Monday, 19 October 2015

Week of Women: The pressure to be a 'Fresher'

Hello Lovelies!

Hope you're all having a fabulous week because I sure am! Reading all these lovely posts by the talented people I surround myself with is truly amazing and I feel so thankful that they all want to contribute. The next post you will be reading is by fellow blogger and musical theatre friend, Amy Stutz who has just began her uni career of studying Journalism at MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University). Her post really spoke to me personally and is a definite must-read for all of you younger readers who are at uni and are wondering how to fit in to the terrifying demographic that is being a 'fresher'. Over to Amy!

The pressure to be a fresher

A few months ago I wrote a post on my blog (Sincerely, Amy) about the daunting decision to go to university. As an aspiring writer I chose to go to Manchester Metropolitan University to study Journalism. As excited I was about the course and learning about how the industry works, I was struggling to come to terms with the university lifestyle.

I am not the typical university student, my first reason for this is because I am a morning person. I love to wake up early, go to the gym, be productive and get stuff done. In order to do that I have to go to sleep at a reasonable time and stick to a routine. Don’t get me wrong, I love to go out for drinks, discover trendy bars and socialise. However similarly I like to sit in bed with a cup of tea and read or do my writing.

This isn’t because I think I am superior, or because I think I am better than everyone else because I am not drinking every night, it’s merely because that is how my mind and my body like to live. I don’t judge people on their life decisions so why should I feel judged on mine?

Before I started university I was worried, whenever people asked me if I was excited I would lie and enthusiastically reply “yes I can’t wait.” This wasn’t true, on the inside I was petrified of how I was going to fit the mould of the ‘typical student.’

I made the decision to immerse myself in freshers, to just give it a good go and adapt to the freshers lifestyle.

I went out about four times that week, the nights out were okay but they were mainly tiny clubs packed full of sweaty students. I’d spend all night drinking and dancing, I’d roll in at 4am and spend the rest of the day lying in bed gasping for water and stuffing my face with fast food.

Fortunately for me on the Thursday of freshers week I had to have an early night as I was heading back to Birmingham for an interview on Friday. I planned to go back to university on the Saturday but I woke up feeling really poorly. Over the weekend I had developed tonsillitis and my throat was so swollen I couldn’t eat or even drink water.

Long story short I ended up in hospital with tonsillitis and severe dehydration. I took this as a sign, it was my body telling me I can’t do it. Spending a couple days in hospital with nothing but four walls to keep my entertained, I was left alone with my thoughts and I seriously started to contemplate my life.

That is when I had the realisation. First of all, my body clearly can’t hack freshers, my body is healthy and looked after and it was not used to being so abused and worn out. I was disappointed in myself, that I’d given in and forced myself to do things I didn’t actually want to do in order to fit in.

I felt that I had to live up to the university student stereotype and change myself and what I believe in so I felt accepted.

Before I started university I had this immense pressure on myself, I had a preconceived expectation of how all uni students live their life and I couldn’t have been more wrong. I have met some wonderful people who are just like me and I couldn’t be happier.

I wanted to write about my experience because I feel like a lot of people are put off by university because it has started to get a reputation as more of a social experience as opposed to people going because they actually want a degree.

I wrote in my last blog post To me, university is about studying a subject I love, making friends that I will hopefully have for life, learning to live independently, dealing with change, and growing up. However most importantly it is going to be about having fun the way I want to, whether it involves a cocktail or a cup of tea in my hand it makes no difference either way.”

University is about finding yourself, discovering who you are and not changing yourself in order to fit in. 
Thanks Amy!
You can check out Amy's blog here >>

Amy Stutz 
Blogger & 1st Year Journalism Student


Charlotte said...

Loved reading this!
charlotte //

Anonymous said...

This is such a lovely article. I feel like it's one of those things that i just happen to read at the right time so they can make a difference.
I have just started university as well and to be honest i am a bit terrified still. I love the fact that the modules itself ( i take PR and Journalism ) challenge me, and somehow high expectation from people, teachers or classes in general always pushed me to be my best, but i guess I'm just afraid that my best isn't going to be good enough in this case...