End of a Chapter

Completed. There goes year 1… 3 to go and I know there’s a heck of a lot to come! Thanks for all of you following along on my mad journey through life and uni and becoming a (real) adult.

Dad came to pick me up – my stuff only just fit into our car!

It feels like time has flown now, but there were definitely moments where it was really tough and I couldn’t imagine just how I would get through it all. I think uni has proven to be the opposite of what I was expecting in many ways… So I thought I’d sum up some stuff I’ve learned for any of you out there reading this and thinking about uni but have yet to experience it!

So yeah, here it is…

Things I’ve learned in year 1

1. First year might not be your best year. It’s true… A startlingly large percentage of freshers actually don’t enjoy freshers week or their first year… it happens. I was one of these (kind of… I loved my course and my societies… but my flat mates were hard to handle at times!!) Be prepared for anything to happen. Maybe it won’t be like this for you, and if it isn’t, that’s great! But if you do find that it’s a little bit disappointing or you feel homesick or you feel like you have no friends… this is NORMAL and actually most people are probably feeling exactly the same… they are just covering it up! Talk to people and be honest… that’s the best way to make friends anyway. If they know that you’re going through the same thing you’ll probably find most of the time they’ll agree and admit that they have found first year to be a bit less than the amazing experience it’s bigged up to be. The main thing is not quitting. Unless you know for sure it’s not gonna work and your course is wrong… quitting because you don’t get on with your flat mates isn’t always the best solution!!

2. Keep in contact – yeah your parents are going to be further away now and maybe you feel like it’s uncool to ring them up once (even, dare I say, twice) a week and that once you’re at uni that’s IT. No more contact at all except at the holidays. This is sooo not true and actually your parents are going to be there for you because they love you. Make sure you have talked about finances before you go and feel comfortable talking about them when you’re there too – it helps with loans and food money etc.

3. Make new contacts – getting involved in societies which really interest you, and a new church too, are really super important. These are where you’re gonna make new friends and find out new interests and skills, and they’ll give you a break from lectures and studying.

4. You don’t have to drink! (Or club… Power to the early-to-bed people!) Seriously, everyone at uni is waaay more chilled out than people in Sixth form/A-levels and school. If you don’t want to drink, just say so, and stick to your guns. There is absolutely no need to drink because you feel pressured to or go out and stay up really late because it’s what everyone else is doing. If they can’t accept that it’s just not what you do, then they aren’t really your friends… but most people are pretty easy what ever you decide! My flatmates asked me if I wanted to go out with them the ENTIRE YEAR and I just said no every time pretty much. What I did instead sometimes was hang around when they had pre-drinks (“prees”) in the flat and talk/socialise, then when they went out I would just go to bed or watch a movie or whatever. Don’t feel like you have to impress people – they will figure out pretty quickly if you’re just putting on a show when you can’t maintain it anyway!

5. If you’re a Christian… make sure you know your stuff! This might not apply to everyone reading this, but to those that it does… Try and prepare yourself for the questions people are gonna ask you. Do you believe in…?? Sex before marriage. Taking drugs. Masterbation (yes, I’ve actually been asked about my stance on this!). Homosexuality. Everything and anything can be asked about. Even if you go to Church every week. Just make sure you have an opinion basically, because you never know if you might have to argue or explain it. I basically decided I wasn’t going to bash people with my faith… I wasn’t even going to tell them straight up “Hey guys I’m a Christian”. Usually people can tell after a while that there’s something a little different about you (usually the fact that you don’t swear!). I just treat people like my friends and get on with life. If they are curious, they’ll ask, but there’s no need to make a massive deal out of it, as you could just end up alienating them! This is just my experience so take it or leave it 🙂

6. If you can’t do it, say no. And don’t beat yourself up either! You don’t have to always say yes. You get tired, and that’s ok. Don’t try and take on the world. You don’t need to do EVERYTHING. Freshers is a great time to join a bazillion societies (even though you probably won’t be able to go to all of them anyway) and yes a thousand times get stuck in … but pace yourself and don’t burn out!

