A few things that got easier over Second Year!
I am more than halfway done with Term 2, which is the strangest thing to me! University life goes by so, so fast and it can be really difficult to stop and think about how you’ve changed or progressed, so I thought I would take a look back at what I found most difficult in my first year and see if that has changed over second year.
‘Adulting’: This has 100% gotten easier this year! Maybe it’s the fact that I’m living in a house off-campus and have had to adapt quickly, but I have felt a lot more on top of practical things this year. October 2018 started out with figuring out how everything worked in our house, and how to get from one place to another, so it was very different from my very first week of university in Whitefields, when I was at the centre of everything I could need! I’ve also started to realize how little actual healthy cooking I did in my first year, so this year I’m really enjoying trying out lots of new recipes with housemates 🙂
Homesickness: Homesickness is something that I still experience, but I have found better ways to manage it this year. In First Year, I sometimes felt that being homesick meant that I wasn’t enjoying university enough or that I wasn’t having ‘the university experience’, but for a lot of people being homesick every once in a while tends to be part of that experience, which is completely normal. I’ve realized that I always tend to get homesick around the same time, usually halfway through the term, or when things get stressful, and just being aware of that really helps. If I start feeling pessimistic or negative around that time, then I know that it’s most likely due to homesickness and not anything else. My tips for combating homesickness? First, don’t ignore it- being homesick doesn’t mean you’re doing university wrong, and it’s good to recognize homesickness for what it is, that way you can try to make it better. Second, talk to people about it- you would be surprised how many people are feeling the same but just don’t talk about it. Third, I like to do things that remind me of home, for example skyping my family, listening to nostalgic songs, or re-reading favorite books 🙂
Stress: I love university, but it can also feel very stressful at times. Whether it’s because essay and application deadlines are coming up, or because of more practical things like housing, you can end up feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’ve mentioned this in past blogs but one of the most important things about university I think, is building up a support network so you aren’t handling things alone. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it! I’ve spent many mornings at the Career Drop-Ins at the Oculus when I worried about career options, went to see my personal tutor when I felt my time-management wasn’t the best, and have spent a great many hours in my housemate’s room ranting about everything and anything! Just talking through what is worrying me usually helps me rationalise it and see it in a better light.
I think the three things above are what I struggled with the most during my First Year, and I’m happy that I’m able to manage them better this year 🙂 Homesickness, stress and general confusion about adult life might sometimes lurk in the background of university life, but they do get easier to handle with time <3
Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have!