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. 🙂

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Fresher’s Week (so far)!!

HEY IT’S NEARLY MIDNIGHT AND I HAVE 10 AM LECTURE TOMORROW BUT LOL I’M JUST GONNA RAMBLE FOR A BIT AHHH.

So this is like, a mid-Fresher’s week update I guess?? I’ve been at uni for 4 days now, even though it feels way longer than that! This week has been so busy and hectic so far, what with moving in, meeting tonnes of new people, having to cook and do responsible adult things and attending induction lectures, that I’ve barely had time to go to actual Fresher’s events (oops).

I’m actually coping a lot better than I thought I would and honestly I’m so surprised like I’ve been a lot more confident and open to meeting new people. Although not having any good friends here yet is a bit difficult and I do kind of miss having people who know me well, it’s actually been a lot easier than I thought to start up conversations with people. I absolutely love living on a campus as it means there’s always people around you who are in the same boat and it feels like a real community. I’ve been meeting people from my courses (I’m doing a joint honours degree) this week which has been great – I was in a few group chats for my subjects anyway so I’ve just been asking if anyone wants to meet up which has honestly been one of the best decisions ever as it’s so comforting to have people to turn up to lectures with (so we can all get lost together haha).

I’m getting on well with my flatmates as well which I’m so relieved about. I thought it’d be a bit awkward as I’m not really a partying person, contrary to the student stereotype, but it’s worked out quite well as my flatmates don’t like going out all the time either and don’t drink loads. They’re all very different from me and at first I felt like the odd one out but now we’ve gotten to know each other a bit better it’s getting easier. I also like that my flatmates like spending time by themselves too, as I was a bit worried if I wasn’t constantly in the kitchen and hanging out with them I’d miss out, but we all value our alone time to recharge which is nice.

I’ve had so many induction lectures which has been kind of exhausting – although I had three politics lectures today and hung around with the same group all day so now at least I’ll have a few familiar faces to chat to when lectures start properly! I also met someone who comes from my home town (ish) which was really comforting as we could relate to each other – pretty much everyone else I’ve met here is from London or an international student.

I know I haven’t been here long so the homesickness will probably hit me at some point, but for now I just wanted to check in and write out how I’m feeling. Sorry it’s been quite a short update – I really should get some sleep as I’ve got a busy day tomorrow with more politics lectures and meeting my tutors. If you’ve recently moved out to uni, I hope everything is going okay. I’d love to chat to you in the comments and hear how you’re getting on!!

Bye for now 🙂

Rambling about uni instead of doing the stuff I need to do AHH

Okay, time for another ramble because I can’t seem to keep hold of blogging ideas for more than two minutes before I get distracted by something else AHAHHAH. I’m moving to uni in 10 days (help) so things are a little busy/stressful/hectic at the moment!! I thought I’d take some time to write down my current thoughts about moving out though.

This week has been weird as some of my friends have moved out already and others i’ve met up with for the last time before uni. It’s WEIRD thinking that some of my friends are already at uni. I kind of wish my term started earlier as I’m the last to leave from my friendship group, which isn’t a bad thing but the longer I have to wait, the more nervous/excited I get about moving into my university halls.

At the moment, I’m a bit stressed because I can’t pack anymore than I have done as we don’t have many suitcases/boxes so I have to wait until my sister moves back to uni on Saturday before I can pack anymore, which means I’m a bit restless at the moment because there are lots of things that I need to do before university, but can’t currently do. Also, I still haven’t got my full timetable or chosen my optional modules for French which is stressing me out a bit as I don’t know what’s going on, not to mention I have no clue which induction talks I have to go to in Fresher’s Week because I’m split between two departments. Speaking of Fresher’s Week, I can’t buy my tickets for event until Monday ahhhh. For someone who likes to be organised, it’s difficult having to wait for things to be sorted, but I’m trying to be patient!!

As for moving out itself, I’m quite looking forward to it. I found out my flat number last week and have met a few flatmates online which is reassuring. I’m looking forward to having my own space in my room and being able to cook what I want to eat, although I’m sure cooking will come with it’s own challenges! I am nervous about meeting my flatmates and course mates though – I’m hoping we get on well, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and just embrace everything as it comes.

