Precede And Succeed

     University:  A way of life that succeeds childhood and precedes adulthood.

     An awkward and equally restless and helpless situation that 69.2% of secondary school graduates willingly thrust themselves into.  A brief interval separating two different lives of order and discipline and containing its own anarchy, a far cry from the life that preceded and the life that is yet to succeed.

     An only child, with little experience with others my age, school was always a struggle for me. I was never really prominent or exceptional within any social groups and wandered like a tumbleweed more often than not.

     Once puberty hit, my harmless aimlessness became rebellious tyranny, causing mayhem for anyone in a position of authority, in attempt to make my ever unmentioned name somewhat more appealing to my comrades. I considered myself something special, a rare case of exceptionalism and singularity. I used humour and nonchalance to try to carve myself into a confident and comedic talent when under the veil I was far from that, entirely.

     All this changed, of course, when a series of events triggered the development of a previously dormant Anxiety Disorder. In hind sight, I had more than enough support considering the position I believed myself to be in. Learning, ever so slowly how to cope with this new addition. My nonchalance became more organic and my personality began to relax, despite. I found my small group of friends who truly cared for me and shared my metaphorically monstrous weight between them. Through thick and thin, they stuck by me and did not see my affliction as tiresome, but simply an extension of my person.

     The end of my time at school arrived quickly and unlike most, I was beyond thrilled to be leaving a huge section of my life in the dust. I was ready to grow up, fast, become individual and independent and reinvent myself without previous dirt to cloud judgement. Of course, I brought my little misfits along with me for the joyride.

     Due to family matters, we had moved to the USA, so my summer was a new and very much improved experience in itself. However, this meant that my growing up would have to occur a little faster than expected. As, not only would I be leaving home, but that home and my world that is my Mother would be in another country rather than a train ride away. I would then conduct my first flight, my first move in, and of course my first day at University, alone.

     I arrived at my small and unsubstantial 5 room house with my wonderful 5 roommates. Immediately, we all got along, none of that predictable female abrasiveness. First of all,

Ella: Sexy, mature and great eyebrows.

Caryss: Classy, Intelligent and responsible up to 2 glasses of Gin and Tonic.

Elin: The crazy Welsh, the epitome of ‘Next Level’.

Finally, Chloe: Classically beautiful, selfless, and to my dismay, High School Musical Soundtrack obsessed.

     Many a wild night were had in that house, and my experience there could never have been as enjoyable as it was without this unique ensemble.

     It is rare that someone were to struggle to fit in at university, we are all new, we are all confused, lost and thrown into the pile together. Whether you like sports, video games or pimple popping videos, there is almost always someone who’s quirks compliment your own. There will be some who get along with the majority more than others but with such an eclectic mix of personalities, even the most unique can find their spot in the jigsaw puzzle. Don’t be anyone other than yourself because you’re afraid of being branded a misfit, it is selfish to neglect the opportunity for your matching misfit to find you. Furthermore, taking initiative to face such an immense life change and future life changing choices alone would be intolerably arduous let alone detrimental.

I knew I would make friends and find my way into a clique but I couldn’t begin to believe I would find what I can only begin to describe as my soulmates. Two beautiful blonde bimbos that I didn’t even know existed 1 year ago and now mean more to me than the air I breathe. After being under the radar for so long to having a truly heartwarming mutual love for someone is the most intense and inconceivable feeling. Unfortunately, they are simply too intricate to describe in this post.

It’s the small achievements that you seem to take more heed of. Like how long you can wear the same jeans without beginning to smell like an old hobo’s beard debris.  Or managing to evade food poisoning after drinking month-old lumpy milk. Or rewarding yourself after attending a lecture despite sleeping through the entire thing.

I was never a napper. If I was going to sleep, I was going to sleep and I would be dead to the world for a good 7-8 hours. This experience will teach you to nap whenever, wherever for 30 seconds-30 minutes.

     Beware the Freshers Flu. It will knock you off your feet and debilitate you faster than a 12 tonne truck. This is unlike any flu. Imagine Rocky on steroids brandishing a fancy set of brass knuckle dusters investing in an intense, passionate yet unfavourable 8 week long affair with your face, lungs, stomach and soul. At which point, one will truly understand within oneself that recovery is futile and acceptance of this evidently perpetual state of deteriorated health is everlasting.

     University is like a 4 year long New Year. In the way that one will make insurmountable promises and resolutions that will last little more than a week.

I’m going to start working in an hour.

I’m going to save my money this month.

I have food at home, I don’t need McDonalds.

I don’t need that 3 litre bottle of vodka, so I won’t buy it and drink it all this week.

     You will not do these things, you are weak, as are we all. You will drink the last drop, eat the last fry and read no more than the percentage level of the bottle of poison you buy that week. Maybe you will pass, maybe you won’t. Maybe you will gain 2 stone, maybe you won’t. Maybe you decide university is not for you, maybe you will stick with it and persevere. Maybe you will listen to your mothers advice and study hard, or maybe you will do what we all do and learn from our mistakes the following September.

     Work, if you can and work hard. But remember, University is an experience to be experienced not endured. Enjoy yourself and mold yourself into a person you can truly admire.

AB x

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