Part 3 | Reflecting On My University Experience

Guys! I'm back, apologies again for another short break! I had a bit of a lapse in motivation so I've been patiently waiting to start feeling in the mood for blogging again.. as much as I love blogging I feel like there's no point trying to force out blog posts when I'm not feeling up to it - so here I am, blaring Taylor Swift through my headphones (because she's back on Spotify, woo!) and I'm back at it again! I say it every time but I've definitely missed blogging - it's weird how much it becomes part of your life and I definitely felt a bit lost not scheduling tweets and interacting with you guys on twitter! I've actually had such a busy few weeks away though we went to go and see Emma Blackery in London which was SO amazing, I enjoyed every second of that! I've also definitely been making the most of the gorgeous sunshine.. and may have bought a few too many bardot dresses in preparation for summer, oops! But anyway, I left you guys with my last post which was all about my first year at university (and part two of my reflecting on university series!) where I talked all about the terrible exam I had to sit, my anxiety and my bad relationship with my housemates so if you haven't already had a read of that you definitely should! Part 3 is all about (you guessed it!) my second year at uni, some really exciting things happened during my second year of uni so I can't wait to reminisce and share all the good (and bad!) times with you! I hope you're enjoying this series, let me know in the comments - I would love a little feedback! 

So the summer between my first and second year of uni was a really exciting time for me and Ethan, we had just found out that Ethan had been accepted into the same university as me and we were about to move into our first house together! It's funny because during my first year of uni we used to go on walks together around the city, one time we walked past this gorgeous looking modern tower that were flats - as soon as we walked past we both instantly realised how much we wanted to live there, it was right next to a big shopping area and you could even see the sea from some of the balconies! You can probably guess what happened next... once Ethan had found out he was accepted into my uni and it came to choosing somewhere to live together there was a flat available to rent in that gorgeous tower block and although it was near the top end of our budget we knew that we just had to go for it! I remember the entire summer after having a look around the new flat we just used to talk about where we were going to put all the furniture and we spent way too much money on decorations and knick knacks! We were actually really lucky when it came to furnishing the new place though, our families both helped out and gave us loads of bits to get us going - which we really appreciated! Once we had officially rented the place and got our keys I remember we had this really cute evening where we ordered fish and chips and just sat in our empty flat looking out of the huge windows and just people watching - that was such a good evening! By moving day we were all sorted and ready to move in, we had loads of help moving in which was so lovely and we were all set up and ready just before we had to go back to uni in early September! 

My second year in terms of university felt a bit weird to me, I feel like because I had moved out of my student house and into a flat with Ethan I didn't really feel like a student anymore.. It didn't help that I had barely any lectures or seminars compared to my first year so I was rarely in uni anyway - apparently second year is supposed to be more about independent learning..? Don't even get me started on that though. Also, my friends from first year had also moved into a house together which ended up being a good 40 minutes walk from the flat so it was a full on trek to see each other! This meant that we definitely saw each other a lot less, but our times together were always well spent and I feel like we made sure to make the most out of them - me and Zoe did tonnes of baking and we would binge watch Pretty Little Liars every now and again with our new friend Ellie (a girl from my course) who had moved in with Zoe for second year! But, I guess you could say that I felt a little secluded during my second year, Ethan is a huge workaholic so he worked most hours and I didn't really have any friends that lived near enough to just pop over.. I don't remember minding too much, because my anxiety definitely liked the fact that I could just be by myself most days - but I definitely did get lonely every now and again! It was good to have no distractions though, uni work had picked up quite a lot and this year really counted towards my degree so I had make sure that I was hitting good grades and managing my time wisely. 

Not long after starting uni I also started going to a Primary school every single Thursday as part of a placement for my course - I actually remember my first day pretty well, I was so nervous going in in the morning Ethan dropped me off and I went down to meet the teacher of the class I was helping out, she seemed lovely and the TA was super friendly so that was nice! I was helping out a reception class and I remember when all the class came in to hang up their coats I was thinking how young they all looked to be in school (of course, so of them were still only four!) and I was also freaking out about learning all of their names, haha! As the year went on though (I was there until the following May!) I built such a relationship with loads of the pupils (who I will never forget I'm sure!) and I was helping out loads more with things like guided reading, baseline testing and also leading short activities to a small group of children! I actually found it so much fun and the whole experience helped me learn so much -  there was only a small bump in the road half way through the year when my anxiety was starting to effect my enjoyment of the placement. It got to the point some weeks where I just wouldn't turn up because for some reason my anxiety would get the better of me (I'm sure anyone out there with anxiety will understand what I mean!) and at one point the teacher of the class asked me 'are you sure this is actually what you want to do?' obviously this completely knocked my confidence and I'm sure her question will be something that will stick with me for the rest of my life... but after that point I actually found it easier to get out of bed and go to placement every week and I finally finished in May after a really sad last day saying goodbye to all the lovely children I had become good friends with over the year.. I was given a fair few drawings to take home that day! 

In November though I inevitably got pretty bored, my life pretty much revolved around writing assignments, going to my placement and cleaning the small flat - so I decided to start a little blog called jemmas-simple-life, haha! I've probably mentioned this before somewhere but in the beginning I actually started on and I used to take any pictures that I wanted to go alongside blog posts on my phone and upload them to instagram so that I could use a filter - it's so cringey to look back on that! But as you can tell, it's been such a good hobby to me - and I honestly couldn't have predicted that I'd still be here one and half years on uploading posts about my life and the things I've been loving recently! So my blog was definitely a good passion for me to concentrate on and I actually didn't have too much trouble balancing uni work and blog posts which was great! But the end of placement came around, the assignments were starting to fizzle out, I had finally handed in my dissertation proposal and I was doing nothing once again so I reluctantly decided it was about time I went out and got a job! I don't really want to say where I got a job, but Ethan was actually already working there at the time so the manager basically couldn't turn me down after Ethan recommended me over and over again, haha! Although I have a huge aversion to work I actually do enjoy my job and I'm still there now if that says anything... this is despite the fact that I actually start work at 6am so that means a very early start for me but we're normally finished before 11-12am so I always loved/love having the rest of the day to myself! My job also definitely saved me in terms of weight, I was inevitably putting on a fair bit of weight during the time when I wasn't really doing too much but my job involves walking A LOT so I feel like although I'm still not at my ideal weight my job has definitely helped me to loose a healthy amount of that extra weight I had put on from being lazy for half a year, haha! 

The end of second year was a bit of a blur for me, we took on a lot during July including the stress of moving out of our flat (we decided to move out because it was a little bit too small for us during the end - and there was a huge lack of storage, as much as we loved it - you can actually read about this in an old blog post I wrote!) so we found a gorgeous two bedroom house a went through the motions of moving into that! During this time we also house sat for our manager, who has two dogs, two cats, an entire collection of kittens and chickens! Needless to say it was a little bit stressful but we both definitely loved doing it, the dogs were so lovely and we had to refrain from 'accidentally' stealing any kittens because they were too adorable, haha! After that we both went on a holiday with my family to Cornwall which was a well needed break - you can read about that and see all my holiday snaps here! But by September we were all moved in to our new house and after a fair bit of drama with our old letting agents which almost resulted in us losing our £1000 deposit (!!!) we settled into the new house and I was ready to start uni again and go into my third and final year! But you'll have to join me for the fourth and final part of this series to find out how my third year went!

1 comment :

  1. Letting agents are so nasty when it comes to letting to students I've found! I really hope you find a place that's just as lovely (although a bit bigger and with nicer agents) for next year

    Steph -