I’m worried I’m going to forget something whilst packing because although I’ve written a big list, I’m bound to miss something, especially as I’ve been packing for the past few weeks rather in one go, I can’t remember which boxes and bags everything is in, which will make it interesting when I unpack, I’m sure.

I’ve been trying to keep busy this past week or so, meeting up with friends, going on days out and a few goodbye parties. In a way it’s been nice as I feel like I’m making the most of my last few weeks at home, but I haven’t had much time to do important things that need doing before I start, so that’s my plan for next week.

I’m sorry this is a little all over the place – that’s been my constant mood lately -but I think my blog is going to be like this for a while as I’m settling in and adjusting to a new environment, but hopefully I’ll post the odd update here or there!

To anyone that’s starting uni or college this year, I hope it’s goes/is going well!!

Bye for now 🙂

(Also, sorry this post is horribly incoherent and rushed!!)

Uni supplies haul!!!

Greetings mes amis! As I’ve now finished A Levels (exactly two months ago) and will be going off to uni (exactly one month from now!), it’s fair to say I’ve had a lot of shopping to do in terms of supplies for uni.

I’ll be moving away from home – 121 miles away to be exact – hence I am going to be living in university halls. I was really excited to start buying bits and bobs….until I realised just how much you need to buy when you move out and how expensive it is! Nevertheless, I have enjoyed stocking up on the essentials this summer, so I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite items so far (because if I showed you everything, it would be a VERY long and probably not very interesting post!).

My accommodation is self-catered, so I had to buy all the stuff for the kitchen too but luckily my duvet and pillows are provided by the uni so that saved me a bit of money!

(Also I’m sorry about the poor quality photos!! I am just,,,not good at blog photography oops. I’ve tried to include where I bought stuff from and prices if I can remember them too!)

Coat hangers

T K Maxx/Homesense £3.99

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Okay so coat hangers aren’t the most interesting of objects, BUT THESE ARE FLUFFY AND GREEN (grey??) AND I LOVE THEMMMMMM. Also I love the rose gold metal too! I have a feeling I’ll need more than 12 because I don’t have any drawers at uni so most of my clothes are going to have to hang, so I’ll either get another set or just take some from home.

Duvet covers

London duvet – Argos – £11.99

Colourful duvet – Primark – £8

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The first duvet cover I got is a sort of hand-drawn map of London. As I am moving to London, I couldn’t resist buying this!! The back of the duvet cover is black and white with London street signs on it.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The second one I got is a very brightly coloured one!! The photo is just the pillowcase because they are double duvet covers so I couldn’t fit it all in the shot, but the whole pattern as yellow, blue and red geometric shapes on it and on the other side it is just black and white polka dot.

Both of these items were in the sale so I don’t know if they’re still available!

(Also once I’ve moved in, I’ll probably do a little room tour so you can see what the duvets and other various items look like).

Crockery

Dinner plate – Wilko – £2.50

Side plate – Wilko – £2.00

Bowl – Wilko – £2.00

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My next favourites are my bowls and plates!! I bought two dinner plates, two side plates and two bowls in case I break some or have someone over to stay. The two plates are from the Mediterranean collection at Wilko which I just had to get after going to Marseille last year and falling in love with the Med! The bowl was from a different collection because the Mediterranean bowl was really flat (??) so it doesn’t really match the others but I still like it!

Saucepans

T K Maxx/Homesense – £14 (ish)

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Okay so I know they’re just saucepans but???!!! THEY’RE BLUE. AHHH. I don’t really know what else to say lol. I think they were about £14 for both but I can’t remember the exact pricing!!

Stationery

Office Outlet/Staples – Pukka Pad 200 pages – £1.99

Office Outlet/Staples – Campus Refill Pad 300 pages – £2.49

Office Outlet/Staples – Hole punch and stapler set – £3.99

Tesco – Crayola Super Tips 24 pack – £3 (ish)

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I was thinking about doing a separate stationary haul but realistically I don’t think I’m going to need to buy a lot this year as I’ll reuse lots of stuff from sixth form. However, I did pick up four pads of paper because I get through so much of it!! And I needed a hole punch and stapler (after I broke mine last year trying to hole punch a 30 page document oops). My felt tip pens had been running out for a while so I treated myself to a 24 pack of Crayola ones (yes, I feel like a little kid but oh well) for bullet journalling and general revision! They should last ages since I won’t be using them all the time! All the stationary I bought was on sale at around half of their original price, which is why I stocked up on so much paper as it is usually so expensive!!

