If you have been following me for a little while you will know that I was in my final year of a criminology degree.
I finished my degree a couple of days ago (yippee!).
DISCLAIMER: I am going to be completely honest here. If you are one of the people I talk about then sorry, but not sorry also.
A lot of people always ask me what university is really like, and I always find that a lot of people sugar coat things, and make it out like it's all party, happiness, and generally great times.
This isn't true.
Sorry if I burst your bubble...
Overall, university is a great experience.
If you are thinking of going because you need it for a career then go for it. However, if you are thinking of going to uni to put off getting a job, or think you will "find yourself" (I cringe as I say that, ergh), or if you think it'll be an easy three years....do not go. It's a very expensive way to find out that none of those things happen or are true.
University is hard. It has been a difficult three years. There is a lot of work, especially in your final year. If you don't work your ass off and commit to it fully then you won't get the grades you want.
Hell, there will be a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.
I have gone through some of the hardest times of my life at university. Dealing with being cheated on rather a lot, my mum having cancer, some nightmare situations this year that made me reconsider my entire degree, and some severe homesickness this year.
I also made the decision to stop drinking back in October because I was starting to get a tad ill after drinking far too much (sorry, mum) over the previous two years. I found that this meant I essentially got left out of things - told you I was being honest - and actually meant that I didn't get on with my house mates any more. To be brutally honest, that has been absolute hell for me. I kept myself prisoner in my room, I was always scared to be in a room with them, and now I am extremely happy to be moving out. These are all things I never thought would happen to me, especially when I was really good friends with them beforehand. But advice I have been given is "you win some and you lose some".
But it has also been a really great time. I've met (a few) people that I will consider lifelong friends, gained a degree, had amazing opportunities, and been able to develop myself in ways I wouldn't have done without coming here.
The bad times were unbelievably shit, I won't pretend they weren't. Yet I have way more positive memories of the last three years, particularly more from my first and second year.
The one thing I think I have learned most from being at university is that you can't please everyone, and you shouldn't try to. People are going to go out of their way to make you feel like shit, believe me it happens a lot. You have to be strong enough to know when to walk away, whether it be from a friendship, relationship, or anything group work-y.
Oh, a second thing I learned (the hard way) is that you get out what you put in. If you put your everything into an essay then you will get the results. If you do them the night before you will (mostly) not do too great.
Remember that you are coming to university to gain a degree, not to party your life away.
I may consider doing a university Q&A sort of thing later on if anyone has any questions. I will be doing a "my degree in pictures" next week, so keep your eye out for that!
I want to know what advice would you give to someone going to university/starting a new job/making a big life decision? Put your answers in the comments below!
As always, thank you for reading, and I will see you all next time!
PS. sorry for not blogging for a while, dissertations are hard.