I think many people were shocked when Bob Dylan was selected as the Nobel Laureate for Literature, but in one of his most famous songs he writes: “The times they are a-changing.” Never has a truer word been said because over the next year, as a university applicant, your life will be “a-changing”!
Now I am going to brutally honest here: the UCAS application process can be troublesome and when it comes to applying for Student Finance, you have to read everything carefully because it can be hard to change things once its all confirmed. However, by the end of it you will be a whizz at completing paper working and, perhaps, like me you will end up knowing the hold music for Student Finance England by heart (it is awful music!) due to the number of calls I’ve made to them!
But having said that, do not be put off. There is no greater euphoria than finding out that a university has accepted you, because then everything begins to fall in place and your future will seem that bit more exciting and closer. And who would have thought that you would be so excited to go back into education?!
If you are living on campus or university owned accommodation, you’ll find yourself becoming increasingly independent. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be cooking entire meals, budgeting my money (and often failing to successfully do so), and meeting people from all over the UK and the rest of the world. If you are a “home bird”, then be prepared for a shock: you may never want to go home – it does happen sometimes.
In the first term alone I had dressed up as a cow for a social event (complete with a marigold glove as the udder), met royalty and even found a well paid job on campus itself.
Yes there’ll be reading to do, long essays to write and lectures with hundred people in, but isn’t that part of the uni experience? It’s a new environment and a chance to start afresh. Reinvent yourself if you want, become the person that you’ve always wanted to be, perhaps challenge the preconceptions and opinions that you already have – in short you may change as a person and that is not a bad thing, in fact it can be quite opposite.
But no matter what sort of person you are, the best advice is to make the most of it. Sure, you will be caught in a whirlwind of activity, the buzz of meeting new and interesting people and find yourself getting lost, but that does not mean that you can’t enjoy it. You’ll only be a first year once, so seize every opportunity.
I mean you think you’re living a great life now, wait until you begin university!