Uni Life, Year Abroad

My Uni Experience

This month’s blog challenge is to write about my university experience. Thinking back over the last three years I can’t help but to smile. Moving abroad was definitely the best decision I’ve ever made.

Of course it hasn’t been always sunshine and rainbows, but when I took my first steps in Portsmouth in September 2012 it was definitely showing off it’s good side with a whole week of amazing weather.

I had never been to the UK when I moved over for uni. Nor did I know anyone in Portsmouth. So moving into Halls was quite an experience. I lived with five English people and one guy from Hong Kong. All a nice bunch, and we mostly got along, except when it came to sorting out the bins in the kitchen, of course.

Many of my friends from first year I actually met online in one of the Freshers’ Facebook Groups. We met up instantly when we were all settled, and we all kinda stuck together throughout the year. Most friends I made after I arrived all lived in the same Halls as me and it was fun being able to go visit each other in our PJ’s!

When I started my course it was really exciting as well, although it took me a while to get into it since it was all in English. My English wasn’t all that bad, but since I study International Relations many complicated terms were used, plus my lecturer was Irish and I could not understand what she was saying at all.

Overall first year was a good year filled with new and exciting experiences, and I didn’t regret moving abroad at all. But at the same time when packing my suitcases to go back for second year I wasn’t all too keen on heading back to Portsmouth.

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But it definitely picked up second year and it turned out to be one of the best years of my life!

Not so much housewise, though. I ended up living with one of my flatmates from Halls and three of my friends. I now only keep in contact with two of them.

But I joined the committee of Cinema Society and got more involved with the Union, which totally made my second year what it was. I met most of my current friends through the Society, and through them I also met my boyfriend. I started going out a lot more, and really had a blast.

Coursewise this is when I had my little panic period. I didn’t want to go abroad third year and I was looking at other universities because I wanted to quit.

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Luckily I didn’t, I went abroad, and a year later I only have six weeks left in China, I speak to my friends in the UK every day and I’ll see my boyfriend in August after being in a long distance relationship for 14 months.

I have definitely learned a lot from these three years. That I can live basically anywhere, I adapt pretty easily. My English has certainly improved. I’ve become a lot more independent, I can now handle a challenge, and my self-confidence has definitely grown. I am no longer afraid to stand up for myself and do what I want to do. I’ve also had the chance to travel across the UK and China, which has been amazing.

One year left of university and I can’t wait to get back to Portsmouth! I am soo excited to see my friends again, move into my new house, start my new units. Not too keen on having to do my dissertation, though, but I’m sure it will be fine. I think next year will be a very busy but good year!

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Course, Other University Factors

My University Journey

How to sum up the last four years? That’s a difficult question.

Overall, I would say that I have loved my course and everything I have learnt and experienced through it. But University is not just about the course you choose to study, its a number of other factors. At university, you learn to be independent, move away from home, juggle responsibilities and build friendships. These were my challenges. I haven’t had the best luck or experience with housemates over the two years I lived at university, this final year has been the best as I live with my boyfriend and have finally got a great group of girl friends on my course.

First year, living in halls is a new experience and you have to embrace it. At the time it was ok but looking back on it now, I remember the bad bits more than the good. Having to live with four boys and one girl, I didn’t really get on with had its challenges. Second year, I nearly broke and left university due to my housemates. Luckily I found my boyfriend at this time and he helped me through. From these two living situations, I am not in contact with any of the people I lived with, I guess that sums up a lot. Even Placement year, living at home with the parents and earning money, wasn’t what I had planned. The job opportunity I organised in the Caribbean fell through at the last minute which lead to the back up plan, which wasn’t as good and caused a lot of stressing at the time. But I guess every cloud has a silver lining, my last year has been the hardest in terms of course but the best. I feel I have found myself and who I want to go on to be. I want to be strong and confident, to enjoy life with all my family and friends that I have made for life!

I am proud of myself for pushing through the difficult times as it has made me the person I am today. I have got a university degree under my belt which will always hold the strong memories of ups and downs in the last four years!