If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen my rather dramatic tweet of “UNI IS OVER!” last week when I officially handed in my last ever assignment and can officially say that I am a free woman! Can I get a Hallelujah?! After having a little while to ponder (and get very drunk) I started to look back on what have been a life changing three years for me, and what exactly I have learnt (other than the academic stuff of course!)
1. It’s really not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
I remember August 2012 looking at all of the boxes labelled ‘kitchen’ ‘bedroom’ and ‘stuff’ in the hallway of my childhood home thinking, am I actually leaving? I was a mix of emotions, everything from excitement to dread was crossing through my mind and I really didn’t have a clue what to expect, everyone kept telling me ‘you’ll be fine’ and ‘everyone’s in the same boat’ but no matter how many times I told myself these things I still couldn’t quite imagine myself living somewhere else. That soon changed when I unpacked all of my labelled boxes and my mum and dad drove off in the family car. I knew this was now my home and I knew that I would be happy here.
2. People I couldn’t imagine living without, I lived without.
I had a pretty shit time around Christmas of my first semester, I fell out with all of my “best friends” back home and that was literally the end of some life long friendships. I was gutted to say the least. But I moved on. It took me a long time to get over it and there’s still some things that I don’t quite understand but I don’t let it get to me anymore. At the end of the day it happened and I’m a better person for it, I can stand on my own two feet and don’t need a group of people to tell me how to live my life, and I’m OK with that, in fact I’m REALLY ok with that.
3. It’s ok to say Goodbye. (Jees I didn’t think this was going to be as depressing as it is, but a lot of stuff has happened in three years! I promise it gets happier!)
I also split up with my long term boyfriend at the beginning of my last year of uni. We’d been together since secondary school and I was starting to see the world a little differently. I want to explore and travel and be free, and he didn’t and thats ok too. It was hard and sad and difficult but it was the right thing to do and I was ready to move on to a different chapter.
4. Letting people in is not the worst thing in the world.
I’m a pretty closed book, everyone that knows me will tell you I’m a heartless cow that rarely shows emotion. And I’d be inclined to agree but they wouldn’t know that about me if I hadn’t of let them in the first place. I don’t do emotions, not because I can’t but because I think there’s a time and a place and it’s not usually the right time or I’m in the wrong place. But when I do, you know your in. In three years I have met some amazing people that I can trust with my most honest confessions, and for me that’s a big deal. It took me a while but once it happened them people became my best friends.
5. People will surprise you.
Although mostly positive this can be a not so good point too. I have been pleasantly surprised by new friends who were there for me when I needed them even after only 3 months of friendship and been not so pleasantly surprised by others who judge too quickly. You pick your people at university but just because you picked some at the beginning, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be there at the end.
6. I’m good at being on my own.
I guess this was learnt more through travelling but I actually like being on my own. Not all of the time and I still do obviously enjoy talking to people but sometimes it’s quite nice to sit on your own with your own thoughts not having to please anyone. I know that in 10 (ok maybe 15) years I wont have this luxury so I’m going to make the most of it while I can.
7. If I work hard it will pay off.
I guess this is a pretty obvious one but I really have pushed myself at uni and tried bloody hard at the important stuff. In the industry I want to go into you really need to make connections. I can honestly say that my little black book has got a decent amount of contacts that hopefully (when I’m done prancing around the world) will come in useful. I worked hard for them contacts and it’s not something I take lightly.
8. You don’t have to be in someones pocket to be close to them.
I’m not a clingy person anyway but something I always found a bit difficult was getting the fine balance between constantly talking to someone and never talking to someone. My closest friendship is now with someone who I barely see and don’t live anywhere near. We get it right by talking when we need to talk or when we fancy a chat, we don’t nag each other and because we don’t constantly talk to each other we have so much more to say when we do see each other. “True friendship isn’t about being inseparable, it’s being separated and nothing changes.”
9. I’m not a home bird.
Hence the travel blog. I’m not good at sticking around, I like exploring and finding what new places have to offer. I wasn’t really like this before uni and I was pretty happy with the idea of settling into a career after I graduated but at some point in the last year that has changed. I’m no longer on the BBC careers page all the time I’m looking at crew jobs for cruise ships… I guess you could say my outlook on life has done a bit of a 360.
10. I’ve still got a lot to learn.
I’m not a well rounded adult by any means and me even saying I’m an adult feels wrong. I’m not ready for settling down or kids or any of that serious stuff and to be honest, I just want to enjoy my life right now. Be a bit selfish for a few years and then think about life. I’ll drink to that!