They say that university will be the best time of your life, but it is also three or four years that fly by.

Back in October 2015 was when it all began. Moving just twenty minutes down the right to the University of Essex, was kind of a big deal. Originally I want to go to Kent or Reading, but after not receiving my A-Level results in the August it just wasn’t meant to be, nor was a degree in Economics. So, after a long cry on A-Level results day, and calling numerous universities across the country, I got an offer from Essex to study BA International Relations (Including Year Abroad). Honestly, I think it was probably for the best. Four years later, two countries, and the 4th June 2019 marks the end on my undergraduate degree.

First year was a bit of a blur. Honestly, I don’t remember Freshers Week, apart for the very first night. To be honest, I had a love hate relationship with university in first year. Some people are lucky and get on really well with their flat mates, and I did get on with mine (at times), but they weren’t really my type of people. In actually fact, I never spoke to any of them from the day after Summer Ball in 2016. By then there was a leader of the pact, and I realised that some can also be two-faced. Generally, first year was great. Looking back, I wish I had joined Lacrosse in my first year instead on my second year. I still went out basically every week, got good results, and even joined the Pole Club and learned that my core strength was not the greatest. Should have also probably had gone to their socials on sports night, but hey ho, I didn’t.

You won’t be friends with everyone you meet at university.

Knowing I was going to be doing a year abroad, second year meant living at home. My little corsa would become a regular in the university car park, mainly for Lacrosse practice and games, over my eight hours of lectures a week. I have always been a fan of team sports, mainly because of playing Netball from such a young age, and lacrosse gave me an opportunity to be involved in a team sport, get outdoors, and meet a lovely bunch of people. Now, I’m still shit at lacrosse. Never scored a goal, but did make a few sprints down the pitch before dying because I’m that unfit. Although, this year my fitness has got better. Yes, I am now that girl who goes for runs at 7 in the morning. My fitness, however, was probably helped by doing sprints on the stairs on one of the squares on campus, thanks coach. In all seriousness, joining lacrosse was probably one of my best decisions made at university. From my first derby day at UEA, and not remembering anything other than not being allowed into Sub Zero (the club on campus), to the coldest days in January playing away days in somewhere near London. Academically speaking, second year was alright. I got a 2.1, got a place in Canada for my year abroad, and doing far too many presentations.

Now third year, normally the most stressful of years, for me, well it was a walk in the park. In August 2017, I stepped on the plane at Heathrow Terminal 5 to Toronto, with three suitcases and a backpack which weighed probably more that one of the suitcases. The crazy thing was, I literally knew no one. I knew two people were also going to be at Trent University from Essex, but had no idea who they were. On the first (well my second night) night at Trent University I wanted to go home. I was in the middle of nowhere in Canada, I hated my accommodation, and the food was gross. Things got better the next day, when I met my pals that would have to put up with me till the end of April.

Trent University was a strange place, but I joined the Cheerleading Team with my fellow Brits, competed in two competitions, and got throughly drunk on mainly of occasions in Peterborough. FYI, if you are going too Ontario, or anywhere in Canada they have strict alcohol rules. I got to travel to many places, including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, LA, Vancouver, the Rockies, San Francisco, and Settle. A trip to Niagara Falls on a yellow school bus on a very hot day in October still makes me legs get sticky. Academically, the lecture’s were kinda shit, and I basically studied Canadian politics for a year that bashed the British, and international relations didn’t seem to exist. Everyone was very into their studies, and really did do all the reading. Lectures wanted you to write 5000 word essays, that I was like no, you will get 3000 words, I’m not writing a mini dissertation for 20% of a grade. Somehow I did past my year abroad with a 2.1, although I literally did nothing for the entire year. Something tells me that some of lecturers liked me, mainly because of my accent and everyone was always interested by the different words us Brits say. In one lecture I did get very excited though as Colchester was mentioned, and I was like that basically home.

Living abroad was great. I met some great people, both Brits and Canadians; travelled in a group, and travelled solo. Also spent my life savings, but you win some, you lose some. Although it wasn’t fund coming back home with £30 to my name.

Forth year, or my final year, has gone like the wind. Eight modules, lacrosse games, a dissertation, a conference, and two exams later, your girl has finished. Finishing with international relations modules, some British politics, and a bit of human rights, and I now want to do a masters in Football Communication and digital marketing. I really have loved my last year, even if it has been stressful. I choose all my modules, based on what I wanted to get out of my degree, and work my arse off. I’m still waiting for my dissertation grade, but I’m pretty happy with how this year has turned out. I’m glad I now know what I want to do with my life, to some extent. The only thing I wish I done more was go out out more. I’m quite a homebody, perhaps because I lived abroad, and at 21 years of age i’m starting to feel old.

Of course there are so many things I wished I had done at university, and how I would have loved to get out of my comfort zone more. When I look back over the last four years, I did do so much. Pole dancing, contemporary dance, lacrosse, cheerleading in a foreign country, presenting at the annual government conference; I did step out of my comfort zone, and I have so many great memories that I will look back and cherish.

University will be a different experience for everyone. I have lived on campus, lived at home, lived in a country I had never been too before, and met so many great people who I know I will know for the rest of my life.

My university experience may not be over just yet, I mean I should probably apply for my masters instead of thinking it’s going to do it itself. Also, uni isn’t over to graduation, which is in July, so till then i’m still a student, as my student card hasn’t expired yet.

So there you have it, four years in a mini review. University, it has been a pleasure, now I am going to get throughly drunk at the last sports night on campus tomorrow.

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