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University is always been a pressure on young adults, whether that has been to go to University or even get the highest degree to receive respect.
I went to Uni not because my parents wanted me to, or I was pressured into becoming an undergraduate, but because I WANTED to. I was the first in my family to even consider university and the first to explore the Musical Theatre profession! So I became an adult within 24 hours. Saturday 17th September 2015. I experienced the world in a day - or so I thought.
I did not attend a university where I could commute. I moved away to Chichester, West Sussex from my hometown of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. Even the 2 hour trip down was a hiccup because I was in a long distance relationship which broke up whilst I was still in the car travelling. He accused me of infidelity when I hadn’t even reached my halls of residence yet; I was STILL in the car with my parents! So emotions were extremely high as I approached the town which was to be my new home for the next three years.
Was I scared? Hell yes. This was my first chance of becoming independent and not having my parents around 24/7 to help me and rely on. I mean, three years down the line I still ring my mum asking her what setting I should put the washing machine on!
Moving into halls of residence was extremely strange. The only communal area was the kitchen in the flat which I shared with 6 others! The rest was our rooms along a long corridor. At first it looked daunting and I did feel like I would be lonely in my room all the time. I was wrong! My flat mates were extremely nice, one being on my course!
First Year was a rollercoaster - everything was new and your whole life is tested, physically and emotionally. Unfortunately I did take a turn for the worse emotionally and my mental health was not good. I thought my journey to a degree was over and I felt no motivation to carry on.
Mental health problems are a common occurrence within university. It can be stressful and a lot of pressure is thrown upon you. However, it is how you bounce back that counts. It all contributes to growing up and becoming an independent young adult.
I was so lucky that my university has an excellent Student Support Service which helped me and advised me on how to build myself up and become stronger. Through counselling and support from my peers and tutors, I passed my first year with flying colours.
Onto second year - moving out of my halls of residence was tough. It had become my home for the past academic year and I had created a lot of memories with my housemates. However, making a big step into the world by getting my own house with some great friends was the positive way forward.
Even more pressure was applied this year. Each assignment and exam counted towards my degree and I had to work even harder than last year to maintain my good grades.
On the other hand, I had extra strains to deal with. Bills and rent had to be sorted out with our estate agents which meant a whole lot more responsibility.
Overall, this year has had its ups and downs. When one housemate turned into no mate at all, I felt like I had nowhere to go; until one Wednesday Night I was invited to a karaoke night at the local pub. Now I know what you are thinking - getting drunk is NOT the best idea when going through a rough patch. But I went along just to see how things went.
Oh how glad I am now that I decided to go down the pub that night. I was introduced by a peer to an extraordinary group of people: The Entourage. A small group of friends who attend various karaokes across West Sussex. First of all, I was nervous to be around strangers, but as the evening calmed so did my nerves. They made me feel so welcomed and I laughed so hard, which I have not done in a very long time.
This is the start of my involvement with The Entourage - and how they have become my family.
They are the reason that I fought through my second year and managed to maintain my good grades for the first 40% of my degree.
My third and final year was fast approaching - the most important year of them all. You will be glad to know that my story has a happy ending. Due to becoming a member of The Entourage, I met my fiancé Connor. The one who never left me. Throughout the whole year, he saw me cry, scream, hurt and he has been the reason for all my smiles and motivation.
To conclude, from being a naive, depressed girl I have grown up over the last three years to become the strong, child mfident young adult that I have always aspired to me. Without him I would not have completed my degree
My university story truly was a fairytale. Welcome to Fairytale University.