How University Has Changed Me for the Better

When I received my A Level exam results and discovered I’d gotten into Essex, I was beyond excited. I thought about all these new things and experiences I’d be able to do, all the people I would meet and finally studying my favourite subject. Of course, I was also a more than a little nervous, I was moving pretty far away from home in Manchester to a place where I knew nobody. I really wasn’t sure how I’d manage to deal with so much change in such  a short time. Before I came to Essex I was quite shy, I really did not like speaking up in class and I had never used a washing machine in my life! As soon as I arrived though, I realised I just what I would get out of my time here and all the work I put into getting accepted, and I made a lot of effort to really enjoy myself!

Moving in and making friends

10377177_10153588209084141_8793010084931571372_nWho wouldn’t love throwing paint at their best friend?

In my first year I lived in Towers. Moving in and living with 12 other people seemed fairly daunting at first, especially when my parents left and I was all alone, but living in Towers was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I made efforts to overcome my initial shyness and the instinct to just hide in my room. In the kitchen I met a girl who later became my best friend, we bonded over both coming from the North down to Essex and a shared love for gravy. Kirsty was really outgoing and fun and brought me out of my shell. At the end of first year the two of us had somehow managed to amass a huge group of friends, most of them we probably met on a night out in Sub Zero! We did pretty much everything together and after living with her in second year, I’ve still not had enough of her crazy antics. I have so many stories to tell from living in Towers and something I didn’t think I was going to enjoy at first ended up giving me some of the best times and friends at uni.

Learning those life skills

10402707_10203082511564371_7025515205000319400_n We successfully made a Christmas dinner for 13!

The only sense in which I was familiar with a washing machine before I came to uni was knowing that we had one at home and my mum was the only person that used it. As a flat, most of us were in the same situation! The first time we used the washing machines we marched on down as a group to the launderette to work out how to use these mysterious machines. It was a great success, nothing had shrunk and what was white remained white!  We basically all came to university with academic skills but not many life skills. So we tackled it head on together!

At Christmas we all came together and made a giant roast dinner. As a person who eats chicken nuggets much more than they should, I never thought I’d be able to do this! Being at uni has meant that I have had to become much more reliant on myself. Now I actually don’t mind washing my clothes and cooking. Doing the dishes however, will always be the bane of my life!

12028824_913237812086616_2498726382580423333_o.jpg The best pals!

Without coming to Essex I don’t think I’d be the person that I am today. I don’t think I’d ever have been brave enough to go and live in another country for a year, like I’m doing now (I’m currently on a Study Abroad year in America). The people I’ve met and the experiences that I’ve had really improved my confidence and ability to go out and try new things. Before uni I would never have dreamed that I would have had four jobs in one year, but I went out there and grabbed every opportunity I could. I am no longer the shy and quiet fresher I was back in 2014 and, you know what, I’m good with that.

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