The Most Difficult Lesson I've Learnt in University so Far

The Most Difficult Lesson I've Learnt in University so Far

Since I started University I’ve been learning a lot more about myself.  I know there are so many cliche “Best years of your life” talks and countless coming of age University movies, and honestly I can see why because they really are years where you grow as a person.  However, the lessons you take to get that growth aren’t always easy ones.  I thought I’d talk about the most difficult lesson I’ve learnt at University so far.
The idea for this post was actually from Nikki over at her daring thoughts as she asked me if I wanted to do a collab with her.  I jumped at the idea – firstly because Nikki is absolutely amazing and her blog is really brave, talking about mental health, personal stories and so much more, and secondly because it sounded like a really great subject to talk about.  Nikki is writing about the most difficult lesson that she’s learnt at University so far, so check out Nikki’s post here once you’ve read mine!
I went into University not quite knowing what to expect.  I’d seen all the movies and TV shows and I knew that it obviously wouldn’t be just like that, but I still wasn’t all to sure what would happen.  Despite being incredibly orientated around my family and friends, I’m actually quite independent, so I wasn’t too worried about moving away from home.  However, the hardest lesson I’ve learnt so far is that you really are in it alone.
I don’t think I ever truly felt what it’s like to be “alone” until I got to University.  Don’t get me wrong, there were people around; I had flatmates and friends and other friends and family on the phone if I needed someone, but at times it still felt sort of… empty.  It’s in no way a constant feeling, but it’s one that hits from time to time that I’d never felt until I started University.  Every so often, try as I might to prevent them, I have bad mental health days where all I want to do is lie in my room and disassociate from everything.  However, the difference was that when I was at home I had my mum, dad and sister always checking on me so sooner or later I’d be pulled out of funk.  Yes, whilst I’m at Uni I am fortunate enough to have flatmates that care about me enough to check on me if I haven’t crawled out of my room for more than 24 hours, but it’s much easier to pretend you’re okay to people that have only known you for a couple of years.
However, this feeling of doing everything on my own doesn’t stop at mental health – I knew University was going to be independent, but I don’t think I truly realised that I’m almost entirely alone.  As an English and Philosophy student I have 7 hours with a tutor a week, 3 of which are lectures, so are incredibly impersonal.  If you want to do well, you literally have to do everything by yourself.  I never expected to be spoon fed, but I also didn’t realise how easy it is to fall behind when you’re sick, or the ridiculous amount of effort you have to put in to get those really high grades.  I’m not complaining at all – I’m very grateful to be where I am, and I’ve always been one to rise to a challenge… I just didn’t quite realise how challenging it would be.
I knew I could never be fully prepared for University.  I knew that I’d have to face obstacles.  But I would have never predicted which obstacles would affect me the most.  The good thing is, I’m getting better at overcoming them.
I hope you enjoyed this – and thanks so much to Nikki from Her Daring Thoughts for collaborating with me on this post!  Head over to Nikki’s blog to hear all about the hardest Uni lesson she’s had to learn so far: 
Are you at Uni?  What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn at Uni/in life? Let me know!
Lots of love,
Jas xx
 
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12 Comments

  1. January 8, 2018 / 12:29 pm

    Thank you for writing this! It’s very rarely discussed, everyone stresses the social side and how it will be the ‘best time of your life.’ I had no idea it would be this lonely, which actually led to me dropping out of my first university. This is a great post 🙂

    • January 8, 2018 / 12:31 pm

      Thank you! It’s true, no one really talks about how alone you feel, and I’m so glad you could relate!
      Jas xx

  2. January 8, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    I love this post, I’m so happy I read it. I was extremely extremely homesick in my first year in particular because like you said I left home (and my younger siblings) and all the noise, into a really quite house where I was the youngest and alot of the time home alone. I found that getting out and getting active was great- I joined the boxing club and Mondays and Wednesdays are taken up with that, and so the other days are relaxing, catching up on work and catching up with my current housemates. I was luckier this year, I went into a house with a massive 10 people, we all get on great and there’s always some bit of noise around the house, which is fab. Great post!x

    • January 8, 2018 / 12:52 pm

      Yeah I too found that going out and joining a society helped a lot! So glad you enjoyed this, and it’s great to hear that you’re not feeling as homesick and lonely anymore!
      Jas xx

  3. Natalie Hanson
    January 8, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    This post is so relevant and I can relate to it so much. I am so thankful I stayed at home because I firstly wouldn’t have dealt with being away from home to start with, let alone how impersonal university is, and the lack of one-to-one communication, which I’ve found so difficult too. If you do need anyone, you have the whole blogging community for support and a good old chat!
    Nat 💛 – nataliehansonblog.wordpress.com

    • January 8, 2018 / 4:34 pm

      Awww thank you Natalie! You’re right, there is a real lack of 1 to 1 communication – something that I’m still getting used to, but we’ll all make it through 🙂
      Jas xx

  4. January 8, 2018 / 4:51 pm

    You summed this up so well. Almost everyone I know (myself included) struggles at University due to the amount of time we all have alone. Definitely something that needs more talking about, especially as a lot of my friends have originally been reluctant to confide in me which is heartbreaking. Thank you for this! Xx

    • January 8, 2018 / 4:57 pm

      Awwww Thank you so much for reading! I’m so glad people are relating to it because honestly no one ever talks about feeling alone, I feel like it’s a very unspoken thing and it shouldn’t be! We’re all feeling it!
      Jas xx

  5. January 8, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    Thank you so so much for writing this! It was super interesting to read and not something I’ve heard during the whole application process (I should be starting uni this year), this has definitely opened my eyes a little more, an important post to share xx
    Em
    emsirose.blogspot.com

    • January 8, 2018 / 5:25 pm

      Awwww you’re welcome – I’m so glad you found it useful! It’s not really something that people talk about before you join uni. If you have any questions at all feel free to contact me!
      Jas xx

  6. January 8, 2018 / 5:47 pm

    This was SO well written Jasmine! Thank you again for agreeing to do this collab with me, YOU are the amazing one here lol. I definitely related to the feeling of loneliness in University, especially when you live on campus. But I can tell that this experience and lesson has shaped you into the resilient student that you are now. (:
    Nikki O.

    • January 8, 2018 / 8:58 pm

      Awww thank you so much Nikki! You are so amazing and I was so happy when you asked me to do this! Loneliness is apparently more relatable than I thought which makes me happy that I spoke about it, which I wouldn’t have done if you hadn’t suggested this collab!
      Jas xx

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