Cacti

Sainsbury’s – £5

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The last item in this mini haul are my cacti!! I already own two pot plants which I will be taking to uni with me but when I saw this trio of cacti I couldn’t resist!!! My mum and I have given them names haha. The little glass pots they are in are actually tea light holders from Flying Tiger (my fave shop) which were 2 for £2!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little haul. There are obviously many more items that I’ve had to buy for uni which I haven’t included (if I had I’d have to unpack all my boxes!!), but these are my favourites so far. I definitely need to get some more decorative bits for my room, although I am taking some stuff from home. I think I need to hit up Primark’s home ware section 😂

Bye for now 🙂

Thoughts on Leaving Home & University

Hello! Before I start, can I just say how much I am loving this spring weather?? Finally, the snow and cold has gone and we’re experiencing proper spring here in England. As I’m writing this, I’m sat on my bedroom floor watching the sunset through my windows – it’s beautiful!

Today we went for a bit of a drive through the countryside to pick up my mum from a Cub Scout event and it was like I’d almost forgotten how beautiful the rolling hills of Somerset looked in the golden sunlight. We drove past the farm where my family buys eggs from now and again and I felt really nostalgic about all the times I went with my parents as a child to collect the eggs. We also came across a couple of tractors and farmers just casually chatting in the country lanes – it really made me realise how much I’m going to miss living here.

Ever since the prospect of going to university became a reality, I’ve always said that I’d go to university on the coast. It may sound silly, but I’ve lived by the sea all my life and for a very long time, the thought of living away from the sea seemed impossible. For me, the sea represents so much more than just the mass of water that it is. When I stand on beach, looking out into the – albeit brown – sea, I find freedom in the horizon that stretches out further than the eye can see. It represents endless possibility and, most importantly, that there is more to life that I’m living within this bubble. When I feel trapped and claustrophobic under the blanket of pressure from college, friends or family, even just thinking about the sea gives me hope and ignites my spirit of adventure. I always thought that if I lived inland, I would feel trapped and swamped by society, so therefore when thinking about university, 15-year-old me decided I must live by the sea.

However, a few years down the line, I applied to university with none of my five choices being located on the coast. What happened? Well, as I’ve been exploring different pathways and possibilities, I found myself pursuing – unexpectedly – a rather niche degree in the UK comprised of (roughly) European politics and French. Therefore, the selection of universities I had to choose from was sadly quite limited.

I think that’s why it’s taken me so long to decide where to go to university – I received all my offers back by early January but was torn between them all because none of my options seemed the obvious choice. Sure, each one had it’s benefits but none of them would allow me to continue living under the safety blanket that the sea provides me.

Surprisingly, I’ve finally settled on going to London, which if you know me well you’d be shocked at as I’ve always said I wanted to go anywhere other than London. However after my travels in London last summer and going to various open days and applicant days, I fell in love with city and the prospect of living in the hustle and bustle of it all started to appeal to me. Also, the university I’ll be going to offers me some really exciting opportunities for the years to come, including spending a year abroad working, studying or teaching in a French-speaking country.

I think, in all, this decision to move to the capital has come from my growing self-confidence over the past few months. I felt confident enough in my decision-making skills to accept my university place and was pretty sure that, in five months time when I move in, I’d still feel as though it was the right decision. I also felt confident enough to leave behind the sea that I love so much as I no longer need it to act as a source of optimism about future adventures in the wider world. University is the start of my adventure after all, so I could finally stop dreaming and get ready to start living it.

Although the thought of leaving home thrills me and terrifies me in equal parts, I know it’s the right decision for me. So many great opportunities lay ahead, and I’m so glad I’ve found the courage to let myself experience them. I will miss home very much, which is natural of course, but I know the sea and rolling fields will always be here waiting for me to return.

 

//Royal Holloway uni open day; thoughts//

Hello! Hope you’re all loving the heat right now!!! This weekend has been so summer-y, it’s gret (although it’s hard to get in the mindset of doing school work when it just feels like the summer holidays).

