Being just over 100 miles away from home was sometimes just what I needed, but saying that I did miss my family lots. I missed my brother annoying the heck out of me and just being irritating, I missed my mum and our long chats and watching tv, I missed my dad too and he has done a lot for me while I have been away, they all have.
I skyped home a couple times a week because of how close I am to my family, but tried not to visit home too much as it can create the homesickness feeling. I had to go home every 8/9 weeks anyway from September to January due to having braces and visiting the Orthodontics back home, so it was nice to spend a few days there often.
I have had an amazing experience at university, and although I changed my course last minute from Psychology and Childhood and Youth Studies, to Forensic Investigations and Criminology I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year. I definitely am happy with how things turned out and I made the right decision to come here to study and change career direction. Freshers wasn’t amazing but that’s because I am not really a party person, I did go out a couple of times to comedy nights and out with friends every now and again.
I didn’t have the worst flatmates ever, which is nice. I lived in a flat with 2 girls and 2 guys, one guy- Jack, was just never around, he would stay at his girlfriends all of the time so we rarely saw him. The girls were nice, not usually the sort of people I would hang out with which is what I like about Uni, you have to talk to people you wouldn’t usually and it does put you in some uncomfortable situations, but with confidence I have learnt to get used to this. Everyone in my flat was friendly and polite, however, because I am a very tidy, organised and clean person, I found myself tidying up a lot after other people. We all had our own responsibilities within the flat, and sometimes we would have a little dispute over people not doing their bit etc but we figured it all out in the end.
My room was like a prison cell, when I first moved in I remember turning to my mum and wanted to burst out crying and I said I hated it, I thought I had made the worst decision ever to come to uni, but, things got better. I got used to my little space and made it homely with pictures and fairy lights. I also brought with me a memory box, I had read some recommendations before coming to uni on what to take, and this was about feeling homesick and just wanting to move back home, so I had a small box with pictures of family, friends my pets and just good memories and little things to remind me of how far I have come to get here and not to throw it away so quickly. I looked in it twice before Christmas, but after that I didn’t use it, that isn’t a bad thing, I was just too busy to think about going home and plus I loved the idea of being independent and free!
I loved being here in Kent, the place is amazing and not too far from the beach and other really nice places that are great for days out and the town is amazing, so busy though. We get a lot of tourists because of it being near Canterbury and Dover is literally just down the road. So we get lots of little French kids out on school trips.
I made some really good friends thorough my course, and I really do hope they are friends for life, they are so genuine and kind. And they have been very supportive and been there for me when I needed them.
My lecturers are all really nice and are so easy to get on with, sometimes we forget that those teaching us are real people too. I see them out and about in the town, and even down the pub! They are just an email away if you need help and they are so understanding and do whatever they can to help you. My university offers one-to-one tutorials with lecturers in each module so you can really get to know each other and its easier to go to them with a problem if you need help when you know them well.
Overall, I will miss halls but I definitely know there are better things to look forward to in September with our new house! I love food shopping, is that weird? and I also have fuelled my addiction of make up and nail polish with the student loan/grant 😛 I am going to enjoy summer back home but miss the place so much as it is so nice. I would definitely recommend going to Uni, only if you are not going because of the money you get, to party, or because you don’t know what else you want to do. Remember, you are going to be in serious debt after and you don’t want to waste £9000 a year on something you are not sure on. I have met plenty of quiet people here, people that don’t party or go out, and that’s fine, we all made new friends and we were all in the same situation, so don’t be scared to speak up. I have also met plenty of frequent party goers and that’s fine too, just make sure you balance your time well between socialising, work and partying!
I am really looking forward to my second year, and honestly, I cannot believe it has gone this quickly, this time last year I was finishing my A Levels and had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I hope this next year brings as many amazing opportunities as this year!