Going into final year of university… – OurWarwick

Going into final year of university…

So…I moved back to Warwick last week and I’m going into my third and final year. The thought is kind of terrifying, especially as this hadn’t been my plan.

Until the middle of July I had been expecting to be going on a study abroad year to South Korea, but I had to make the decision to cancel it. There were many reasons, the main one being that the UK government’s worldwide non-essential travel restrictions were not lifted in time for me to get my visa before the deadline. That along with difficulties getting travel insurance and the costs of quarantine meant that it was all too much for me to handle. Moving abroad in the best of times is hard enough let alone during a pandemic. In comparison, finding last-minute accommodation in Warwick and changing my student finance was a relatively relaxing experience. I’m heartbroken, and can only hope that I get another chance to fulfill my dream of living in Korea someday soon.

But it means that I’m entering my last year of university way sooner than I had expected too. Suddenly I’m going to have to start thinking about my future career plans, something I thought I’d have more time to consider. What’s worse is that I know that the experience isn’t going to be the same as it was in my first and second year. I can accept that, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. For the term 3 that I lost, and all the friends that I never got to say a proper goodbye to before they moved away, for those that graduated without a proper celebration. So much of it feels unfair, that we’ve missed out, but that’s the way things are now.

Having been at home almost constantly since March with little human contact outside my family made the concept of going back to university in September seem slightly intimidating. I don’t have many friends in my hometown, and those that I do have I’d only met up with a few times over the summer. It’s almost like I’ve forgotten how to socialise. I did jury service at the start of August though, which helped me overcome my fear of going outside again. Still, after spending months at home, the past week has been so busy that it’s left me kind of exhausted.

I suppose it’s only natural for the prospect of going back to a semi-normal life to be daunting, to overcome the sense that everything outside of your home is dangerous. It’s totally messed with my perception of things, but I’d like to think I’m resilient enough to get over things quickly. It’s different for my friends and family who are key workers or who went back to work months ago, but for me, a student who has spent almost half a year in her house, it’s messed up, but they say a creature who is confined for so long learns to love their cage… 

But beyond it all is desperation to see my friends again, to spend my 21 birthday in their company, even if it can’t be a party but instead just a picnic in a field somewhere. I know age is just a number, and normally I don’t fuss about my birthdays, but something about hitting such a socially significant milestone in the middle of all this feels weirdly prophetic, and I only hope it can be filled with as much hope as possible.  

And then studying…haha. It’s been so long since I was in any kind of routine for that. Lately waking up before midday has been a struggle. I’m not sure if I could cope with any morning classes come October. But we’ll see. I’m excited to get back into being productive again, and making the most of my final year. I can only imagine what it must be like for Freshers starting university this month, but know that you’re not alone. There will still be lots to look forward to, so let’s try to make the best of it 😊

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