Anyway, yesterday I went to my second university open day: Royal Holloway. Now, not many people have actually heard of Royal Holloway – in fact I only found it by chance because the course I’m looking into studying is very niche and not many unis actually do it – so I’ll give you a brief overview. Royal Holloway is one of the 19 (?) colleges (well…really universities) of the University of London. The main bulding – Founder’s – (a.k.a the orange castle) was built in the 1800s and is based on a French chateaux (is this fate??? I mean FRENCH). 

The building is so huge…my photography isn’t great – if you want to see better photos of this stunning building, google Royal Holloway!

It was actually one of the first univerisites in the UK to provide higher education to women (yay!!) and has notable alumni including Emily Wilding Davison, the pioneering suffragette, herself. Whilst most of the colleges of the University of London are located within (you guessed it) London, this is not true of Royal Holloway. When I was originally searching for universities, I dissmissed Royal Holloway because I thought it was in London But when all the other universities that did my course appeared to be located at the other end of the country, I decided to look into it a bit more (what can I say the orange castle is just irresistable!) and discovered that it’s actually located near to a small town called Egham in Surrey.
So, a few months later (i.e. yesterday) I embarked with my family on the two and a half hour drive down the M4 to visit Royal Holloway. The journey there was actually lovely as once we’d exited the motorway we drove through Old and New Windsor past Great Windsor Park and Windsor Castle. The local area already felt so different to where I currently live – Surrey is a suprisingly green county for somewhere so close to London, and their are woddlands everywhere! What I also loved was how close the Thames was to the uni – whilst we were driving through window we followed right by the Thames with it’s beautiful narrow boats and it looked like such a beautiful place to go for a stroll on a summers day. Also the little village of Englefield Green which we passed through just before reaching the uni was lovely. It’s mostly a student village, but all of the houses are quaint and historic – which I loved – and then there was the green itself which had a small pavillion and the local cricket team could be seen practicing on.

Our first sight of the uni itself was the stunning Founder’s building that we glimpsed through the grand gates of the uni. It was honestly overwhelming to see the building in real life after months of gazing at pictures in prospectuses. We got to drive right past Founder’s on our way to the car park. After parking we headed straight over to registration where we were greeted by friednly students who booked me in and gave me my welcome pack (seriously they gave away so many freebies?? Like I ended up with a canvas bag, jelly beans, a pen, lanyard, water bottle, four pairs of sunglasses and a polaroid photo of my family and me inforont of the staute of Jane and William Holloway by the end of the day!).

The first talk we attended was the introduction to the uni which was lead by the Principal, who seemed really appraochable and the presntation itself was really informative and encouraging, considering I hadn’t done much reading into statistics and ranking about the uni because numbers confuse me greatly. The building we were in for this talk was the really modenr Windsor Building, which looked right out onto Founder’s and was right next to the new Emily Wilding Davison building which will house a new library, study spaces, shop and bank when it opens in a few months. The new building is very modern but it doesn’t look at all out of place next to Founder’s. Plus the whole front side will be glass, so you can sit in the library studying with the amzing view of Founder’s surrounded by woodland.

The next thing we went to was a modern languages talk which was really interesting and informative and I’m so hyped about studying languages in general at uni now.  The course I’m actually looking at is called European and International Studies (French) which is essentially the same as French and Politics (the course I’m looking at elsewhere) except you just study European politics, which is pretty cool! This course is part of the School of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, so it wasn’t included on the modern languages talk I attended, but as half the course will be taught by the languages department and I’d be taking the same modules as people doing just French, I wanted to get a feel for the too.

After the talk, the temperature had reach about 27 degrees – in other words: HOT. We decided we couldn’t face sitting in another lecture theatre so we headed off to the bottom of the campus to view the accommodation. I actually fell in love with the accommodation – I’m looking for self-catered en suite accommodation, and I was really pleased with the size of the rooms and bathrooms! The accommodation was really modern and spacious with loads of big windows to let in light in the bedrooms and the hallway (there’s nothing I hate more than artificial lighting). The rooms also had massive desks and lots of storage space, as well as huge notice boards which is great because I could bring my world map poster and pretend I’m a geography student!

