Friday, 20 June 2014

5 Things My First Year At Uni Taught Me


My first year at university is now officially over, all my work is in and I now have until October until I'm back. As I said in a post a week or so ago, this year has flown by and as it's drawn to an end I've been reflecting on it a lot. I didn't have the best of starts to the year, but over the months I feel like I've learnt a number of things which have allowed me to grow.

1) Home is definitely where the heart is 

I study at the University of Brighton, but in their Hastings campus. When I first started university, I moved down to Hastings and absolutely hated it. People were lovely in halls and in theory I should of been fine, but I knew in my heart that I wasn't comfortable and happy there; I missed my boyfriend, my friends and being in a busier area. Hastings just wasn't for me. After about a month I  made the decision to move back home to London and commute, a hard decision because I didn't want to feel like I was giving up on being away from home, but at the same time an easy one because as soon as I moved back I was happier. At the end of the day it doesn't make you weak that you want to be where you're happiest, if anything I think the 4.30am starts, long commute and £17 spent a journey made me stronger and were 100% worth feeling at home and being able to crawl into bed with my boyfriend at the end of the day.


2) What real friendship is

My difficult start at university tested a lot of my friendships. When I was at Hastings I wasn't happy and I didn't want to go out all the time, and when I was home again I couldn't afford it because of the money I was spending travelling per week. As a result, some of my friends decided they didn't have time for me because I didn't want to come out and party all the time. The ones that stuck by me, understood me and that nothing has changed with showed me what real friendship looks like. People always told me this in life and I didn't really understand it properly until it happened to me; your real friends are the ones that stand the test of time, distance and absence and you can still talk to as if nothing has changed after some time apart. 

3) Budgeting isn't as easy as it looks

Student loan; how I love but hate you! Before you get your student loan you think, "Great, I'm going to have so much money to spend!" this is a lie. This is a horrible delusion. At the start of the year I gave myself a budget, which I thought was going to be easy enough to stick to. But knowing you have a certain amount of money tucked away in your bank account is a temptation and the excuse, "Oh, I'll just spend less week," was something I found myself thinking numerous times. Being able to stick to my budget was something that I really struggled with at first, and even though I'm still guilty of a little splurge every now and again I feel like I'm definitely learning how to control my spending. A useful tip which I used to help me budget weekly was by withdrawing all my weekly money at once, then if I reach into my purse to buy something I can physically see if maybe it can wait until next week.

4) Where my passions lie

Luckily for me, I clicked instantly with my university course. Up until taking my A-level exams I was in fear that I had made the wrong decision about my course, but within the first few weeks of starting at uni I fell in love with it and knew that I'd made the right decision. Choosing your university course is a really difficult decision but I think it can definitely make you realize what direction you do (or don't) want to take in life. My course is Multimedia Broadcast Journalism, and whilst I love the broadcasting side of journalism, studying a multitude of platforms within journalism has confirmed to me what area of the industry I enjoy the most. Even if you don't necessarily enjoy all of the aspects of your course and it leaves you thinking, "That isn't for me,", this means you're closer to knowing want you really want to be doing, which was exactly how I've felt throughout the year learning different aspects of journalism.

5) Effort is rewarded

This sounds very straightforward, of course effort is rewarded, but over the last six months I feel like I've really experienced this more than ever in my life. University is a completely different education experience, it's really up to you to do everything yourself which can be daunting, but I'm the sort of person that enjoys a challenge. At university, the work you put it you get back, so it's important to really put 110% effort into every aspect of everything you do. That means your research, planning, content and proof reading. I've also learnt that this applies outside of uni too, and the work experience I've gained and progress of my blog have really shown me that hard work pays off. For me there is no better feeling than seeing result after hard work so this is definitely one of the most valuable lessons that I've learnt during the past academic year.

What have you important life lessons have you learnt through your education?

Wishes,
xXx
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12 comments

  1. Definitely agree with everything you've mentioned (particularly the student loans...oh the deception!). Really enjoyed this post :)

    christinasylvester.blogspot.com

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    1. Haha, I know, soo tragic. Thank you :) xx

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  2. These are so true. Can definitely relate to the friends one. I've just finished 2nd year and this made me miss 1st year even more :( x

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    1. Aww, I feel like these three years are going to go so quick! :( xx

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  3. I commute to uni too - like you, for a 9am class I have to set a 4am alarm and spend close to £20 a day just to get to and from uni - it's so hard having to miss out on the social aspect of university, but the rest of your points are so true, too: the fact that you do it at all says so much more than anything else could about you - you have so much passion and desire and drive for the degree you're studying and the work you're doing. Keep your chin up! xo

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    1. Thank you! It's definitely worth it, and yeah I agree it's made me realise how much I do love my course xx

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  4. Can totally relate to you on the friends point! I studied the NCTJ course at Brighton City College and fell in love with it - totally confirmed that I've taken the correct career! xx

    everythingbutthekitchen.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Yaay Journalism! Glad you love it :) xx

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  5. How long is your travel? I'm hoping to go to uni in London after I finish college and thinking of commuting the first year?x

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    1. The train journey is about 1 hour and 20 minutes but with a bus journey and walking to the bus stop in total it's about 2-2 and a half hours. I'd take into consideration your contact hours and the travel cost before making a decision, but I hope whatever choice you make you're happy and you have a great time at uni xx

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  6. I completely agree that home is where the heart is. I do Journalism at Cardiff University, but I'm from SE London so, it was a big move. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Cardiff, but I think I made the silly mistake of being quite snobby about how amazing London is compared to everywhere else - I was just so proud to be a Londoner I started convincing myself nowhere is as good as it (I still do...) I get missing your boyfriend too! Mine goes to uni in Exeter so we see each other a couple of times a month and it's really hard, especially if we've been at home for ages for summer and then go back again!

    Great post sweetie!

    Vicky xx
    Lots of Love, Me.

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    1. Snap SE London and Journalism haha! It's good to be proud of where you're from, I am and so are loads of other people on my course from different places :) it's so hard, I'm glad you two are making long distance work for you though xx

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