I have never been more scared about anything in my life than I was about coming to university. Anyone who knows me well will know that I am (or was) a complete and utter home bird. I love being at home, I love being with my family, and I hate change. The thought of going through the biggest change of my LIFE- leaving home, not seeing my family every day, living alone- was something I quite literally could not imagine myself even doing, let alone enjoying, last September. There were times when I genuinely didn’t think I would be able to do it. The joy of results day, for me, was overshadowed by the fact that now I actually had to leave home. I considered, more than once, staying at home and commuting to London every day. It seemed to make sense, and to be a lot easier, to stay in Welwyn.
It was a risk: I genuinely wasn’t sure I would be able to cope. And if I couldn’t cope then a lot of money, time, and effort would have been wasted. BUT, I took the risk, and 6 months down the line I cannot express how happy I am. I ignored the fear in my stomach and the thoughts in my head, listened to my parents, and moved here. It was scary, and the first few weeks were hard. But now I can honestly say that taking that risk is the best thing I have ever done. Hands down. Pushing myself far outside of my comfort zone has changed me irrevocably in so many ways, and I like the person that I am now much more than I liked the person that I was in September…
I go out more; I’m more independent; I’m more aware of how much money I’m spending; I’m less controlling (I think); I’ve learnt to love my own company. I’m more confident around new people. I’ve made new friends for the first time in years. I can do my washing (I know it’s bad but I never did this at home). I’m more accepting, more open minded. There’s been bad changes too…I’ve become more nocturnal, I spend more money, and wine is my new best friend…but even these changes I’m grateful for.
By far the biggest change, though, is that I’ve become a lot more chilled out. I’ve written a blog post before about my need to plan incessantly, and how I feel anxious if things don’t go as I’ve planned them to. Uni has started, albeit slowly, to change this. I’ve noticed (and I think my family have noticed), that I’m more laid back. I no longer have a fear of doing things last minute, and I don’t say no to things anymore just because I haven’t planned to do them. I’m learning to live in the moment, and I feel so much better because of it. I feel like I’m actually making the most of my life, rather than just wasting it living according to an excruciatingly detailed plan.
Everyone says that university changes you, but I think it’s hard to believe it until you actually experience it for yourself. Being almost one year down (I can’t actually get over this), I can honestly say that I feel like university is turning me in to the person I am meant to be. I appreciate that this sounds UNBELIEVABLY cringey, but it’s true.
I am obviously not saying that everyone needs to go to university to ‘find themselves’- what I am saying is that, if I had to pick the one thing that university has taught me, it’s that taking risks is so important. I could have easily stayed at home, but instead I took a risk. And I think that everyone needs to be a little less scared and do it a lot more. I appreciate that this is easier said than done, and that some people enjoy ‘risk-taking’ more than others. I, for one, am definitely not a risk-taker at heart: I like to have a safety net around me. Moving to uni tore me away from this net, but I can honestly say that I’ve never felt happier- all because I shut my eyes, and took a step (in my mind it was more of a HUGE leap) in to the unknown.
My favourite quote on risk taking is “if you take no risks, you will suffer no defeats. But if you take no risks, you win no victories”- in other words, if you want to stay in the same place your whole life, then that’s fine-don’t take risks. But if you want to move forward, to better yourself, to better others, then be brave and take the plunge, or spend your whole life wishing you had.
Ps. I know i haven’t written a blog post for almost a month now- honestly I just have not had the time, and I’ve been lacking inspiration. I am, however, in the process and completely revamping my blog so that it looks exactly how I want it to. I have no idea how long this is going to take, but watch this space xxxxx