There were between 6-8 rooms per flat, and the shared kitchen was also huge with loads of cupboards, a large table and huge windows at either end. There was only one hob and oven though, so I’m not sure if that would be an issue between 8 people?? Can I just say though, the views from the rooms and kitchens were stunning. Not only did you get an amazing view of the beautiful campus, but of the surrounding Surrey countryside, Thorpe Park could be viewed in the distance as well as Windsor if you’re facing the right way and ofcourse you could spend hours watching planes taking off from Heathrow which – despite being very close by and all the low-flying planes – wasn’t too noisy from the rooms which is great.

I love the sort of student-village lay out of the accommodation, it felt really sociable and relaxing because you had the woodlands right on your doorstep, along with the sporting facilities and various places to eat. I was kind of sad that all the accommodation in Founder’s Building is catered – I mean who wouldn’t want to live in a castle?? But I did really, really love the self-catered flats that were on offer. 

After viewing a few different flats, we decided to head of to Founder’s Field for lunch. We took the scenic route wandering through the woods and passing my a little river then sat under the trees at the edge of the field with Founder’s in front of us in all it’s glory. The whole atmosphere of the campus felt relaxed and peaceful, although it is about half the size of Exeter Uni so I wasn’t sure if it felt a little too claustrophobic, as the academic buildings were quite tightly packed in.

At about 2pm we went into Founder’smain lecture theatre for the politics talk. The politics department is actually based in Founder’s building, so I’d have my lectures in there which is pretty cool! By this point it had reached about 31 degrees andit was stifling, so it was hard to pay complete attention during the lecture but I still took everything in that I needed to and got a good impression of the politics side of the course I’d be doing.

I must add that before we actually got the lecture, we got lost in the south and north quads in the middle of Founder’s and the many.corridors leading off of them. We ended up in the old library at one point which looked like Hogwarts library so that was pretty cool! 

The final talk we went to was last minute decision as we were hot and tired and about go home, but I thought​ it would be a good idea to go to the student life talk in the Windsor Building. This actually turned out to be the best decision ever as we’d found (probably) the only air condition room on site!

Sadly after that it was time to go as the open day was coming to an end. I have to say I was pretty sad to see Founder’s building getting smaller and smaller as we drove away from it. We did have a quick drive around Egham, the nearest town, and it looked pretty nice! It was also pretty cool because yesterday the town was celebrating Magna Carta Day as it was signed at nearby Runnymede.

So, that concludes the run down of the day. I’m still trying to price together what I thought of the uni as a whole, be wise open days are so intense they can often be overwhelming! I know I definitely liked the uni and the surrounding area has so many sites and places I want to explore. I also like it’s proximity to London, as currently I live about 4 hours drive away, so the prospect of taking a 40 minutes train journey into the city is quite exciting, as I feel like I haven’t spent enough time in London to appreciate it fully. My only worry would be that the campus would feel too claustrophobic, which I know is stupid because it is surrounded by green space and woodland. It could be just because the open day was so hectic with people milling everywhere, or maybe because I’m comparing it to Exeter too much, which felt a lot more spacious. I really loved the course though and all other aspects, so I definitely want to visit it again and see what I think in a couple of months time. Having said that, the first time I visited Exeter with my sister a few years ago I didn’t like it at all, but this time I loved it, so Royal Holloway will probably grow on me over time too!

I feel like the main differences between Exeter and Royal Holloway is that Exeter sort of feels like where I live now. I mean, it’s in the neighbouring county and I’ve spent a lot of time in Devon, so the area surrounding the uni and the city itself didn’t really stand out to me. Whilst at Royal Holloway, Egham and Engelfield Green felt completely different, even the trees and countryside and nature were different to home. I can’t work out whether I’d prefer to live somewhere completely new, or somewhere that feels like where I live now. Also, the sizes of the campuses. I think I felt more relaxed at Exeter because it was more spacious, however yesterday was extremely hot so that probably affected how claustrophobic I felt as well. I think I’m definitely going to have to visit both again next year and think carefully about what each can offer me. And of course, the grade requirements will come into it. I’ll just have to wait and see!

//Exeter Uni open day; thoughts//

Hi guys! As you may know from my countless posts rambling on about the woes of A Levels, I am currently a Year 12 students, which means that next September I will be (hopefully!) heading off to uni. As I have to apply to universities by Januray, this summer I’ll be travelling aorund the UK to look at different unis and see what they can offer me.

