The last three years at Uni has been a bag of emotions, filled with memories that I never want to forget and more late night library visits than I care to remember.
University throws so many things straight at you, some of them you never expect. For me, I went through a long term, long distance relationship breakup, emergency hospital trip across the country, hard drive failures, learning to drive, learning money management, i’ve lost friends along the way but also gained them (you really learn who you need in your life and who to cut out) and yet that doesnt even skim the surface of trying to sum up the last three years.
I have never experience anything quite like University before and I doubt that I ever will again.
So leaving is hard.
You leave the place where you have full independence over your whole life; you can eat when you want, sleep when you want, clean when you want, or not clean at all, you dont have to announce when you’re going out or arrange your own plans around other peoples; when you come home all of that stops, you feel like you have regressed back to before you left. This isn’t to say that you haven’t missed being with your family and your friends, and your mums cooking is sssoooooo much better than your own, obviously you have missed eating the best roast dinner in the world, but it’s so difficult to swap back to how you were before you moved out.
You also leave behind some of the best friends that you will ever make, it might be your course mates, or your housemates, might even be the very first person you spoke to in the SU and haven’t left each others side since, and all of a sudden, you don’t have them there anymore. Sometimes they are doing another year, living in the house that you lived in with them last year, but someone else is in the bed you slept in for a year, and you feel like they are taking your spot. You’ll never find anyone else that knows what you’re going through to an exact degree as much as those people there, they only know how to keep you sane when you have 3000 words of your dissertation still to do and you’re already losing the will to live.
I have definitely felt waves of loneliness since I have been home, which is crazy because there are so many people around you all the time, at the minute my younger brother works in a pub kitchen , so during the week he’s only in the bedroom next to me, my parents are home every night, I work weekends where I work with other people all the time, and my boyfriend only lives down the road, I have no need to be lonely, but I have been plucked out of an environment where I have a bunch of people around me that are all going through the exact same thing; Uni, deadlines, never having any money; so to now be in a place where everyone isn’t in that position, it is difficult to feel like I am doing the right thing, or that I should be working on this particular job, or when other people have an opinion on the work that you’re doing but they don’t really have a clue what work you’re doing.
I am almost craving a 9-5 job, so I can leave the house during the day, come home, relax and then do the whole thing again, having a routine is really important to my mental health in terms of motivation. When I don’t have a routine, I flag, then I don’t leave the house, and after a couple of days i’m starting to go as mad as a dog that hasn’t been walked for a week. I’m the sort of person who needs to leave the house every day, and being in plymouth meant that I could take an hour, walk into town, so a bit of window shopping, come home and work, but living where I do now, unless its good weather, I do sometimes feel like I have no where to go.
When I get up and get dressed, do my make up and sort out the mop on top of my head, I feel like I have myself in order. It means that I can get work done, and when I have to be in the mindset of creating content all the time, I can’t afford to be chasing my own tail and chewing on chair legs!
This is the time of year that I would be heading back to Plymouth to start another year, Instead this year, I headed back to Plymouth with all my family in tow to Graduate. Graduation was an amazing day, full of laugh and smiles and an overwhelming acknowledgment that the tears, working into the early hours and reaching the end of your overdraft limit has paid off and been worth it. But with those highs comes the realisation that you’re not a student any more, all those job rejection letters you have received needs to turn into invitations to interviews, and that you’re not going to receive another term of student loan so this time, you really are poor.
Until the point of hearing your name being called and walking across the stage, the realisation of it being over hasn’t really hit, and all of a sudden you’re overcome with a wave of emotion, because this is the last point of being a student, before you have to be a ‘real adult’.
Although I am so ready to be finished with education, there is an overwhelming sadness that comes with leaving, one that you don’t know how to react to. After a summer of knowing that I have finished, and even after graduation, I still don’t know how I should be feeling.
After searching for a job for the last few months but not finding anything, I have decided to try and give self employment a go. I am going to throw myself into being a freelance Photographer, get as much work from my own back as I can to try and make myself into a success.
Leaving Uni has been hard, and although the summer has been great fun, it’s time for me to try and start putting what I have learnt into action, and fingers crossed, I can visit my old housemates next year with a successful start up business!