Feeling Lost

Hello! It’s been a while…again. Can you believe it’s been almost two months since I moved to university? I certainly can’t. I thought I’d take some time to sit down and write today as I’ve been struggling a bit recently to be honest. University has been hard, but not in the ways I thought it would be and these past few days I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all.

I am enjoying being here and I’m not really homesick, which is what I thought I might struggle with, however I just feel a bit lost at the moment, which I guess is normal as university is such a big change in your life.

I have settled in here and found friends which I am grateful for – I honestly thought making friends would be the hardest part but I seem to have just found a group of course mates who I get along with, which is good. Yet I’m struggling to develop those friendships and get to know people better. I think it’s the nature of my course as well because we only have 9 contact hours per week, so it takes longer and more effort to get to know people than at secondary school or college when you spend the whole day with people. Also I can’t shake the though that I’ve missed 18 years of my new friend’s lives and that I’ll never be able to have the same bond with them as I do with my friends from home.

It’s difficult being in a new place where nobody knows me well as I feel like I’m losing my sense of self, if that makes sense, because I don’t have my childhood friends to ground me and remind me of who I am and what makes me me. It’s a weird thought but for the past 18 years, I’ve only known who I am in relation to those friends and my family back home, so now I don’t have those familiarities, it feels like I have to shape a new identity for myself here and because I have been internally questioning several aspects of my identity, I feel like I’ve lost any sense of myself that I once understood through my friends perceptions of me.

Pretty much since I’ve moved in I’ve been stressed about finding housemates for next year and I feel like I haven’t really been able to enjoy the present as I keep worrying about the future to the extent that I’m losing sleep over it, which I know is ridiculous because in reality there will still be houses available in May/June time, but everyone seems to be rushing into making plans. 

I also keep comparing myself to my friends at other unis, who seem to have settled in really well, found a group of really good friends and some of them have already put deposits on houses for next year, which is adding to my stress as I don’t know why things haven’t been so easy and straightforward for me. But I have to keep reminding myself that everyone has a different experience of university and that is okay. Everyone deals with change differently and I’m not a failure because I haven’t 100% figured out where I fit in here.

Everything seems very up in the air at the moment and I’m not sure what’s going on or whether I’m making the right choices for myself anymore. You may know that I actually changed my degree in the first few weeks of term from French and Politics to Politics and International Relations. Whilst I am happier with the modules I am taking now, it’s hard to adjust to the fact that I will no longer be getting a modern languages degree, which had been my plan for the past year or so, so now everything about my future seems uncertain. I feel like university has made me lose sense of who I am in a way, because for the past few years languages have been a big part of my life and something that I saw myself using in my future career, however since coming here, I haven’t been able to connect with that part of me, hence why I changed degree and changed my future plans.

Sometimes I wonder if I had taken a gap year, like I had been considering due to nerves in the run up to uni, whether I would have been more ready to go to uni and ready to study French again. Because I worked so hard for French at A Level, I feel like when I started studying it at uni again I was exhausted from studying it which is why I wasn’t enjoying it and consequently dropped it. 

I don’t know if I regret dropping French or not, because I am definitely a lot happier and more settled just being in one department, but at the same time I feel like I’ve betrayed myself and a lot of doors have closed for me. I’m worried I won’t be able to regain touch with the part of me that loves languages and culture again because I’ve put myself on a different path. 

It’s scary not knowing what I’m doing with my life and if I’m making the right choices or if I just feel too pressured to pursue what’s right for me. 

Everything seems so difficult at the moment and I really feel like I’ve lost connection with myself whilst adapting to all the changes over the past few months. 

I keep thinking about how it feels like time hasn’t moved since August and I’m worried that’s because I’ve been making choices that haven’t been right for me and that’s why I haven’t felt like myself lately.

Honestly, I just wish I could go back to college where I had a clearer idea of who I am and what I want to do because right now I’m not sure about anything and I’m just hoping that I haven’t made a mess of my life. Part of me just wants to run away from it all and take time out to figure out what I really want to do, but that feels wrong too.

I’m sorry this hasn’t been a very cheery update, I am generally okay and enjoying university life, it’s just sometimes I have moments like this where I question everything and feel overwhelmed and so I thought it was best to write my feelings out in the hope that someone might be able to relate. 

Anyway, thank you for reading. I hope you are all doing well and hopefully I’ll be back soon with a more positive post. 🙂

Advertisements

Surviving Uni & A General Life Update! (it’s autumn now ahh!!)

Me wearing brown brogues stood in a pile of red, orange and brown leaves

Hello! Long time, no blog, right? I don’t know about you but for me the weeks have just been flying by and I just haven’t had the time (or energy) to sit down and actually write. However, I am now on reading week at uni which means no lectures (yay!) and also that I’ve been here for six weeks and am over halfway through my first term at uni, so I thought an update about what I’ve been up to was due.

Uni has been MAD to say the least! things haven’t turned out how I expected them to be, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I feel like before starting uni, you have this ‘idea’ in your head of what it’ll be like, based on stories from family or friends or from TV programmes and films, but the truth is everyone’s experience of university will be different.

