University can be a daunting prospect. Hannah Tasker explains how she shook off those pressures.

University. It’s a big thing. Therefore, I must start with a very important message; whatever your expectations are of uni, ditch them. Almost everyone I know who started uni had their doubts and their hopes and, at least for most of them, neither turned out how they expected. The most advice I feel I can give from my one year in, is to go with an open mind and to be yourself. Standard advice, I know.

Enough with the very standard advice you get from every parent, teacher or older person who thinks they have all the answer’s because, duh theyre older than you.

University is certainly a shocker. Let’s face it, first year doesn’t count, you meet new people, have new experiences and generally are a bit of a prick. Those are the unwritten rules. Things are finally much more in your hands.  So, does this make it easier? Nope.

There’s an awful lot of pressure during someone’s time at university. Not just academically, but socially as well. We’re growing into young adults and pretending we know what we’re doing. It’s fair to say that I for one, did everything upside down and inside out

Before uni, in college I went out more than I care to remember and did even dumber things the day after. I genuinely thought I was being cool and grown up by largely just pissing about.

I can’t help but to compare my younger mess to who I am now. I’m a 19-year-old who would rather just go to the pub or have a few tinnies than go out. I get (some) work done early and, quite frankly, like to have a cup of camomile tea before bed. Its funny, if you had told me that a year ago, I would have laughed at that image of myself. If past me could hear me now, explaining how camomile tea is actually such a good choice before you sleep.  It’s decaf and has calming qualities and really it’s just a nice routine to get into, OKAY?!

I guess, in a very roundabout way I’m just trying to explain a couple of things I wish I’d known. In just one year I’ve already changed so much.

Firstly, do what you want to do at uni, but as long as you know that you’re ultimately content with what you’re doing then you can’t go far wrong. Secondly and this is arguably the most important, don’t panic. I presumed uni for me would be a lot more going out and messing around. It didn’t turn out like that for me, but I couldn’t be happier with where I am. Especially since I’ve shaken all those pressures off and just accepted that I’m not the party animal I used to be.

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