It feels like a decade ago that I decided to pluck up the courage and apply for university, even although in reality it was only 3 years ago! If I’m being 100% honest, I don’t really remember much about the actual process of how to apply to university and all the ins and outs that go with it – although I do vividly remember the absolute mindboggling system that is UCAS and having to fill out what seemed like a lifetime of questions. Oh I also do remember the personal statement, THE DREADED PERSONAL STATEMENT. How could anyone possibly talk about themselves in a way that made them stand out from the crowd without sounding completely pretentious? To this day I still don’t know, I read my personal statement back and cringe.
Applying to university can seem like a daunting process at first, this is a feeling that I do remember all too well. I knew from a young age that if I wanted to go to university I would have to leave my hometown and move my life to the city, something that passed through my mind from time to time but never really hit home until the application process began. As a self confessed home-bird I still felt too young to think about leaving home, being only 17 when I started applying for universities and 18 by the time I left home. I know some of you will think this is a perfectly normal age to fly the nest – which it totally is – but the thought of leaving home absolutely terrified me, so much so that I’d have sleepless nights worrying about the whole situation. Every time someone asked me about university it made me feel sick to my stomach, resulting in me usually ignoring the topic and swiftly changing the subject. But I knew if I wanted to become a midwife that it was something I absolutely had to do.
The months passed after my interview (a topic I will discuss in further blog posts) and I was almost certain I would receive an unsuccessful offer as the whole interview passed in a blur and I assumed my age would go against me (another topic I will discuss in later blog posts). Then the day arrived, the day I received my unconditional offer to study midwifery. Feelings of elation, joy, amazement and excitement all danced around in my head however, emotions such as fear, sadness and uncertainty quickly crept in and clouded any prior happy feelings. I remember the months leading up to going to university, they were full of worry but with also packed with excitement too as I applied for student accommodation, my SAAS bursary, picked out things to decorate my new room with and of course, researched everything as midwifery related as possible.
The night before the big move I remember sobbing into my pillows and wishing that time would stop and rewind. But it didn’t, and here I am today happier than ever. I find that if I am at home now for any extended period of time my family and I all push each other to the limit, leaving me packing up my car and speeding back to the city for some peace (sorry family, but you know its true! I must drive you all equally mental at times).
So the point of this post is that ANY feelings you have about applying to university are completely normal and I’m damn sure that even the most social of butterflies struggle with the concept of leaving home, even if they would never admit it. For me, it was a massive turning point in my life and when people say ‘university will be the quickest years of your life’ it is honestly 100% the truth. I hope this post has put some of your minds at ease if you are currently in the process of applying to university and going through some of these all too common feelings.
So remember, ITS NORMAL and you will get there!
I hope to write another blog post soon about actually arriving at university, moving out, student accommodation etc etc, as I know reading something like that would have put my mind at ease just 3 years ago.