If you had told me I would make it, i would have laughed.
Dropping out of uni 2 weeks in came as both a shock and a punch in the face. A message to myself that maybe I couldn’t do everything I thought I could, and whilst I tried to be weirdly positive about it (read:https://www.youthmentalhealthmatters.net/laurenandlucy/2016/10/10/university-its-okay-to-not-be-okay) it was one of them 1 step forward 10 steps back kind of moment.
Yet, here I am 6 weeks off finishing a degree.
And whilst it has been a journey of ups and downs, the past 3 years of my life have taught me a lot. A lot more than I can write in a blog and share, but here are just a few.
Firstly, I have learnt that being a uni student is both all it is lived up to be, but also is not. That sometimes you can feel like university is the time of your life, but also that some days it really really isn’t. And thats all okay. That lecturers aren’t dissimilar to teachers, there will be some that you love, others that you can’t stand and some that are just mean. You will write essay after essay, and sit through seminar after seminar, and really its just like being at school, except you are in debt for being there and probably horribly hungover.
That like school, there will those times when you feel like you are buried under work, yet have no motivation at all to complete it, and suddenly you wish you had listened a little more in those using mindfulness lessons that you were forced into in year 10. Remember the ones that claimed to help you know how to deal with exam stress? Yeah, that “how to deal with stress thing”, still working on that.
Ive learnt about friendship, and the importance of it. Of having friends of every kind in every place you go. That making friends at uni doesn’t mean that you will lose your old ones. Those that are destined to stay will, and if they do, grasp them with both hands. Joining late to uni, making friends was something I fell behind with, yet now when I am so close to leaving, I suddenly find myself within a group of lovely, funny and caring people. And I realise how much easier the past years would have been to have them. For the lectures where i wanted to fall asleep, and the seminars that I felt like I was being spoken to in Chinese. Friends, whether from university, school, sports or elsewhere really will be your backbone in those hard times life throws.
And I’ve realised the importance of hobbies, and there place in your life. From sport to music and everything in between. The need for something constant and the family of supporters that it brings. I can safely say that both my friends at rowing and choir have made the past 3 years 10x easier. Whether its the hugs and the singing on a Wednesday evening with Bee Vocal or the coaching the kids at rowing, hobbies are those things that remind you that university isn’t everything. That outside of that lecture hall or seminar room you are also succeeding, or dancing and prating around with Georgie. That you are far more than a grade, you are a whole collection of things.
And finally about self belief. When I dropped out of uni, I lost a lot of confidence in me. Confidence in “the girl who always smiles even on a bad day”. I wasn’t someone who gave up, I was the one who pushed on through. Yet looking back, I wouldn’t have changed what I did for the world. I have learnt that its okay to be a little fragile, to show the world your cracks , for everyone has them, its what makes us human.
What Im really trying to say, is next time someone tells you “You can do it”, remind yourself that its okay if you can’t. Because it isn’t a can’t, more a can’t in that way or can’t yet. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be able to, when really its okay to not.
But no matter what you believe, one day you will, and believe me, it will be worth it.