It's that time of year again, people are finishing University, coming out into the big wide world all fresh faced and bushy tailed. The ambitious thinking theyll be on 40k before the year is out, the Peter Pans that think they can travel the world and that they won't be back a few years later in debt and back at mum and dads. This was once me, if someone told me 7 years later (ouch!) i'd still not know where i was going and what i was doing i wouldn't have believed them. After Uni you get a good job and/or get married and have children yes? Living happily ever after? I did it wrong.
However, i wouldn't change my University days for the world (except maybe my course) all my best memories are from that place. I started University in 2002 an incredibly shy, mousey girl who wouldn't say boo to a goose, i credit that place and the amazing friends i made there for bringing me out of my shell and making me the person i am today. The friends you make there you will remember for the rest of your life (cliche yadda yadda) .. but the thought that they will stay in your world for the rest of your life is ridiculous, they all slowly fade away as they grow up and live their lives a tvarious different points of the country. There's always that one though that you really gel with and will keep with you for life. My Uni friend is Charlotte. I remember the first time i met her, she had the room opposite me and i was moving stuff into my room while she was doing the same, she was playing that Kelly Rowland and Nelly song, i don't remember the name (yet i can sing it) but at the time i loved that song (my music taste then was even worse then than it is now!) .. we bonded for the first time over a mutual love of Kelly and Nelly! She was my original partner in crime, we distracted ourselves with michevious pranks on our poor unsuspecting housemates. Namely Hannah, Hannah was a tall, well spoken 'Daddy has a boat' kind of girl ... a weird girl. I could never decide whether i liked Hannah, she was quite irritating, but anyone that knows me knows that i don't dislike people easily so i was one of few that tolerated her. Well, except for when Charlotte and I were playing tricks on her ..nothing major, infact nothing that i'm going to discuss here because they really were 'you had to be there' kinda things. Charlotte and I could laugh for hours about them, anyone else, however would look at us like we were mental ...we probably were, we probably are. Charlotte is still very much a part of my life, we don't see each other as much as we'd like, she lives in the Lake District, but when we do we eat lots, drink lots and gossip about boys (ahem men) as if we were still sat in our Uni dorms, and i'm still very proud to have been her Maid of honor at her wedding a few years back, i still don't feel like we're old enough for stuff like that Char!
As for University itself, the course i studied and have a 2:1 BSc(hons) degree in is Applied Social Studies. Admitedly when it came to Uni time i didn't know what it was i wanted to do i just needed to get away from college (i'd gone to do extra A'Levels after i'd finished 6th form because i wasn't quite ready for the moving away stuff). I chose a course that i thought sounded nice and varied, which it was, in hindsight though too varied, it's the specfic, individualised courses that get you the jobs when you finish. My course consisted of modules on Psychology, Sociology, Working with Non-Statutory Agencies, Politics, Social Work, Heath Studies, Social Problems and Social Issues, Forensic Psychology, Comparative Social Welfare, Social Research, Crime & Deviance, Working With Offenders .. and breathe ... i was swapping from module to module so frequently that by the time i got my teeth into a subject i was moving on to the next. It did however mean that i have knowledge in a wide variety of subjects even if not to the depth i'd have liked. I have kept every single assignment i ever wrote for my course, i got a 2:1 in each (except research, which i found the most boring, but weirdly got a good 1st in), i read them all recently and although i did well i could have done better. I was one of those students that did nothing until the night before an assignment was due .. i've always liked pressure, i much preferred exams to assignments. But i think if i'd have sat down in advance i'd have been able to delve into much more research on the topic and maybe presented my arguments in a more eloquant and structured manner. My dissertation was on the psychology of murderers and the nature vs nurture debate. I have always been fascinated by killers and why it is that they can commit such horrific acts so i loved doing my dissertation (even if i did do it in a week!). I of course came to a mixed conclusion .. noone knows why, it's a bit of both ... but more nurture .. so i believe. I did my assignments in the days of the 3 and 1/2 inch floppy disk ...urgh .. so i only have hard copies .. i do hate that i don't have them on my computers ... Otherwise i'd let people have a read ... ok maybe i wouldn't.
But the 3 years i spent at University was, as the grown ups always say, the best years of my life. People say when they didn't go to University that they 'studied at the University of life' but for me, University taught me about life. As well as actual academia it taught me about friendships, living alone, boys ... cooking .. working a washing machine (kinda) .. the things you don't learn living at mum & dads, working at Morrisons on the checkouts. So if you ever get the chance, go .... one day, i'll go back.