Many of us have this preconceived idea that going to university will result in an extended escape from the real world. It’s a time when your young and free from the constraints of life under your parents roof. You can go out whenever you want, eat whenever/whatever takes your fancy, drink as much as you deem necessary and stay out as late as you so desire.
Unfortunately, with this new found freedom comes the responsibility of actually having to look after yourself. Its no secret that many of us students have struggled with money due to our inability to keep ourselves from spending every penny of our loans within days of receiving them. Add to this the inevitable added inches to our waistlines because we simply cannot be bothered to cook and thus late night take-away pizza becomes the new norm – along with copious volumes of alcohol – and you really have a recipe for disaster.
Fair enough, these things are often more than manageable. You’re a student and so you find ways and means of coping. You avoid your work until the very last possible minute (cue carb and caffeine filled all nighters), instead choosing to go out – well even the poorest of us can’t refuse 80p vodka mixers! This is all well and good, a lifestyle that you become accustomed to during years one and two of your chosen degree. But as you enter your third year a workload that you never imagined possible hits you like a ton of bricks along with that ever-present niggling thought that wakes you up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night; “exactly what am I going to do when university comes to an end?”
Now in my final year of a journalism degree these are all problems that are entirely relevant to myself. I often find there aren’t enough hours in the day for everything that I need to do, from my Final Major Project to getting as much experience under my belt as possible, getting my work seen by others, running my own blog and trying to juggle a social life outside of the university library. It’s so much harder than you could ever imagine and although I was aware of this, I was certainly not prepared for it. Gliding through your first two years at university you live in a bubble, a dream world that everyone should have the chance to experience but no one should get too comfortable in. For me the bubble has been popped and I’ve been let loose in to the real world and, whilst I am often struggling to keep my head above water, I have to say I am enjoying seeing how far I can push myself.
My number one top tip for getting through every day is to make a to-do list. I find nothing more satisfying than ticking something off a list, even if it is ‘brush teeth’.