As the year draws to a close I can but reflect on my time at university. Full of ups and downs, and I am grateful for every single one.
Thinking back to all the decisions that I made to get me here, and all the ones which were made for me, I can’t help thinking if I made the right choices?
What if I had studied Veterinary Medicine? What if I had stayed in France? What if I had taken a gap year?
Looking back now, I cannot be more grateful about the way things turned out. Living in London on a student budget is not the easiest thing, but I made it work (thank you parents ❤), and I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying for my degree.
Coming to study in London was not my first choice. In fact, I originally applied for Veterinary Medicine in most places except the RVC. There were many reasons for this, such as not wanting to live in a place as expensive as London and not being prepared to sit the dreaded BMAT exam (veterinary entrance exam which only some schools ask for).
In the end, due to circumstances mostly out of my control, I ended up in London studying Bioveterinary Sciences despite this not being my original plan.
If you knew me back at high school and middle school, you would have known me as that girl who cried on results day, not because she got bad grades, but because they just weren’t quite high enough for my liking. You would have known me as that nerdy kid who used to get picked on or suddenly become everyone’s best friend when a group assignment was due. You would have known me as the girl who used to get so stressed about exams I would make myself sick.
Going to university helped me become a more confident and less stressed person. Sure I still get stressed about the big things. But now, I can actually enjoy life whilst studying full time. One little thing that I have noticed, and that has made a big difference to me, is that I can actually eat before an exam. Before, I wouldn’t even be able to look at food the morning before an important exam as I would be sick to my stomach with stress.
University has helped me develop as a person. I am not only more confident, less stressed and less shy – but I am also more independent. I feel this may be seen as a given as you have to become independent when you move away from home. But in my case, I moved to a whole other country and I feel like this has made me into a completely different person than who I was before.
Most people expect the first term at university to be hard, it’s difficult being away from home for such a long time, but for me I think that I thrived. Being independent suited me as a person and has helped me come out of my shell a lot.
I have had amazing experiences at university and have created some friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime. The friends you make at university will either be your friends for life, or will just end up being those people that are on your Facebook that you don’t really keep in contact with, but you like to stay friends with because you’re a little bit nosy.
I met some of my favourite people here that I will miss so much when we all go our separate ways. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for myself and my friends after we graduate, but I hope that we will all keep in contact, as without them the last three years just wouldn’t have been the same.
From people I met online before the course even started to friends that I have no idea how or when we became friends, suddenly one day we just were; I met so many amazing people at university and I know they are true friends. Friends I can chat to in twenty years’ time and it will be like nothing has changed. Friends who are there for me if I need them, and friends for whom I will always be there.
I also met my boyfriend at university. Our relationship wasn’t always simple (as many of you know), but I cherish every aspect of who we are and who we have become together.
Looking back and asking “what if I hadn’t made the choices I did” gets me thinking how appreciative I am that things turned out the way they did. I met amazing people, grew as a person, and most importantly realised that veterinary just wasn’t the right field for me, and I am so thankful that I ended up doing the course I am doing. I realise now that research and communications are what I am passionate about, and I look forward to the next stages in my life.
What is next? Who knows. For the time being I am trying to just live in the moment, and to make the most out the things I enjoy most in life. I aspire to find a job that I am passionate about, and love spending my days developing my career. Starting in September, I am doing a placement with a research institute in Surrey and I look forward to the new experiences it will bring me, and the new people I will meet along the way.
BioSci.Blog will be home to my work – writing about science in the news, writing about my experiences in blog format, and sharing my notes in case they may be of use to future years. I want to share my journey with you to help future students who may want to follow a similar path and who are looking for testimonials, to express myself in a way that will be heard, and develop my communication skills through this blog. I look forward to writing more content, and I hope you enjoy it!