I’ve settled in surprisingly more smoothly than I thought I would, considering a few weeks before uni I was doubting whether I’d even be able to cope with living away from home, but I think because I’ve been so busy with lectures, studying, meeting new people and looking after myself I haven’t really had time to sit and dwell on things. I really thought I would be very homesick and want to go home but I’ve actually surprised myself in that sense because I love my uni and the local area and I haven’t really missed home a lot. I’ve missed my family and friends but I know I’ll get to see them soon so it’s okay! Before moving here I was determined to not come home for the first month and I succeeded in that! I still haven’t been home and it’s been six weeks now, although I am going home for a few days at the end of next week just so I can properly relax before term starts again. I think it’ll be really weird going home and then coming back to uni life again as it’s been so intense that I haven’t really had time to dwell on things, when you’re at uni you’re always busy and you just kind of get on with things.

I was really worried about making friends at uni as I’ve always been fairly shy and quiet however somehow in Fresher’s Week I found myself becoming very sociable and bubbly and excited to meet everyone. The initial first few days of inductions I was lucky enough to meet a group of people on my course who I got on with well and have stuck with ever since. I have been finding it difficult to move past the “people you hang around with in lectures” stage to developing actual friendships, but this past week I’ve really been making an effort to invite people out outside of lectures and it has really made a big difference, even if it was daunting at first.

It hasn’t all been easy though. I’ve found living in halls to be very intense and have been finding it difficult to get the right balance between socialising and having time to myself. For the first month I’d say I wasn’t very sociable at all as I was so stressed about changing course, had quite a few breakdowns and was really bad at managing my workload so I would spend my evenings shut in my room trying to cram the reading for the next day. This meant I haven’t really spent much time with my flatmates so we haven’t properly bonded, but I’m trying to spend more time in the communal kitchen now and just generally be more chatty. However I do find living in a halls there is almost a constant expectation to be sociable and some days I just really need a break from people and sometimes it’s hard to get that space, but I guess I’m still finding my feet and it’ll get easier!

In terms of my degree, as you may remember, I started out studying French and politics, and if you’ve followed my blog for a while you might know that I love languages, so I naturally presumed that at uni French would be my favourite of the two disciplines. However, after two weeks of lectures I found myself really not enjoying the French part of my degree. I think it’s partly to do with the way languages are taught here but also because I’ve been learning French in an academic environment for half of my life and I think I’ve reached the stage where I want to learn it more practically by living in France rather than studying in a classroom. The first few weeks at uni were very stressful because of this as I was just completely confused about what to do. I’d had it set in my head that I would study French and Politics for so long and when it didn’t turn out how I expected I was stuck. I was considering dropping out and reapplying to a different uni next year where they might teach french differently but I knew this was the right uni for me so in the end I decided to change my degree to Politics and International Relations. Although I am sad about not studying French anymore and missing out on the opportunity to do a year abroad, I think it was the right thing to do for me to be happy and fully settle in here. I’m really enjoying my degree now though and the modules I’m taking, even if I had two weeks worth of work to catch up on after switching degree!

I also thought I would struggle with cooking for myself as I didn’t cook often at home, but surprisingly I am doing okay and I think I am actually eating healthier than I would at home (aside from the snacking on biscuits…). I do have to rely on my mum for cooking advice though but I am surviving!

So yeah, that’s how I’ve been finding adjusting to university life so far. It still seems weird to think of myself as a uni student as part of me still thinks I should be doing A Level (sixth form will forever haunt me). I haven’t managed to tick anything off my London Bucket List yet (actually I have used the tube so that kind of ticks one of them off??), but I have been exploring the local area a bit which has been fun as it’s so different to home. I really miss being by the sea though 😦

I’ve joined the hiking society which is great to get off campus and spend some time in the countryside which always helps me to relax, even if my friends think I’m mad for walking 13 miles for fun! I’ve also joined the Student Scout and Guide Organisation so hopefully after Christmas I’ll be going to some of their national rallies around the country which I’m really looking forward to as I love camping. I’m also going to start volunteering at the local Scout group after the Christmas break as I’ve really missed Scouting after having a two year break, so it’ll be great to get back into it.

Perhaps the most exciting things that’s happened since I started uni was going into London on Saturday to meet up with some blogging friends! It was a miracle we all managed to find each other in Waterloo station considering how busy it is on Saturdays, especially when there’s a rugby match on, but we managed it! We ate lunch at a restaurant (after much indecisiveness) and then spent the day wandering around the city and it’s various parks, chatting and laughing about various things. It was so surreal to actually meet them after years of chatting online and following each other’s blogs, but it felt like I’d known them forever and the day flew by way too quickly. A massive thank you to Eve, Janet, Megan and Kel for making the day so enjoyable! We definitely need to meet up again soon!

I think that’s all for this sort of ramble-y life update thing. I have a feeling a lot of my posts are going to be like this from now on as uni life is very hectic, but you never know! I hope you are all well and if you’ve just started university, I’d love to know how you’re getting on! 🙂

P.S. I hope you enjoy the most autumnal photo I’ve taken this year – I got a lot of strange looks from both human and squirrels whilst photographing my feet standing a pile of leaves in the woods on my uni campus.