A Letter to My Younger Self
Dear younger Fifi,
How’s it going? I hear you’re just about to start at uni. Exciting and scary innit?
It’s going to be fun but it won’t be what you expect and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. At the moment you’re expecting it to be something between an alcoholic brew of flirtatious fun and a colossal heap of work which will bury you alive. Thankfully, it is neither of the two. You’re going to meet a whole melting pot of people, and the vast majority of them will be wonderful. The rest of the world will begin to feel a lot closer, and you’re going to lose your fear of “what do I do in the future aaaahh”.
The hardest thing about uni is making the most of it. Balancing your social and revision life, taking the time to find your true chums, deciding where to plant yourself to become a wholesome tree of experience and specified knowledge. Don’t worry, you never even applied to take a poetry module. You can keep your questionable metaphors to yourself.
Partly, you’re lucky, because you happen to enjoy learning about stuff on your course even if you find lectures to be an outdated form of teaching as dry as rice crispies. You make the effort to get to know your coursemates, and they become the milk to that dry bowl of crispies, turning what to most is unpalatable, palatable. You also have an advantage because you try really hard to put yourself out there and get involved as much as you can, and nothing can substitute the sense of belonging which stems from that.
So socially, you don’t need to be so nervous, and the same goes for the actual degree. Your mind doesn’t enjoy being confined by the cage that is academic writing and although you’d rather be presenting your literary findings through the form of interpretative dance, you do manage to sweat out the occasional acceptable essay. The year abroad is both a delight and a challenge which has [hopefully] some form of maturing effect on you. If you can take on a whole country in your second – and somewhat stilted – language, you can presumably take on a reasonable heap of difficulties life might decide to throw at you later, whatever they may be.
Ultimately, it is what you make it. First year can feel like a form of peer pressure, wanting to fit in but also do your own thang. Second year is realising you can’t be bothered with peer pressure, and finding your place a bit more, if that makes sense. The year abroad is a dunk into “real life”. Who knows what fourth year will be. In any case I’m looking forward to it.
Have fun but not too much,
Older and supposedly wiser Fiona xoxxoo