Ten years ago this month, I started university. I can remember it so well – turning up at the University of Warwick with my family to the shabby hall of residence that to my eyes looked glamourous and sleek, and being unable to understand why my Dad’s expression went from ‘concerned’ to ‘faintly horrified’ as he wandered along the hospital-like corridors and saw just how many other people were sharing the very small kitchen and limited bathrooms!
I also remember the awkward feeling of Mum and Dad being around, cramping my style (I was still a teenager…) and yet imminently leaving, with my sister in tow, and leaving me behind. I was angry and sad and scared all at once, and I didn’t really know why.
When I walked them part of the way back to the car, and we said goodbye, I ached a bit inside. But I kept it together, took a deep breath and went to settle in to my new home for the next 10 weeks – which at that stage felt like a life sentence!
Over the next three years, I met some incredibly bizarre, and bizarrely incredible, people. I learned to cook for myself (just about!), I found myself in this brilliant thing called a Christian Union, I mastered the art of skim reading, I moved into my first shared house, I ventured to another country for my first taste of cross-cultural exchange, I discovered my love of writing (even when forced to produce essays!), all my core convictions about life, truth and morality were prodded and tested a load – by my academic studies and by my closest friends, and my horizons were broadened and life enriched through making friends with students from Singapore, Malaysia, Nigeria and Suffolk…!
If you’re starting uni, or just feeling nostalgic like me, tell me what stands out to you about the university experience for you.