In response to Sink or Swim

Naturally this post is about university. But it’s not about ‘that crazy night during freshers….’ or ‘that essay that is NEVER getting done’.

It’s about waking up at 4am and wondering where you are because the bed is too small.

It’s about forgetting which path takes you to your house in the student village.

It’s about wondering if any of the people you meet will become your friends or if they’re just going to be people you smile at across the seminar room.

What those shiny brochures don’t tell you about university is that it’s hard. Yes, freshers is all kinds of fun, meeting new people is great, being challenged intellectually is wonderful. But leaving your friends and family and basically your whole life is pretty horrible.

So, when my parents finally left me in freshers (they stayed in a hotel overnight, just in case I needed anything) it was awesome to think of all the freedom I was about to have. Then I got worried, I didn’t know how to do the laundry or get home after the last bus when I’d run out of money. I didn’t know how to ‘adult’ – yes, my generation is creating new verbs all the time and I, as an English student, think it’s great.

Pretty quickly I was learning how to make sure I ate three times a day, got up for my 9ams when I’d got home at 5am, figured out how to unclog the shower drain of my hair and all these other things that just a few months ago I had no idea how to do.

The fact is university is literally ‘sink or swim’. Either you go, do it, survive and are stronger for it, or you go, hate it and drop out to find another path.

I think I’ve been swimming my way through, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t huge waves to battle against. Don’t worry if you’re still skyping your mum three times a week and have turned all of your clothes pink, everything takes time.