Anybody who’s flown the nest to uni and graduated will understand the gaping whole that’s missing once you leave. I had the most amazing, life changing and toughest four years of my life at university. I laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed, but nobody prepares you for life after university.
My time at university flew by.
I was uncertain what I wanted to do after I graduated; do I stay in Bristol and pay over £600 in rent for a place on my own but live independently and in my opinion live in the best city or move back to Devon with my parents, back in my childhood bedroom and feel 16 again?
I weighed up my options over my last year and came to the decision to move back to Devon. It might sound a bit OTT but I had to psych myself up for months about the move, feeling my heart break a little bit more with the thought of not living with my best friend, working with a great bunch of people and not being able to pop to Cribbs Causeway at 8pm to shop.
I kept thinking, ‘This is the last time I’ll be having a Hobgoblin’, ‘This is the last time I’ll have a night out and have my own house to go back to’, ‘This is the last £1 bus journey I’ll have into the city centre’. Everything I felt like I was doing as soon as January 2017 hit, felt like the last time I’d ever do it. Which isn’t true as I have friends who live all over Bristol and I knew that once a month I’d make the short two-hour trip up to take that £1 bus journey to sit by the Harbourside with a cider, washing down my Hobgoblin dirty fries.
However I am a lot wiser now, I’ve got a degree and am working in a graduate role, but there’s a massive part of me that still misses uni, and probably always will. I find myself scrolling through my camera roll once a week, looking back at videos of my housemates and I, having the times of our lives, belly laughing at the childish things we used to do. Such as singing Disney karaoke at the top of our lungs at 10pm on a Tuesday evening, lying in bed hungover at least three mornings a week, stating we were never going to drink again and checking if our pet spider Rupert, was still outside in his little shelter.
I was lucky enough to live in the same house for three of my years in Bristol, which made it even harder. One of the strangest things about being at university is having two homes; I spent the majority of my time at my uni house and when I came back to my childhood bedroom it felt very odd. You sort of spend four years of your life not knowing where you belong.
I know university isn’t for everyone and until I was 17 I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go myself, after my first break up I knew I had to move away and for once, do something for myself. I always hated to be away from home and struggled at the thought of even a few days away from my family, meaning I found my first year at uni very hard. There were plenty of times when I wanted to pack it all in and move back home but I am so glad I stuck it out. Second year was probably one of the best years of my life; constant laughing, partying and making endless memories.
That’s when I knew I did the right thing; I discovered who I was.
I miss being able to go out three times a week, to a different club with the same friends, not having to worry about working a full-time job. Even though I miss uni, those four years have given me some of the best memories, which I can sit back and reminisce on whilst I’m tucked up in bed on a Saturday evening at 9pm, ready to get a good 12 hours sleep to set me up for the week. I went to university to widen my career opportunities and I’m lucky enough to be one of the graduates who’s working in the field they studied. I enjoy working full-time and putting all the skills I’ve learnt to good use whilst also proving to a lot of people that never thought I’d get this far, that I have and will continue to have a successful career.
My advice to anyone who’s dwindling over the thought of whether to go to uni is to take the leap and do it. If I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t even have to give it a second thought. Nothing will prepare you for your final year, I felt like I lived on the silent level of the library for 6 months, counting down the days until my final deadline was over – but I’d even do that all again!
Live your life, enjoy university if it’s something you want to do because I promise you; you won’t forget the experience and those memories will last forever.
I had the most amazing adventure and I wouldn’t change it for the world.