7. Budget. And try and stick to it. I have an overdraft I haven’t touched. I have a set amount for food, I pay my tithe (10% of my earnings to the church) and I put another 10% into my saving account (if I can). The other 80% is for whatever I need it for. 80-10-10.

8. You might not get on with everyone. If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know I’ve actually had a really tough time in my flat. At first I thought it was all amazing, during freshers and the few weeks after, when everyone was trying to make a good impression. But pretty quickly, people will reveal their true colours. It happens. You’re living with them – and when you’re in that close of a contact with someone you are going to find out what they are really like. The key is to try and be as patient as possible (it’s hard, I know!) and forgive them and move on. I blame myself a lot, and this isn’t a great reaction either. It’s not necessarily your fault that you find it hard to live with them. Some people are just hard to live with! (If you do struggle in this area, make sure you talk to someone about it and keep them close, as it will keep you sane!).

9. Don’t go home too much. Yeah, if you can, go home once or twice a term between holidays. Try and space it out too. The more you go home, the more you’ll realise how much you miss it, and the harder it’ll be to come back!! Everyone will get the January Blues after Christmas, so you aren’t alone! (Again, talk about it with someone, it will keep help you keep going).

10. Remember God is going with you. It hit me a few weeks in that I wasn’t going to uni on my own, being dumped there and that was it, I now had to make friends in order to survive. God is your dad, your best friend. You can talk to him at any time. Remember you are never alone in this, and no matter what happens, he will provide and he will keep you safe.

 

Feel free to comment below any questions you might have about first year etc if you’ve managed to read this far and have anything I haven’t covered!! I would love to answer your questions 🙂

Just a few more pics from today… some daisies from James and Naomi’s garden (some friends of ours from our Church who moved to Devon.) We are currently staying with some family friends but we went to see James and Nai today and their kids just to catch up and go to the beach!

Here’s the beach we went to for a few hours in the afternoon. It was nice and hot!


#ladsontour – or rather my little brothers and sister chilling with me on the rocks at the beach playing ‘Cheese and Wine’ (it’s a game).

 

Cool so that’s it! We came back to our other friends’ house and had tea. I was really hungry by then! Now we’re all playing Catan and chilling (not me obviously, I’m updating y’all!)

I’m feeling proud that I got this far and amazed at how much I’ve learned. There is so much more I could write but I thought 10 points was enough for one night!

My battery is literally about to die as I type this so I’m going to finish this and post – have a great summer everyone! I may just post a few recipes from now on… but I’ll definitely be back for year 2!

Adios! (Пока пока).

Advertisements

Done and dusted.

Finished! All of my exams completed… hell-loo summer! Not quite though. I’m staying in Exeter an extra week to work at the Ram and for the Dartmoor Kitchen Catering Company to earn as much money as possible before I go back and potentially get another job back home too. Work work work work work….

But we’ve booked 2 weeks at the beginning of August for a holiday so maybe maybe maybe I’ll be going to Spain (fingers crossed!)… It would be a dream come true and I would love to speak Spanish so much again argh I can’t get enough speaking in! 

A few years ago I’d have said I was quiet and shy and not a very social person or good at communication at all…. I guess that that just goes to show how you can change so much in a short space of time! I mean, I can be social now, but I still need a bit or recharge time too! But I’m going out with friends way more now and going to clubs and societies at uni definitely helps with this. 

