grades dropping. It made me really dread going back to university in the exam season, as I had lost all self confidence in my academic abilities.
However, and I didn’t notice this at the time, I had a really fixed mindset. I only revised through effectively rewriting textbooks, and didn’t think to change this revision technique even though it didn’t seem to be working, whatsoever. It was only towards the end of my second year (yes, it took THAT long) that I had the revelation that perhaps I should try another revision technique. I tried out flashcards, and recall methods of revision, and sure enough, suddenly my marks started increasing again, slowly, but surely. At the end of my third year, I came out with a degree I was happy with, and felt able to begin to try this technique of being open to try out new things in more aspects in my life – such as trying new sports and societies. I would recommend it to anyone: trial and error is so necessary in your first couple of years to be able to work out that works best for you, and know there is always something to fall back on: the method that got you into uni in the first place.
Not much to say about this one. I just really, really don’t like them. I may be asthmatic which gives me an actual reason to (or, just unfit), but, honestly, every time I have to trek up from the tram stop to Cripps Health Centre up Keighton Hill, I will try and plan a route that avoids the hill as much as possible. Hint, to save you the trouble: there’s always a hill. It’s unavoidable. I guess what I have learnt from this one is that I need to look at the positives: at least I get some (painful) exercise, and my step count goes up.
Part 1: The Good
Part 3: The Downright Ridiculous