I can’t tell what shocks me more; the fact it’s been six years since I logged into UCAS track and found out I’d got into uni or the fact I actually am still enrolled in further education, lol. It genuinely makes me want to be sick (shock, what doesn’t) that it’s been that long since I moved to London but at the same time, I’m SO glad that period of my life is over.
Although it’s easy to write a tweet about how uni isn’t for everyone and how grades don’t define you, for some people, it is. I know, because I was one of them. For as long as I can remember, I was planning on going to uni. I’d planned my bedroom based on those Pinterest vibes that I’d lusted after since I was 13. Uni was going to be the best time of my life and I was going to be one of those girls who threw myself into everything!!!! Obviously though, that didn’t happen.
For some, it should come as no surprise that uni wasn’t my favourite time of my life. From the second UCAS applications were mentioned, I had my mind set on getting into London College of Fashion, and nothing was going to get in my way. I cried when I got my email offering me an interview, I cried when I got my acceptance, and I cried for a final time when I got the grades that I needed to take me on my way. In my eyes, A-Level results day was the last day that anything bad would ever happen again and from then on, I would reinvent myself as Queen of Education.
I can’t even pretend that I had a decent time because, in reality, it was s—t. My first year was a whirlwind of fashion weeks, overpriced Ubers to XOYO and teetering on the edge of my overdraft because I’d developed a lowkey addiction to Pret. But then it went tits up and when it all came tumbling down, it did hard.
If anyone had told me at the start of my first year that second year would be the worst year of my life, I genuinely wouldn’t have believed them. Coming back to the same flat that had been so full of happiness for the previous twelve months now felt empty and lonely, and spending time in the room that was once full of laughter now was suffocating. As time went on, I wanted out. Throughout my time at uni, I never found the work difficult or challenging, it was just that I didn’t care anymore. I had no interest anymore and that reflected in my work.
By the time third year came around, I was exhausted. Instead of graduating with my cohort, I took a year out hoping to come back with gusto but nah. Instead, I scraped by with the skin of my teeth, finally finding my feet the weekend before my final hand in.
The thing is, uni truly isn’t for some people. It’s not glamourous crying on your bathroom floor, having not entered your flat kitchen for three weeks. It’s also not glamourous crying at someone who works for TFL because you’ve lost your purse and are trapped in Oxford Circus. It’s not glamourous crying because you’ve realised your lecture was at Holborn and you’re in Shepherd’s Bush (side note – I cried a lot at uni but that’s part of my personality). However, it is glamourous admitting that you’re not having a good time and taking control of your mental health.
So, if you didn’t get the grades you wanted today. Honestly, it is. And if you hate uni? You may still end up enrolling for a masters like me…