If you ever visit Exeter go to he Old Firehouse… they serve the best food from 12pm onwards! Best student pizza hang out too


It’s strawberry season – another thing I can’t get enough of! Iceland on the high street does this amazing deal of 2 for £3 so I get about 800g of strawberries most weeks! The co-op is also doing a similar price… Wimbldon is nigh! 😉


Lots of fruit and veg yum yum yum. I’m looking forward to next year living with Rsther and Jenny and Matt and Mia in our amazing premium ensuite flat (ooo-er) 🙂 

So yeah that my first year done. It’s gone a lot quicker than it felt like it would… Parts of it have been hard but I’ve survived and still want more, and that feeling alone tells me that I have made the right choice going to uni. 

So far I’ve been working at the ram and catering at weddings – no celebration yet. 


This is a picture of the cake at the wedding I catered at yesterday all day. It was so tiring but the feeling afterwards is really good. You feel satisfied… Even though you just want to get straight into bed and never wake up! My legs were throbbing once I finally lay down! 

It’s a good way to earn a chunk of money in one go though and you just dig up to shifts as and when. Fortunately the team is friendly. It’s tiring though – emotionally and physically, so I try and space these shifts out! 

Today I should make it to church although I had to pull out of playing in the worship team as I was so tired and I didn’t get round to practicing the songs :/ it pains me to do it because my parents are worship leaders and I know it’s annoying when someone pulls out! 

I think today I’m going to relax a bit before my shift at the ram tonight. Yeah work every day! I’m not doing anything tomorrow though unless something comes up unexpectedly with the ram (if someone needs a shift covered)

But yeah I’m hopefully coming home this weekend wooo I’m excited 🙂 

Nearly through this :)

Hey-hey!

I know I know, I’ve not really posted in ages. I’ve been revising for my exams – and I can now happily say that my Spanish exams are over and done with. Now for the main Russian exams. I have the writing one this Friday, and then my exam on Chekhov’s plays and then lastly a two hour (yes two hour) Russian listening exam. I’m freaking out a bit but just trying to cover my problem areas in the grammar and listen to Russian as much as possible. Anything and everything. I think good luck is удача in Russian (pronounced “oodacha”). 

I’ve been doing a bit more yoga recently to stretch my muscles out (still can’t run – no sign of my new insoles yet) and cycling and walking to keep active and not just sit in my room all day! Fresh air y’all. I need it. I mentioned some of the issues I’ve had in my flat over the last year – these make me really stressed (more than my exams) and make revising quite hard, but my personal tutor and I have been filling out a special form that might help examiners take this into consideration should my grades suffer. (Because I got ill during but especially at the end of term 2 and missed a load of lectures and had to do some exams even though I felt like I had flu!).

Gymnastics isn’t on at the moment because the club can only afford two terms at the gym… We’re still hoping for two sessions a week next year! I’m just praying I can afford it :/ break dance is even more casual (if that’s possible) so basically sessions are just turn up if you aren’t revising …. And I’m just not really going! I probably should at some point but it’s too much to think about right now! 

I’ve actually been going to CU a lot more recently and it’s been nice to catch up with people I haven’t seen for a while. I’ve invited my friend Esther to come and maybe stay with me at my house over the summer and she said she’d love that so that’s exciting 🙂

Went to my community group last night – it got too big and had too many people so we’ve had to split 🙂 I saw my other friend Bethany there – she’s having a really hard time finding somewhere to live next year because her friends and people she’s asked keep saying they can give her a room and then giving it to someone else! So we prayed for her. I actually had a erase for someone – this is the second time in my life that’s happened. God is awesome 🙂 

Holidays are coming…. I can’t wait to go home – I think I’m just ready to go back a step and be in a familiar setting again. I’m still not sure if we’ll actually go abroad over the summer. People ask me if I’m going on holiday and I just don’t know. It depends on if we can affort it! Then they ask why don’t I just go on my own…. I’ve never gone on holiday alone or just with friends…. it would be weird!! Maybe I’m old fashioned in this way but when I think of holiday I think of my family and we go together.

I am probably going to stay an extra week after exams to work and earn as much money as I can before summer and next year. Hopefully I’ll stay sane!!! Anyway… Probably should get back to revising now 🙂