unexpected happenings at uni

23 September 2019

good luck to everyone going back/ starting uni! I also wish good luck to everybody else, but this list is specially for uni goers/ first time uni goers. I found that when I went to unviersity a lot of things happened that I didn't think would, and although I have no advice on how to conquer such happenings I figured I'd tell you some of the unexpected that happened to me, so if it happens to you you do not feel as alone/ shocked at your emotions. 

believe it or not, this photo isn't actually of Leeds. 

things to expect at university (some pleasant, some not) 
  • Intense friend crushes
  • Stress that everyone has made more friends for you (they haven’t, everybody has this fear but it is not true)
  • Stress that people are living their uni lives better than you (it’s all a facade baby, do what makes you happy)
  • You will meet so many different people - people who are rich, people who live on farms. It’s the first time I fully met people outside my social circle and it is crazy - I never knew so many people went skiing on the regular!
  • Leaving things to soak is a banging way of doing the washing up, just don’t forget about it
  • Your cutlery will get stolen
  • You’ll catch yourself eating some strange things out of sheer desperation
  • You will get ill at some point, and that illness will never truly pass until you’re at home
  • There is no pressure to go on every night out that your friends are going on, respect and listen to your body
  • Depending on the university, mental health support can be challenging to find but don’t fear finding it. Seek help as soon as you feel something is not right, you are responsible for yourself at university- you got to be proactive for yourself.
  • You will adopt some disgusting slang and it won’t pass no matter how long you are at home away from the person who introduced such slang into your life (thank you to my friend Bella for making me say dank all the time, disgusting word yet I can’t stop)
  • Some people who you don’t usually find attractive will suddenly become really sexy when they’re cooking - there’s no point in trying to understand this attraction, it just happens
  • You may not find best friends within your flat, you may not find friends till second term. It doesn’t matter when you make friends, just don’t feel disheartened by not making any instantly - sign up to societies you’re interested in, ask people for coffee dates. Everyone is in the same boat, and everyone is always willing to make more friends so don’t be put off if you think people are already settled within a group
  • Dependable on the person, but me and a lot of the friends I made at university all decided it made us considerably less healthy looking. My skin broke out from lack of sleep, stress and too much alcohol, my face as well got swollen from all the alcohol (classic alcohol face) but it’s one of those things that seem upsetting at first, but you shouldn’t get upset from these things. It’s university, first year is intense in terms of making friends, and it depends what sort of person you are but going out can be a key bonding factor. Don’t fret about these things, because it is natural and normal and although may be upsetting, it is reflective of a good time. (not to encourage obsessive drinking/ disregard of your health this is just to say do not worry about any alterations in appearance, just try your best to remain relatively healthy and know that if you do get bad skin and complete loss of a jawline I was in the exact same boat, along with a lot of my friends)
  • Chances are no one is as cool as you think they are, yet if you still find them intimidatingly cool after a while they're probably a dickhead. Coolness isn't to do with appearance, it's to do within. (philosophical)

what is love if it's not young?

1 September 2019

(Musings caused by this podcast - Love Stories with Stanley Tucci by Dolly Alderton)

Adults always refer to young love as being fierce and intense. I think I understand it in a way, as it is the first time you have experienced such intense feelings so of course your first love is overwhelming and all consuming. It is also a time before you have experienced heart break, so you love unguardedly and proudly. Then again, I don't entirely understand the concept of young love and how it differs to adult love, I don't understand what it is to be in love in adulthood.

(disclaimer - 'libby, you're overthinking this!' , I know, but it's a musings post. I keep hearing things about young love, of first love, but why is the romantic love we experience in our youth such a distinguished thing! I don't know, and I know I want to accept more and understand less but I am discarding that mantra for the sake of this post. Also, I love love. I am a hopeless romantic, of course I'm going to think about what is so distinctive about young love and what adult love may entail)

Sometimes I wonder whether I find the differences in love so difficult to grasp because in my first proper relationship we went from the confusion of teenage years to the beginning of adulthood together, and with that the love I felt matured with me, but not entirely. They say young love is pure, and it undenialy began that way; the excitement at having sleepovers, the initial unsuritiy of sexual boundaries and the questions our hands held as they moved from beyond our faces was exhilirating - but is that a component of young love? Or simply the effects of loving someone? Or perhaps the feelings are still there, but just less intense, and the questions are briefer. Is the excitement from a sleepover lessed by the fact it is expected and no longer such a scandalous concept?

I can't imagine what it means to be in a loving adult relationship. The purity is diminshed by the confidence you express lust with as you get older, but then what fuels the excitement in an adult, loving relationship? What does it mean for the scandal to be diminished? I think that maybe, the exhiliration that comes from hiding the invisible marks of kisses changes into a simple glow, a happiness is left behind rather than the electrified feeling of need to conceal anything that can give away that more than just a kiss happened. This isn't to say I think adult love is void of excitement, more that I think I will miss the innocence of young love. I have some understanding of adult loving relationships, but will I sometimes feel unable to contain my love and display it through tight squeezes - was that young love me or just me?

In the podcast they both agree that the euphoria that comes with your first love isn't experienced again and I find that sad in a way. I know it is normal, and that love is exciting no matter what your age, and in fact it is slightly relieving to know that I won't face that intensity again. It is sad though that the more you love as you get older the less innocent and pure it becomes, because a small part of you will always be guarded in a way as you unknowingly begin to protect yourself a little more. I guess that is a good thing, but a shame that we can't always live in that unknowing bubble of purity and excitement. There is also the concern of the future in adult relationships, a worry our young selves never had to face. Perhaps my confusion stems from the fact I don't want to have such concerns, that I want to love freely and easily and think that can't be done without the naivety and purity my young self had? I don't know. I know love isn't that big a thing, and that love is love, I just don't fully understand why young love is such a distinguished thing, so seperate from adulthood. One day I will though. (or maybe not, maybe I'll never be in romantic love again - yikes !)

© Libby-Jade. Design by FCD.