Deciding to Go to Uni
I went to an all girls grammar school from the age of 11 until the age of 18 (I stayed on to their sixth form, which was mixed sex). As they were so academic, there was no question of whether we would be going to Uni, though I was adamant that I wasn't, right up until a couple of weeks prior to the UCAS deadline, when I suddenly realised that I had no idea what I would do if I didn't go to Uni. I decided to do an Events course as it was something that interested me, and when I looked into universities that offered it as a course, I found that Bournemouth was one of the top courses so I decided I might as well stay in the area. I have never had the desire to travel off and away from home, I am a family girl at heart so it suited me perfectly.
|I mean, who wouldn't want to go to Uni here?!|
Staying in Bournemouth for Uni meant the logical choice was to just stay with my mum at home in my first year. This might sound good in regards to saving money, and being able to eat proper food rather than survive on junk food or pasta, but in reality it kind of sucked. It meant that I started missing out on Uni life before I even got there. We were encouraged by the Uni to start talking online to other people on our course, getting to know one another and planning events (see, they were starting us early) for when we arrived in Bournemouth so that we could start making friends. Everyone was busy discussing where they would be living, who would be living in the same buildings, same floors of buildings etc, whilst I was left on the sidelines. For awhile I got by on the novelty of saying that I would show people around, act as a tourguide etc, but before long people were arranging parties in their halls, and I wasn't a part of any of it. I managed to stay in touch with one girl and she invited me out a couple of times during Freshers, though in the end she turned out to be a complete bitch and ditched me after a few days in favour of her new uni let flatmates. I ended up spending the rest of Freshers fortnight with my two best friends from home Aimee and Sealy. I had a lot of fun, but it wasn't really a good idea to isolate myself even further from my course mates.
Luckily for me, Uni has an annoying habit of forcing you to interact with people outside of your little cliques, and I was put into groups in most of my modules. It was through one of these that I met my two best friends at Uni, Abi and Georgie. We were all pretty shy around each other to start with, but none of us had really made many friends on the course so far, so it worked well that we were put together, and we became good friends quite fast. Before long we ended up staying round Georgie's Uni-let flat most nights, going out into town a lot, pre-drinking with her and her flatmates, and cooking together in their teeny tiny kitchen. We became inseperable. Abi lived miles away in halls in the next town, with flatmates who had turned against her, so we spent most of the time together. Occassionally we would stay over mine but it was Georgie who was often lumbered with us in her (luckily double) bed.
|Mature Uni students...|
In the second term of the first year I started going out with a guy on our course and I hung around with him a lot as well.
|With my ex|
|Summerball dressed as Paris Hilton|
In the second year of Uni, Abi and I had arranged to live together. We wanted Georgie to as well, but apparently she had already asked Amy, her flatmate from the first year, if she could live with her and her friends within the first few weeks of moving in, so we started looking for two bed flats. I was definitely not living with my family for the second year as I had missed out on the very important experience of moving out and being independent in the first year and wasn't going to do the same again.
In the end, Abi and I joined forces with a few of the girls from her halls and got a five bedroom old victorian style house right near the Uni which wasn't overly cheap, but was huge and convenient. I absolutely loved the whole experience of moving out and into a place with no adults (yes, I sound like a child, who cares). My room was one of the biggest in the house and had fitted wardrobes all along one wall, with a sink inside one of them! The bed was huge as well and once I had moved my tv in there, it was like heaven! I miss that room, it is one of the nicest I have ever had.
|In my new bed!|
|My room, I miss it!|
The house was quite old, and a lot of the floorboards creaked, and doors were drafty, but it was a great place to have a party, which we did a few times. We also had a girls night once a week, which was a bit silly as a guy friend of one of the flatmates came to it each time so it wasn't really a girls night. A couple of the flatmates were untidy and left plates on the side for ages, which annoyed some of us, and it could be hard at times sharing two bathrooms between five girls, but we managed to last the year without having any huge fights. I remember being so poor, after bills and money spent on going out and silly things, that I was living off £8 a week. I think I ate a lot of pasta and apples that year.
|A Murder Mystery Party|
|At Abi's 21st|
|Fancy Dress party for my 20th|
|Bring It On (my event!)|
|Going to Georgie's event, a Black and White Ball|
|The Lecturers gambling...|
Towards the end of the year things went wrong and I split with my boyfriend but I would still say it was my best year of Uni.
Placement Year (3rd Year)
When it came to finding a placement, I almost moved alone to Southampton for mine, but in the end decided to commute. I worked for an event catering company as staffing manager for the summer and worked on events such as Wimbledon (where I met my ex boyfriend), Newbury Racecourse and a BBQ for a celebrity client as well as lots of weddings.
Abi and I had already planned to move in together in the final year, as Georgie had now quit the course altogether to start a nursing degree at a different Uni, when, halfway through placement year I discovered I was pregnant. It was an unplanned pregnancy, but I was sure I was going to keep the baby, and had to decide whether to still move with Abi or to move back in with my mum.
|Being pregnant during Uni was not something I planned...|
I decided to move in with Abi, purely because I didn't want to lose independence and feel that I leaned to heavily on my mum when I had the baby. This was possibly a silly idea, as it turns out, because I could not have coped in my final year at all without all the help my mum gave me, and I spent a lot of the time over hers anyway.
|My room in our flat|
|the dining area/kitchen|
Fourth (and final) Year
My last year didn't feel like I was a student at all really. Living with Abi, very close to the Uni, I was surrounded by students, but I never really went out, I struggled to even attend lectures as Cameron needed my constant attention, and all I ever really did was study, sleep and feed Cameron for the first few months. I stopped spending time with any of my other coursemates, and time spent with Abi was limited, despite living together, as I was under so much stress.
|A party at our flat|
|On a very rare night out|
|Christmas at the flat|
The whole year was so hard, but I am so proud of myself that I managed it and am graduating in November!
Is it really worth it?
For anyone considering University, I would definitely say think long and hard about it and whether it is necessary for what you want to do in your career (my degree was not, and I do sometimes think I should have just worked my way up instead), and decide whether you are simply considering going because it is the 'done' thing, or as an excuse to spend three or four years partying (because believe it or not, there is actually work involved as well, even for a 'doss' course like mine apparently was).
Don't get me wrong, I am glad I have a degree now, but I do think that it shouldn't be a decision you take lightly, four years is a long time.