1. You will make new friends, but old friends may not stick around for as long as you thought they would.
As I get older, I have realised many things about friendship. Firstly, it is completely unimportant to have a million friends just to say you have friends. This is not only unrealistic, but also extremely time-consuming and the magnet for drama. As I continue to make unbeknown habits of obsessing over little things and letting them ruin my day, having too many friends that weren’t really my friends made me feel insecure and unbalanced, as I was constantly scared about where I stood with many of them. It also meant that if I didn’t see them for a while, the ‘group’ would tend to disappear without me, as I had missed out on memories or felt left out of inside jokes or not being involved. Now I am ok with having one or two solid, best friends who I know I don’t have to talk to everyday, but when we do, it is like nothing changed. It makes me feel more secure and I also know that no matter what, they are there for life.
Secondly, losing friends is not the end of the world. People change and move on with their lives, and so do you. It is ok that you don’t speak to certain people as much any more, and it is also ok to let people go too. If anything, it shows that they weren’t really friends in the first place.
2. Never lose your social life for studying, and especially, for work.
I have always been a workaholic and have an exceptional skill at being busy all the time. However, many times I have taken too much on and not felt up for going out or seeing friends, or even been too stubborn to make an effort with people merely for the fact they haven’t bothered with me. I have turned down nights out because of the fear of a hangover, and missed out on some really great times because of fatigue through working too much.
I can’t stress enough the importance of just being. With nothing to do. Or everything to do. Just making time outside of responsibilities to see friends, go out, have a good time, even getting out of the house for a bit. When there is too much on it is so easy to forget to enjoy living and being yourself and embracing life and friends and juggling that with earning money. Even better, go out with work friends! Don’t isolate yourself. If you want to get shit-faced, get shit-faced! Have ten vodkas and just drink loads of water you’ll be ok pal. Just be yourself and most importantly, enjoy yourself. Be free from things that are likely to stress you out and make you feel as though what you are doing is worthless.
3. Having every single item of clothing you have ever owned may seem like a good idea, but it is probably not.
Sooooo when I first came to Uni I was insistent that I take a shit load of clothes, shoes, bags, even room items just because of the separation anxiety and the inherent trait of hoarding that I possess thanks to my dearest Father (cheers, Dad). At first, yes, it helped the transition of moving out, even though it meant I had to travel with two cars and 30 boxes of pure things. My parents are the most amazing people. My room was the cosiest and homeyest place on the whole fucking campus. However, I had no room whatsoever for storage, but that is ok cus I have my blue drapey top that I got in Year 11 and haven’t worn for two years, just incase!!
But when I went back home, my old room felt empty and lifeless, and I also had no clothes when I went home. Plus, I actually ended up taking most of it back before Christmas anyway so it didn’t really last. I just had no clue what I needed and didn’t need, but in reality, I actually didn’t need that much or use much anyway. Making my own little space just so happened the more I lived in the room so it didn’t even matter.
4. You may feel as though you are the most independent person in the world, but you will always need your family.
I literally cannot stress enough the pure appreciation I have for my parents and how much, now, that I admit how much I need them. They are my rocks and I have never been closer to them, or my sister, in my life and it is nice because I went through a very long phase feeling very disassociated with them and not wanting to speak to them when I was at home. Being a stroppy prick of a teenager, I never realised how much I really need them until it comes to 10pm and I can’t be bothered to make dinner wishing Dad was around to cook a fat roast for you!!
5. “Don’t bother revising, First year doesn’t count anyway”.
My summer would have started 3 weeks earlier if I didn’t have to retake Economics. Just saying.
6. I am better at more things than I ever realised.
I think moving out in general, and juggling two jobs, a boyfriend, friends, family, social life, whilst trying to get good grades, is hard in itself. Especially when you have never 1- moved out, 2- had a boyfriend, and 3- had a fucking great social life before Uni.
I have learnt I am actually not terrible at Maths, which is like a miracle to someone who everyone, teachers and myself included, knew I had a serious issue with anything relatively numerical. Now I actually really enjoy it!
I have also learnt I can make edible things. I say edible because though I have caught a pan on fire, nearly given myself food poisoning on more occassions than not, and also can only really use an oven, I am actually doing ok and not living off of ready meals, which is pretty cool.
I am actually really not as sociable as I realised. I also am not really as bothered about not being sociable as I realised either. Being sociable and having friends are two completely different things in my eyes and though, I stress, the importance of a social life, I also love the idea of being on my own and not having to talk to people. And I think with the right amount of balance, that I am really good at being able to fit it all in at once. Who would have thought.
I also have a greater depth of feelings than I knew. Thanks to my lovely boyfriend for scraping my feelings from my cold heart, but they are there, I have proof cus I can feel them.
7. Saving money is so important, but spending it wisely is even better.
I definitely have money-anxiety and I am obsessed with the idea of not having enough, even though I can survive efficiently with what I have. I know that being a student, I am pretty much destined to be poor. But yet, I think though I have got savings, I have money, and it is very hard-earned, so why not spend it on things that are actually worth it?
Even things such as food, or just treating yourself once in a while to decent things to make you feel good. What is the point in saying you have money, but not investing it in something that is worthwhile?
8. Look after yourself.
Of course, like everyone, I have junk food sometimes, go out to restaurants or crave a fat Indian takeaway and eat a four person meal to myself. But I think I have learnt a lot more this year the key is to take care of yourself, and staying healthy. This not only, for me, keeps me positive and motivated, gives me energy and makes me feel happier, but it also radiates that energy on others.
I am lucky that I love fruit and vegetables so much so I have made it easier, but I have also found my love for sports again after my confidence was knocked for a few years whilst going through tests and treatments. It is nice because now that I am wholly in charge of my diet, I am able to know exactly what goes into my body and onto my skin. I am very much into organic treatments and medicines and vitamins and I definitely believe that what you put into your body, shines through outwards from your body. The same goes for getting enough sleep and drinking enough water.
9. Always make sure you are ready for 3am fire alarms.
Those uggs came in handy multiple times. Also, don’t sleep naked in halls.
10. Never be afraid to admit how hard you may find something.
I think this can go for all aspects of life. Studying, moving out, even friends and coping with moods sometimes I find hard. It is ok. I always find that though everyone around me seems as though they have it together, they may worry about the same things too, and feel the same emotions. Even if they don’t, and even if everyone is enjoying something and you aren’t, that is ok too. They may be the ones that help you get your shit together and see clearly in the longer run!
The best part about admitting it is usually it feels 100 times better once it is out. Similarly, hearing it out loud might trigger you to realise actually, it is not as hard as you make it out to be.