Hello loves, I hope you enjoy a bit more of a personal post on ATB today. In just a few days I will be graduating from Cardiff University with a first class honours degree in Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and quite frankly I’ve never felt so proud and relieved in my life. It sure has been a bumpy ride, but I’ve come out on top with a top degree from the best journalism course in the UK, and it feels so amazing. Over the last few days I have been reflecting on my time at Cardiff and thinking about how fabulous it would have been to have someone to have a little insight into my three years at university – someone to keep reminding me that it would all be alright in the end. So for today’s post, I thought I would reflect and speak back to my naive fresher self..
So, Jess. Today is your first day as a student at Cardiff University, the university you have dreamed of attending for years, having secured a place on your dream course of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies! I know that you’re feeling overwhelmed right now – excitement, nerves and wild dreams running through your head – but these are good feelings, even if you were crying and telling Mam you weren’t going just two days ago 😉
To put it bluntly, your time at Cardiff is going to be a roller coaster ride. It’s going to have its ups and, boy, is it going to have its downs. You’re going to be homesick. Super homesick. Some weeks you’re going to be counting down the days until its time to hop on that train and get back to your little hometown with its familiar surroundings, where you know everything and everyone. It’s safe to say you’re glued to the comfort of home where everything is structured and preened to perfection, but being thrown into a flat with people you don’t know, who don’t have the same squeaky clean living standards as you and who are at ease with being so far away from their family and friends becomes quite a challenge.
There will be days in first year where you won’t want to leave your room. You’ll drag yourself to lectures and become addicted to Netflix where you can escape into a fantasy world where criminals break out of prison and vampires join forces with witches to defeat the oldest vampires of all time. You will spend many days hungover, as you’ve gone out the night before as you can’t bare to have another night being sat in bed counting down the days, hours and minutes until the weekend.
Second year will also be difficult. You’re going to go a bit crazy with the partying in first term and your grades will drop dramatically. In fact, you’re going to question if you’ve made the right choice with your course, despite always dreaming of being a journalist and a writer. You’re going to live in a house of six girls, which will be cramped, messy, stressful and the landlord will be a monumental a-hole. It’s really going to test you as a person, and again you’ll find yourself willing the time away.
I’m sorry. I’ve made your whole life at uni sound so, so shit. You’re probably reading this in horror, wanting to flee from your new room, sprinting down the motorway after Mam’s car to clamber in and never return. Trust me, you will feel that way on many occasions, but it’s not all like that. There will be some incredible ups on this crazy ride!
Firstly, you’re going to meet some amazing friends – people you never thought you’d be friends with who you will never forget. You’ll go to socials with them and will end up doing the worm across the dance floor in your third year ball. You’re going to have some hilarious, spontaneous nights out and embarrassingly will have to be carried out of the club because you over-did it. You’re going to laugh until you cry on so many occasions and by the end of the third year you’re going to finally feel content with your university life.
You’re going to become a strong, independent, confident woman by the end of the three years. I know right now you think you’re queen of the world, but seriously, just wait until the end of your university experience where you’ll see you were a timid little lamb. You’re going to do things you never even dreamed of doing. You’ll start a blog, you’ll go alone to interviews and events across the UK, you’ll meet so many new people and you won’t be afraid to do things anymore. You’ll just think ‘you know what, this could be my only chance to do something like this’, and you’ll do it.
By third year you’ll pick your grades up. You’ll work your freaking butt off and you’ll worry (as usual) about not doing well. You’ll be holed in the house for days on end working on your dissertation. (FYI, you pick the most difficult topic but stick to it, as it will be worth it in the end!) It will all be worth it though. You’ll be astounded with the results you achieve and you’ll apply for a MA course in Magazine Journalism to widen your knowledge and to pursue a career in the beauty, fashion and women’s magazine industry – something which stems from your absolute adoration of blogging. And guess what? You’ll be offered a place on the course which means you’ll be staying in Cardiff for another year! Yep, I’m scared thinking about that right now but I know it will be the most amazing time.
Jessie, you needn’t worry about these three years. You will, of course. But all of these horrendous days, panicking about assignments, the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach as you wish you were home, they will all be worth it. You’ll leave university strong and ready to take on the world. You’ll be so proud of how far you’ve come in the three years, and you will be amazed at how well you succeed.
Keep working hard, keep your head up and try to live for the moment.
These will be some of the most amazing three years of your life.
Lots of love,