Hey guys, I just wanted to come on here and talk about my experience with going to uni in case anyone was joining a new school/uni and had some anxieties about it. I personally feel like going to uni is built up to be this huge, amazing experience that everyone is supposed to love, but in reality (for me) it didn't work out like that, and people need to talk about the other side of it and how lonely it can be sometimes.
By no means am I writing this to put people off going, because, as a recent graduate, I don't regret going at all and I think it was a good learning experience and it has made me a better person for it. I know some people who've had amazing experiences and have made the best of friends. Unfortunately that doesn't happen to everyone and that is something you have to think about before going and I personally didn't mentally prepare myself for that side of things.
I went to my first uni and was housed with people that I didn't really get on with (they weren't very sociable and preferred to stay in their rooms), this made it difficult for me to make friends initially and bummed me out quite a lot because I saw all my secondary school friends having a great time with their new friends and I just wasn't experiencing the same thing. This got progressively worse for me and I was feeling very lonely and having to travel home most weekends so I could have some company. I made the decision to drop out of this uni after a few months, I felt like I'd disappointed myself as I'd worked so hard to be there in the first place. No one told me about the possibility of being so lonely at uni and I had gone in with really high hopes only for my confidence and self-esteem to be knocked. My anxiety was at an all time high at this point, I'd let myself down, I had no purpose and I felt lost in the world.
But it was so nice to go home and spend time with my friends/family and unwind in an environment i felt comfortable in. I took the time out to appreciate the things that I like doing, working on myself and my interests and this is just what I needed to get back to my fun, loving self. After a few months at home I made the decision to reapply to a different uni (one that was closer to home). I already knew what to expect, could it go that wrong again?
September came and uni was right around the corner, I was soooo nervous to start again and meet new people. What if the same thing happened all over again? I moved into my house and it was NOT what I expected at all. Everyone was SO nice and friendly, and it made me feel so much more comfortable, especially as my previous experience was not what I had expected. This alone gave me the confidence boost I needed to integrate myself into the 'uni lifestyle', and I was able to make a solid group of friends and dive straight into my studies. 4 years later I am so glad that I put myself out there again and had another shot at it. I now love learning and if I had let my first experience defeat me then I wouldn't be who I was today, or where I am today
If anyone who's reading this is worried or anxious about starting uni/school, just remember to persevere with something you love because it pays off in the end. And if that particular place or course isn't right for you, there'll be more opportunities, so try not to feel bogged down or disheartened. Of course my personal experience of uni doesn't mean everyone's will be like that. All of my friends had really positive experiences. But I think because I went in thinking it was going to be this amazing, eye-opening thing, I was super disappointed and disheartened when it wasn't what I expected.
I feel like I've just been on a rant about my experiences, but I wanted to tell people that it's okay not to be okay, and these setbacks make you who you are in the long-run. I honestly feel like life is one big roller-coaster, when you feel like you're at the bottom the only way is up!
I hope sharing my experience helped anyone who was perhaps feeling a bit disheartened about something. Keep trying because you're amazing and you can do anything you set your mind to