I spent my first couple of weeks at university, going out, socialising and getting to know the area. I remember celebrating my 19th birthday a couple of weeks after starting uni. It wasn’t the best time to have my birthday as I was still getting to know everyone. It’s a bit difficult to expect people to throw you a birthday party when they don’t even know your last name!
It was the first time I had spent my birthday morning on my own and I can honestly say I bawled my eyes out. After about 10 minutes of silent sobbing (I couldn’t let my flat mate hear me lol) I got myself ready and went to uni. My tears were a mixture of getting older lol and being on my own for the first time. It was the first time in my life I had been away from my mum on my birthday morning. I was so used to her coming into my room with a card and a cup of tea and this year she was about 80 miles away and there was no chance of that happening!
The other students that lived near me heard it was my birthday and tried their best to do something special. They bought me a cake and came round to my house to celebrate. Even though I appreciated the effort, it wasn’t the same as being in a room filled with people I loved and cherished…I didn’t really know these people…
After that everything got better. I made friends. I had fun. I enjoyed myself. But I quite quickly realised that I was a very intelligent young woman despite trying to down play my abilities. By the end of 1st year my outlook on university changed and I become more of a bookworm. I hung up my dancing shoes and went to my books. I remember spending days in the library from 9 – 5pm studying and reading. I would often go on my own which I loved. There was nothing I enjoyed more than going to the library for the whole day to learn and develop my mind. Some people may not understand it but it seriously was my get away place.
The first few months at uni were eye opening. Going from a sheltered life to the ‘real’ world was a bit of a shock. I never really had to defend myself back home because my friends knew me. They had grown up with me. They had my best intentions at the forefront. However, at uni I quickly learned that not everyone had my best intentions at heart. People were quick to make judgements and gossip about others and this made me anxious. I didn’t want to be spoken about negatively for things that I hadn’t done. I didn’t want to be drawn into drama…because I wasn’t about all of that. This was a massive wake up call for me so I decided to retreat. Retreat back into my shell and focus on my studies. I realised the hype and partying at university wasn’t really worth it and if I was going to get my monies worth I had to study to get good grades. I had to become accountable and responsible for the way I acted. People were watching and people were judging.
Thank you for reading this post. I enjoy reflecting.