Going to university/college will change you. I knew this already – I had been warned of it many times. But very few people can predict exactly how they will change because everyone is very individual.
What I have found, though, is that some aspects of how you change are actually surprisingly within your control.
Enjoying My Time
Time to myself and time for socialising and enjoyment has become quite important to my life balance. At IB, I was always working and couldn’t afford to give myself chill time. I became a machine.
Uni gave me a chance to rebalance myself – I came as much for the social aspect as for the degree, so I have made sure to prioritise the relationships in my life. I’m a massive introvert, so I also make sure that I value my alone time.
This has not really affected my learning, so I think I am maintaining a healthy balance. When my degree is done, all I’ll be left with is a piece of paper, a few new skills and hopefully some fabulous friendships and wonderful memories.
I’ve become best friends with someone who has had CBT and they know themselves really well. Their level of self-reflection has really rubbed off on me, and I feel like I have become more self-aware.
That has made it harder for me to joke about general life because I’m far more critical of my thoughts, so my conversations seem to always tend towards the serious and deep, completely skipping out the banter.
It’s great if I’ve established good friends already and/or someone has something important or interesting to say. It even works fine in small talk when I’m getting to know the facts about someone.
It’s not so great when you’re trying to get past the ‘acquaintance’ stage to the ‘good friends’ stage, especially when I’m talking one to one. I can get away with it if the other person is chatty (because I reckon I’m pretty good at listening) but I find it hard to get into a playful mood.
It takes me a lot of effort to think up something witty to say, and by the time I’ve come up with it, the moment has passed. As a result, I think I’ve ended up just regurgitating witty things I’ve heard other people say, so the banter isn’t really my own. Luckily, it’s not impacting my life massively, but it’s something I’m still working on.
Having a Tesco’s literally 5 minutes away from where I live has been so bad for my waistline 😂 I always have chocolate, biscuits or chocolate biscuits within arm’s reach of my desk…
I cycle and walk everywhere, so I haven’t quite reached Freshers’ Fifteen heights but I was quite happy with my size before uni 😅 I will try and change my eating habits in the coming term!
Each time I come home after 8 weeks of uni, I always feel stifled because I get so used to managing my own time whilst at uni, and not having to answer to anyone but myself.
I love the independence of first-year uni – you have things to do, but you do them in your own time. Catered halls are also a real gift, because cooking takes a surprisingly long time if you create something from scratch!
At uni, I find that I am more forgiving, patient and open-minded than when I am home. It is a place with a lot of different people, which is something that’s really celebrated!
New experiences like going to uni gives you a fresh perspective on things, and I think this is worth embracing.
I now need to transfer these qualities to people I have known forever – this is more difficult than it sounds because with familiarity comes expectations. I find that when they don’t meet my expectations, frustration and anger come quickly.
Who Am I?
I have not had a full-blown existential crisis yet, but I have started to give more thought to this age-old question that most people will spend the rest of their time alive trying to answer.
This is a topic that deserves a whole post to itself (don’t worry, it’s coming 😉 ) so I won’t go into detail here. All I will say is that I have started to feel lost, and I am immediately and unconsciously trying to solve it by turning to exterior methods rather than introspection.
I feel that there is no rush for me to figure this out immediately, so I think I am just going to take my time and see how it goes.
I started out as a very thinking person before I came to uni. My feelings never controlled me, and as a result, I didn’t understand when other people would act irrationally and blame it on their feelings.
Now that I’ve come to uni and met so many different people, I have become more open-minded towards them and more considerate of how my actions and words will make them feel. I think my relationships have really benefitted as a result of this!
Do you feel like you’ve changed recently? Have big events in the past changed you? How important do you think your environment is in influencing your character? Let me know, it will be really interesting to hear from you!