I came back to Cambridge today.
Back to an absurdly enormous room with far too many chairs. Back to Eduroam WiFi that, amazingly, is a lot better than the WIFi in my house. Back to friends dropping in on my room without warning, back to readymeals cooked in the microwave and eaten out of the plastic tub. Back to trying to find homes for things that really don’t have them.
Back to work. Back to dance and ceilidh band and other societies. Back to lectures and supervisions. Back to friends. Back to lie-ins and all-nighters; back to regretting my sleep patterns. Back to not having anyone to tell me not to buy books (so buying far too many).
In short, back to university.
My room is gorgeous. Huge, in a slightly intimidating way, but I’m not complaining. It has a round alcove with a bay window and a window seat, where I’m keeping my harp. It currently contains somebody else’s fridge as well as mine, but I assume they’ll come and pick it up at some point. The ridiculously high ceilings mean it’s hard to hang things up, but I’ve put a couple of posters on the walls. The corner with the bookshelves is the most personalised, with books (from A Student’s Companion to Old Irish Grammar to Gods Behaving Badly which I bought the other day and want to read) and fairy lights and all my ten gazillion types of tea.
A year makes a huge amount of difference. This time last year, I was terrified, overwhelmed and anxious about the number of things I needed to do that week because I didn’t know how to cope. This year, I’ve got a fairly chilled out week before things start getting intense, since I’m not a fresher; I’ll have a few things to get done, but on the whole I can ease myself into it.
Also I have a lot of food, including homemade gluten-free flapjacks (and some that are gluten free AND vegan), so if I do end up being in need of comfort… well, I’ve got plenty of it.
I have high hopes for this year, mainly because I want it to be significantly better than last year. I spent six months just wanting to go home — literally crying on the train back to Cambridge after a trip back home for a hospital appointment because I didn’t want to go back — and my health was terrible and I was depressed and I didn’t know anyone yet. The plan is not to have that happen again.
If everything goes according to plan, I should be able to keep on top of my schedule (ha, you already know this won’t work out), so that I can still blog and vlog and review huge numbers of books. All while getting enough sleep. It’s ambitious, but I couldn’t do it in first year, so maybe I can do it now.
I don’t know if there are any freshers reading my blog right now, but if you’ve just gone to university, I’ve got a few pieces of advice.
Advice For Freshers
- You aren’t the only one hating it right now.
- Seriously, Freshers Week is the worst.
- The first term can be pretty hard, too.
- Even the first year.
- The point is, you’re not the only one having a hard time. A whole lot of people feel the same way — they’re just hiding it.
- They’ll tell you later in the year and you’ll realise you’re not the only one and everything will be wonderful or at least better.
- Food is a good way to make friends but it isn’t a substitute for talking to people.
- Join the local library, because sometimes you’ll just want fiction.
- Prioritise getting some downtime over going out every night or whatever. Even if you love clubbing. Your body needs time to regenerate itself.
- … because you will get Freshers’ Flu, it’s inevitable, so stock up on Soothers and paracetamol and soup.
- Skype your parents, for their sake if not for yours.
- University’s what you make it; if you don’t put in an effort, you won’t get anything out of it, so do your best to make it fun and hopefully it will be.
- If you want advice that will probably not be useful to anyone whose personality and circumstances aren’t exactly identical to mine, come and talk to me.
- Eat vegetables. EAT VEGETABLES.
Also, when I said my room was absurdly huge, I meant it. You can’t even SEE the bookshelf corner (or the bed, which I was sitting on to take this) in this picture…
Anything exciting happening in your lives?