All entries for Friday 15 October 2004

October 15, 2004

Something I wrote.

I thought I would share this with you all.

Going to University

I think it is fair to say that I was terrified about coming to University. I spent the summer getting more and more wound up about it. I have always been the kind of person that likes to feel comfortable, and after spending seven years at my school I felt really at home there. I had friends that I loved, and I was respected; I could be myself. It felt like after everything that had taken so long to fall into place it was being taken away so cruelly. I had to go off to some new, scary place, and build my identity all over again.

I coped quite well the first month or so. Before the exam results came out, I could kid myself that everything was still a long way in the future, and I could put it to the back of my mind. On A-level results day I finally broke down, it was suddenly real. I spent the rest of the summer energetically building a faÁade, though I donít think it really fooled anybody. I was scared, and instead of putting my feelings into words, I held them deep inside, distracting myself with outings, parties and increasingly late nights as I didnít enjoy those few moments before falling asleep when my mind was empty, allowing the fears I was so desperate to ignore to come to the surface.

It was made worse towards the end of August when my best friend left for her Gap year in India. The charity she was going with organises full 12-month placements, so the prospect of being without one of the crucial parts of my support system was an unpleasant one. This was another feeling I sent deep underground. I didnít want to seem selfish by voicing my wish that she hadnít gone, and asking the question: ďwhy do I have to do this alone?Ē

By the time September arrived, I found small comfort in the tiny details that were falling into place. I enjoyed writing lists of things I needed, and beginning to build a little Ďhomeí of my own to bring away with me. I remember being tremendously emotional throughout this period, any little thing could start me off. I began the process of saying goodbye to everybody. This was very hard, but by this time, I was beginning to rationalise my feelings using phrases like Ďten weeks isnít such a long timeí and Ďit will be over before we know it.í The final week before leaving day was a strange one, as many of my friends had already left, I did feel rather alone.

_Arrivals day was less fraught than I thought it would be. I felt disconnected from everything around me. It didnít feel quite real. When my parents left, none of us got emotional, which surprised me. I was almost envisaging myself clinging on to them screaming ďdonít leave me, donít leave me!Ē
The first week here in Warwick still felt unreal (even now Iím not sure if I believe it really happened.) But I was happy, I think. I began to make friends (which is something I hadnít had to do since Year 7) and very slowly, I felt more at home._

The end of this tale is a positive one. I will never forget the crazy summer that I had, in the same way as I remember a bad dream, but I donít believe I will think actively on it again. I am thoroughly enjoying myself, now I have settled in. The friends I have made donít know me as well as my friends back home, but the prospect that one day the will is very exciting, and makes me very happy. Of course I miss certain people, but I am comforted by the fact that my diversionary statements such as Ďit will be over before we know ití are beginning to seem true, as I canít believe how quickly these first three weeks have gone.

The way I look at it, if someone as nervous and uncertain as me can cope with coming to University, then anyone can, and I hope that one day I can help my own children have a smoother ride than I did. This isnít to say my parents didnít try to help, but as it was as alien an experience for them as it was for me, there were no specific pearls of wisdom to be shared. It is one of my goals in life to have a book published, maybe I will entitle it: ďA Guide to University for the Perpetually Terrified.Ē

Look out for it in the shops soon, folks!

Signing off for now,
Helen


Where did the week go?!

I can't believe that I am writing this a whole week after my last entry! Many apologies for not updating sooner, but I have been incapacitated by good old Fresher's Flu….man I felt lousy! Thankfully it has all but gone now, so I feel much more alive.

So what has been happening? Well, I've had my first two Chemistry lab sessions, which were good, I have always enjoyed practical work. I just keep everything crossed in the hope that I don't break anything!

I feel like I'm properly settled in to daily life here too, at last it has stopped feeling like I'm on holiday and about to return home. Perhaps its actually having to do some work!

Just as a random comment, if anyone is feeling in need of breakfast one morning, I highly recommend Cafe Library (I believe it used to be called Kaleidoscope?) I had a yummy brekkie in there this morning for only £1.50.

We in AV had the joys of a fire drill at 7.35 this morning…I thought it was my alarm clock going off, so I turned over to switch it off, and the noise didn't go away!!! It gradually filtered through to me that it was quite a lot louder than my alarm clock, so I stumbled out in my pyjamas, slippers and my big black coat…what a sight I must of looked all bleary-eyed and with wild hair! That would be a great source of candids for a newspaper article entitled 'Freshers – what life is like!'

My next-door neighbour and I continue to wonder who lives above us as they insist on playing Greek love songs at full volume, singing along, and presumably dancing – as there is some semi-rhythmic tapping on the ceiling above me – AT 2 IN THE MORNING!!!!!! Why, oh why, oh why?

Such is one of the mysteries of living in halls, others including:
"Who put that on my shelf/in my cupboard?" When a bottle of milk for example suddenly appears in your spot in the fridge.
"Who keeps moving the – ?" Fill in the blank! My most common is searching desperately for the lighter for the oven, which seems to periodically vanish off the face of the earth.
"Who was that singing/playing music last night?" Why will no one ever own up…there are 13 people in the corridor, and it must have been someone!!

I'm sure my experiences are diluted cos I live in Arthur Vick, I can imagine all the bathroom-related dramas in other halls!

Share your mysteries, maybe someone will have an explanation….

Bye for now,
Helen


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