Today's blog post is one that has been a little while coming, but one that I finally feel ready and able to write. As many of you will know at the beginning of June I finished my second year at uni, so today I'm bringing you a uni experience/round up style post.
At the end of first year I didn't believe my second year friends when they said that second year of university was even better than the first, I didn't know how it could be, yet somehow, it really really was! I can honestly say that the past year has been one of the best, if not the best year of my life and has been filled with so much goodness and love and fun. But I won't jump ship too quickly, and so will try and start from the very beginning, as it's a very good place to start apparently!
As I said I'll start from the very beginning, and the very reason I'm at university in the first place.
In September 2015 I headed back to Nottingham to start my second year at Nottingham Trent University studying Fashion Communication and Promotion. I ended up diving head first back into my degree, and more group work (the total joy of my life) Yet overall when it comes to my course I've absolutely loved it this year, so much more than the first. Yes, it's been way way harder and the work load has been crazy, think 8 projects including a dissertation proposal all due in at once, but I really have loved FCP this year and the projects have been way more up my street and gave each individual way more scope to go in directions that they were interested in. At times I've really struggled to know if what I'm doing is right and the perfectionist in me and the worrier in me have been at huge odds, but I really feel that I managed to overcome, if only slightly, both of these things and do the best that I could. Whilst writing this I'm about 3/4 days away from knowing what grade I got for the year, and when you're reading this I'll already know; hopefully all the blood, sweat, tears and hard work will have paid off!
Yes, you go to university to get a degree, but for me personally it's so much more than that, and second year has totally affirmed and taught me that even more so than before.
For me my second year at university has been about the experience and the people I've had the absolute pleasure of meeting and doing this lil' thing called life with.
When I moved back to Nottingham in the September I went from my huge student halls flat of 9 to a teeny tiny student flat of 3. If I'm being honest this was a huge culture shock and adjustment for me, especially as I had become so used to having so many people around, all the time. It wasn't an easy adjustment, especially at the beginning but slowly as the months went on my rather large room with the stairs started to feel more and more like mine and less and less alien.
Second year is the year that I have truly found out what real friendship is, and that your close friends really are the family that you choose. For both myself and those around me this year has been filled with some real struggles, challenges and hard times, there is no two ways about it, the amount of tears that were shed are a testament to that one. Despite the dark moments, my closest friends were always there to bring a little light and a heck of a lot of laughter back to my world.
Prior to this year I would 100% have called myself a total introvert, yet as the year has gone on this has slowly changed to me becoming a person who loves having others around, hates silence and has become semi-jokely known as our friendship groups social coordinator - want to know what's happening that night in the squad's calendar or need a table booking for your birthday? You're talking to the right girl! I never believed that I would be part of a group of friends that was as fun, loving or crazy as the people that ended up being squad, yet somehow I did and the amount of mornings they were still at our flat at 4am due to another movie marathon was kinda insane, but I wouldn't have changed it, or them for the world!
I've changed so so much during this year, learnt alot about myself and grown crazy amounts in the process. All things that I think the university experience is all about. I learnt to say yes to every opportunity, take every day as it comes, to push myself out of my comfort zone, plus I also learnt to be ok with being myself. Learning to say yes to every opportunity and to really push myself out of my comfort zone led me to finding myself in one mental but fantastic group of friends who have become family, something that wouldn't have happened if I'd stayed within my lil' bubble and not pushed myself out of my comfort zone or to be a tad more confident in who I am and my abilities. This year has also taught me how to get out of my own head (even if only for a while) and to truly live in the moment, and to just be present with those around me. All of which are lessons and aspects of life that I will hold on to for years to come.
There's no two ways about it, this year wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, far far from it. Despite all of that I can honestly say that for the first time in my life the positives out shine the negatives, they hardly even make a shadow on my memories from second year. Now maybe this is just to do with how much I've changed over recent years, but it's a huge victory for me as a cynical negative lil' human.
I'm very aware that I've had a hugely blessed experience of uni, especially during second year and that many people do not have experiences as positive or happy as mine; knowing this just makes me even more grateful for all that I have experienced and been through and the people I've met along the way.
At the point at which I am writing this it's somewhat bittersweet. I'm so in awe of the amazingness of the year and the happy moments and memories that were made, but I have a rather heavy heart at the fact that it's over and my friends are scattered around all around the country and world. I'm not necessarily very optimistic that my third year of university will trump the second, but I hold a little hope as that's how I felt at the end of first year.
On reflection second year was fab and filled with a whole heap of goodness, fun, laughter and love. I gained a friends for life and learnt for the first time ever what living in the moment truly means.
Well done to those that have read this far, in alot of ways this post has ran away with me and become very self indulgent, but this blog has become a place for me to document my life the small and big bits and I have a sneaking suspicion future me will appreciate having this to read back.