It’s that time of the year again; my Instagram and Facebook feeds are full of people standing proudly outside their university, dissertation in hand, celebrating the fact that their degree is nearly over. My dissertation hand-in experience was a little different and involved me travelling on the sweaty central line to Holborn where getting in-and-out of the building as quickly as possible without seeing anyone was top of my agenda.
For some, it should come as no surprise that uni wasn’t my favourite time of my life. From the second UCAS applications were mentioned, I had my mind set on getting into London College of Fashion, and nothing was going to get in my way. I cried when I got my email offering me an interview, I cried when I got my acceptance, and I cried for a final time when I got the grades that I needed to take me on my way. In my eyes, A-Level results day was the last day that anything bad would ever happen again and that from then on, I would have the absolute Best. Time. Ever.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t as if every second of every day was aaaawful, but it was just that the bad times more than outweighed the good. I’m lying. I HATED it. Like many, my first year was a bit of a whirlwind; I loved and found the curriculum easy, and had the best group of friends that I could have imagined, but when things went bad between some of us, they went really bad. The summer months consisted of our group chat including one revelation after another – some good and some bad. We were all having an amazing time but, for some, that meant that they didn’t want to come back once September came around again.
If anyone had told me at the start of first year that second year would be the worst year of my life, I genuinely wouldn’t have believed them. Coming back to the same flat that had been so full of happiness for the previous twelve months now felt empty and lonely, and spending time in the room that was once full of laughter now was suffocating. As time went on, I wanted out. Throughout my time at uni, I never found the work difficult or challenging, it was just that I didn’t care anymore. I had no interest anymore and that reflected in my writing.
I wish that I had an epiphany and that I asked for help, pushed myself out of my comfort zone and made new friends, but that’s not what happened. Being at uni taught me how to live alone, how to enjoy my own company and what I wanted the most from life. It taught me to hold the friends that I do have as close to me as possible and that your own motivation is strong enough to get through anything. However, the majority of the lessons that I learnt were after leaving.
Throughout my third year, my attendance was diabolical and, honestly, it couldn’t have got any worse. I knew that I just needed to get through the year, so I had to take things into my own hands. I became incredibly motivated and organised, meticulously planning my workload and obsessively checking lecture notes to ensure that I didn’t miss anything. Obviously, the whole point of going to uni is actually to go in, but I don’t feel as though I did any worse than I would’ve if I went in.
Although I wish that things had panned out differently, I still managed to finish university with a degree and a best friend. It’s easy to say that, in hindsight, I would have done a number of things in another way, but that’s not what happened. If I could go back and time would I have chosen to the path I did? Yes, because I’m still stubborn and wholeheartedly believe that LCF was the right choice for me but, oh well, sometimes you never learn.