Thursday, 22 September 2011

On university

On this day 2 years ago, I started university. I haven't done it the 'normal' way. I have, and still live at home and commute in. I know so many people who think I have done it wrong. I understand their thoughts, that university is your first big adventure, the excitement of moving out and when you start living on your own. I know my boyfriend thinks like this. A lot of people think that is what university is all about. And yes, I guess it is. For a lot of people. But it wasn't for me.

I started university when I had just turned 17. I got an offer from a university that was local to me. I only applied to ones that were close by. That's because I was scared. I was not ready to move out, and it was my decision to stay close to home. If I was going to university now I am 19, of course I'd do things differently. Yes I would probably move out, certainly for my second and third years.  I was extremely shy and unconfident and if I had moved out I would not have adapted and grown like I would if I did now. I would have broken down. Everybody's circumstances are different.

I do not believe in regrets. I will never regret that I never moved out during my time at university, or went out for freshers because I wasn't 18, or not allowed on that first year trip to Amsterdam for being too young. I don't regret anything. I have still had an amazing time without doing it the conventional way. And I will for my third year too. I have still done things that have made me happy. I have met lifetime friends and fallen in love. So I didn't move out or learn to live independently, that's fine by me! I still have that adventure to come. It just so happened I wasn't at that point in my life when I was ready to do that. I feel I am now, and I feel excited about the prospect of moving out next year.

For those starting university now, or next year, or whenever; here is my advice. Do things your way. It is your life and your adventure.  Make memories because you want to, not because you are meant to or because everyone else is doing it. If you aren't in halls, I know you may think it's harder. But I made friends perfectly fine, and so did other commuters in my course. It's a good conversation starter, and just because they may know some people already, doesn't mean you have a disadvantage! This is your adventure, so go and be happy. Don't worry about what other people think! Do things that make you smile and take lots of photographs. Go out clubbing one night and stay in drinking a cup of tea and watching iplayer the next.
This is your adventure, no matter if you are doing it the conventional way or not :) Good luck!


  1. aw, amazing post katie! i'm not anywhere near uni yet really, but my school is forever nagging us about basically how hard it is and everything so what seemed so exciting just seems kinda imposs now. bloody school! *shakes fist*

    but it's so nice to hear your advice, i'm always feeling like i have to impress everyone but that all seems a bit crazy now!

    ramz and the flock

  2. Thanks so much Beth! Ah school :p Dont worry too much, its not impossible! Just work hard and you'll be fine! As long as its something you want to do then you won't have any problems! Thanks for your lovely comment :) xxx

  3. This is so good to hear! I'm looking to go to university next year, and I don't think I'll be able to move out, partially for financial reasons, and partly because the typical 'student lifestyle' scares me a little! Well done for doing things your way!

  4. I'm starting uni next monday and am staying at home like you did :) I've found this post really helpful and a big confidence boost, as all my friends are moving away now and are making their experience look all exciting whilst I'm still at home D: However the reasons for staying at home make sense, the uni is only a 40 min train ride away, and I'm taking my driving test next month so that's no problem. I've already met fellow commuters on facebook so I'm not the only one :D Uni will be amazing wherever I am and I'm really looking forward to it :) x

  5. I went to uni many years ago! I'd long left home and lived with my boyfriend (now husband) by the time I went, but it was too far to commute. I lived in halls and house shared too, later in the course. The great thing about uni is the diversity. People of all backgrounds and ages. Some live local some from other countries! It's about testing your comfort zone, but not too far it makes you unhappy. You know inside what's right for you. Good post and good advice Katie :) xx

  6. Good on you for sticking to what you want to do. Everyone's individual with different dreams/ideals/ways of doing things and it's nice to hear people embrace what they want to do, rather than feeling they have to follow the norm.

    Emily x

  7. it's good you know your own decisions for yourself.I've made many decisions which I don't know whether they were for the best or not, but I wouldn't be the person I am today! I am off to Uni soon for year two of my MA - here I am years later still at uni!

    Enjoy shopping :)

  8. I love this post, and I really needed to hear (read) this! I started uni in February and I'm a commuter - moving to uni if you live nearby isn't really done much here - and reading blogposts from people moving into dorms and such was making me feel like I'm missing out!