Rainy day thoughts: coming to the end of my degree

It’s still not kicked in that I technically only have two weeks left of University.

Today, I went into University to help as a ‘student ambassador’ for a University Applicant day where we met applicants possibly planning to start their undergraduate degree in something along the lines of English Language, Literature, Creative Writing or Drama come September. I can still remember my own applicant day back in early 2016 pretty well. I remember the Creative Writing taster session involved poetry and me and my mum sat there and had a go at putting prose together on scrap paper. I still have them folded up in my old diary in my room at my parents.

Every so often in the past three years I get the mini poem my mother wrote back out and read it and I just feel so utterly grateful for her and my dad’s support during my degree. Sometimes during these past three years I have worried that I made too much of an impulsive choice to study an English degree. That maybe my writing skills were too mundane and all along I had been kidding myself. That I wasn’t cut out for this. But then I remember that all of my loved ones have hope in me and constantly pushed me and encouraged me and I know that I must have made a good choice.

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

The path laid out for me after graduation right now isn’t a clear one, but I don’t think that scares me right now. If I was to visualise it, I think of myself walking through a forest on a summer’s day. The sun is shining bright and kissing the picking scars on my cheeks. All the leaves around me glisten like dripping emeralds and the air smells nostalgic. I look up and there are several pathways drifting ahead of me, they fade into the distance each with different flowers dotting the sides of the paths. I think if I had visualised this back after college or back in 2015, the paths would have been foggy and dark. Now anything seems quite exciting and I’m open to exploring wherever these paths may take me; especially if I have my family, partner and friends by my side.

Photo by Charles Black on Unsplash

These next two weeks are probably going to slip through my fingers without me even realising but I think it’s so exciting to realise that I’ve almost made it through three years of a degree. I feel in each year I have been a completely different person, constantly growing and changing. University has put my personality and my way of coping with situations in such a pressurized state that sometimes my flaws have come out but also sometimes talents and abilities I didn’t even realise I had have come out. The experience has helped me grow and develop. It’s helped me learn from my mistakes, admit to when I’ve handled things wrong and acknowledge parts of me that I need to work on.

Overall, as I come to the end of my undergraduate degree, finish my last essays (for now, my rambling blog posts might as well be essays) and await my final grades I think it’s good to accept the feeling of nervousness about the unknown but also acknowledge that it can only mean exciting things are ahead of me. I can’t wait to take on the long, winding pathways. It’s going to be strange not thinking about deadlines constantly but I’m excited to use the writing skills I have been taught to begin writing more on my blog as well as creatively in my own time.

Thank you for reading,

Header image: @gaellemarcel on Unsplash

The Five H’s of University Worries

I’m so excited about university, lately it’s probably one of the most prominent things on my mind and tongue. I recently accepted my unconditional offer from York St John university and come September this year, I’ll be a student there! Am I bricking it? Absolutely.

Obviously it’s normal to get a bit nervous and have some anxiety, especially if you’re moving away from your hometown to this new place. So I thought I’d share some of my 5 current worries about starting university because who knows, maybe other people have them too! Or students might have had them and known how to overcome them!

  1. Hunger
    So technically, if I was to receive my second accommodation preference this might be less of a worry(living that self-catered life), but my ideal uni flat would require me sharing a kitchen with flat mates and also cooking for myself. Now if you know me well enough you’ll know I could probably try and cook beans on toast and still mess it up. Ok maybe I’m not, that bad – but I’m hardly a chef or baker. I’m also hugely unreliable with money. I can imagine I’ll end up blowing my food allowance mainly on crap I might not need and come home and be like ‘well I forgot an actual important thing like dinner’.
  2. Home sickness
    Now I did get offers for Manchester based universities but I wanted to take this opportunity to get out of town and try a new city. York is absolutely lovely and I can imagine I’ll get used to it as a nice home but I am really prone to getting home sick. When I was in year 7 at a two night camping trip, I remember crying to sleep because I wanted my parents. God forbid this happening at uni. Not because I’m ashamed but literally not having my parents in face-to-face distance for once might be a bit more shocking to my system. My anxious, easily frightened system.
  3. Hearing
    This worry is probably not as ‘relatable’ as every students worry but I’m mentioning it anyways. Maybe to get it off my chest or maybe hopefully I can look back and be like ‘this was nothing to worry about’. Obviously my hearing will play a big part in my university life, whether or not I want it to. I’m highly scared of missing stuff in lectures or even missing out on conversations with people that might end up with not feeling as inclusive with potential friends or maybe being seen as rude or strange by others.
  4. Homework
    I have not had homework for almost 3 years. Therefore having to do essays and important work in my free time is definitely going to feel really strange to me. I am positive I’ll enjoy my course and probably the things we’ll be given assignments on but I’m praying that my procrastination side won’t kick in during university. I hate being stressed and late on work so I need to try hard to get stuff done as soon as I get assigned it.
  5. Humans
    Ok bear with me, I had a hard time think of a ‘H’ word for people/friendships. But basically, the worst fear of university – especially one in a new city – is being able to make friends. Now I don’t want to get all open and mopey but making friends has always been a toughie for me in the past. In recent years it’s obviously changed and I’m glad I’m seeing my self-esteem and confidence grow but I can feel inside me, I’m going to be shy when I go to university. Hopefully Freshers and the staggering amount of alcohol will maybe dissolve that shyness but ho hum.

So that’s basically my anxieties about the upcoming student year but the positives and excitement definitely weigh it all out! Did you guys have any of this starting university? Or maybe even have it currently about your future university? I’d love to hear people’s views on it!

 

Thanks for reading,

signaturemarch16

My To Read List before I start University

Recently I’ve been filling in my UCAS application to go to University in September next year. For people who don’t know what UCAS is, it is basically the online application to apply for up to 5 University courses, you attach a personal statement and reference and patiently wait to get interview offers from your desired places of education. I am eager to try and get into the University of Leeds or Manchester Met University next year and study a course that entails either English Literature or Creative Writing. I have been wildly motivated the past few days about my future University plans, I’ve even been gazing over prospectuses during my work breaks and daydreaming about what I will study.

Obviously to study English Literature you want to be a massive fan of Literature, which I am, just I am terrible with reading. I love reading and I love different pieces of literature including fiction, non-fiction and poems. I remember reading Carol Ann Duffy’s poem ‘Medusa’, in my GCSE English Literature and absolutely falling in love with it, the writing gives you Medusa’s own outlook of the curse she is given and I find the lines;

“Be terrified.
It’s you I love,
perfect man, Greek God, my own;
but I know you’ll go, betray me, stray
from home.
So better by for me if you were stone.”

Really powerful. You empathize with the woman and her feelings of distrust and anger towards Poseidon, who in traditional mythology, seduced her and when they were intimate, Athena cursed her for being un-loyal. However Poseidon was never punished and in this poem, it’s almost as if Medusa is warning him. Her curse makes people she makes eye contact with turn to lifeless stone. She is warning him to watch out and be scared because she loves him and she will look at him and yearn and he runs the risk of being turned to stone.

But this isn’t an essay on poetry. This blog post is me writing down a list to myself of what literature I want to read before I start any University in September 2016.

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (currently reading)
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  5. The Martian by Andy Weir
  6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  7. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  9. Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
  10. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  11. The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George
  12. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

So yeah! When I finish these books I’ll try and write posts about it to get back into the swing of reading deeper into stories and relating.

Thanks for reading,

Helena x x