You may have read my rambles a while ago about me not knowing what I wanted to actually study at uni. Until a few months ago, I had my heart set on studying history and geography, but a couple of days after going to a UCAS event and speaker to some current students and uni respresentitives, I realsied that my heart wasn’t really in it. I was never really able to picture myself studying history and geography – I just had this vague wishy-washy image of myself at uni, put it was as if it would never come in to focus. Perhaps that’s because everything was put into sharp persepective and whilst I thought I was loving history and geography at A Level, I realised that I’m the sort of person who can put up with studying just about anything, because I’ll work hard at everything I do even if deep down I hate it. Hence, I discovered that my actual passion and (almost) life-long passion has been, and still is, languages. Therefore I’m know heading off down a different path, turning a different corner and opening a different set of doors.

As well as knowing I wated to carry on with my language-learning at degree level, I realised that ever since I did Government and Politics AS Level last year, my love for everything political has been growing. Alongside the imaginative, curious and creative side of my brain, I also have a really logical, analytical mind which wants to know all the intricate little details about how everything works and came to be, hence I loved the insisght into the working of govenrment and political systems that the AS Level granted me, much the same way as I find French grammar – the inner workings of the language – truly fascinating. Therefore, I hope to embark on – what I’m sure will be  – the enthralling journey of a Politics and French combined honours degree.


So today, I woke up at 7:30 am to drive down to Exeter for their university open day. Exeter is the first uni I’ll be looking at this year, and it definitely did not disappoint! I feel as if now the whole university process is beginning, I have been thrust into a whirlwind of adreniline and excitement as the next daunting chapter of my life begins to unfold.

Once we’d arrived on campus after taking the park and ride service the university had put on, we started our day with a tour of the accommodation. I have to say, I am rerally impressed. Having visted various other unis two years ago when my sister was in the same position I am in now, I have seen my fair share of good and bad accommodation. But, I found Exeter’s to be really nice and spacious, and in a prime location on campus (even if I would have to walk up a hill to get to my language lectures).

After that, we headed back up the hill (where I bumped into a friend from my geography class, then shortly after my friend from history who seemed really surprised yet happy to see me there and welcomed me with a hug) and commenced a campus tour. The student ambassador who was leading the tour was really friendly and helpful, and I had a few conversations with her as we were going around which was really useful to see things from a current students prospective. In fact, all of the student ambassadors who I encountered during the day were so freidnly and helpful, and really made the day! The campus itself is beautiful – there are so many green spaces, tress, wildlife, plants – not to mention the views over Exeter and the countryside! I also loved how the campus had a contrast between older buildings and more modern spaces, which really helped it to come together and give it more of a community feel.

Aother thing thart I really liked about the open day was the acedemic fair, which we attended after having some lunch. You could basically go around to different stalls and talk to students and faculty members for the subjects you’re interested in, as well as pick up handy booklets which broke down all the modulkes and gave you all the information you need for each degree. Again everyone was really friendly and it was a great opportunity to ask questions.

The final part of the day was based on attending subject presentations, which lasted around 45 minutes. They had subject presentations at different times throughout the day, but when I booked my ticket they only had available slots in the afternoon, and I had to pick particular times so they didn’t class as I wanted to attend both the modern languages presentation and the politics and international relations presentation. All of the staff did a really good job of explaining their course structure etc and they were clearly passionate about their subjects, which I found really encouraging. Both subject talks I went to really made me fall in love with the courses, and helped me confirm that I was making the right decision about what I wanted to do. What I loved about both courses was the fact that you have a lot of flexibility over which modules you take, and with both there is the possibility to explore a wide range of topics within the subjects themselves. Also, the variety of wayts in which the subjects are examined. Instead of just doing exam papers, you can do oral discussions, group presentations, coursework, role plays – even writing draft policies and writing texts to advise world politicians (well, not actually but you get what I mean…hopefully). Especially with the French side of the degree, the university appears to have a wealth of foreign language resources, and the prospect of spending a year in a French speaking country studying, working or teaching sounds so exciting!

Overall, I had a really enjoyable time, and Exeter uni has definitely made an impression on me! However I want to try to keep an open mind when I visit other unis over the next few months and try to form an impression of them in their own right, but I thought it would be a good idea to write down my thoughts on each uni on here so I can read back on these posts when it comes to choosing which uni to put as my firm and insurance choices.

Are you agoing to any uni open days? Or starting university soon like me? Let me know below. 🙂