> Let's Talk - Student Life - Its All Zara

Let's Talk - Student Life

July 22, 2017

Happy Saturday everyone! Hope you're all having a great weekend. This weeks Let's Talk is discussing Student Life and the ups and downs of being a student! Joining me are 3 fabulous writers that have each taken time to write a segment for me, so say hello to:

Georgia from https://georgialuciacarpenter.wordpress.com/ & @abcdefgeorgia on Twitter

Becky from http://www.rebecaelen.co.uk/ & @beckyelen on Twitter

Jamie from https://jamiefituk.wordpress.com/ & @Jenkinsleejamie on Twitter

If you're a student yourself you may relate to some of what we talk about today!

Georgia's thoughts: "Hey, I’m Georgia. I’m currently studying Geography and Natural Hazards and I’m about to go into my final year – which is CRAZY. I can’t believe how quickly my time at university has already gone.

During my first year I lived in halls. I can’t remember how much that cost in total but I know that I had literally just enough to cover the rent. Living in halls is fairly expensive but the experience is so worth it! When it came to second year, I decided I wanted to commute from home as I’m saving to go travelling after graduation. I live less than an hour away from Coventry which made this possible as it’s so easy to just drive there. I’d already made lots of friends during my first year so living at home doesn’t really affect my social life in terms of nights out and doing things with them which is the biggest thing I was worried about.

My course is pretty intense, or so it seems when I have conversations with people on different courses and they seem shocked when I tell them about my lectures/assignments/exams etc. I think I’ve only had one semester out of my two years so far at uni where I’ve actually had days off during the week. I don’t actually mind having lectures everyday as it makes me feel productive and I managed 5 days at school every week for years so what’s another 3 years added to that?!

I think I’ve had between 13-16 contact hours each week during both my years at uni which makes it seem like I had lots of free time outside of lectures but the amount of reading, notes, assignments and everything else you’re expected to do takes even more time. Sometimes all of this does get a little overwhelming, which is when I know that I need to give myself a break so I usually go to the gym for a couple of hours. But having the goal of graduation in your mind makes everything sooooo worth it!

Looking back to the girl I was when I walked into my very first lecture, really scared and not knowing what to expect, and comparing that to how I am now is crazy. I wasn’t really confident when it came to things like presentations, group work and speaking to unfamiliar people this time two years ago. Now I can do those things with such ease and I definitely would be a complete different person if I hadn’t gone to uni.

Personally, I think students are so looked down on and stereotyped for being ‘lazy’ but I don’t think that’s true at all. The amount of time, effort, stress, tears (and many trips to Spoons) that comes with being a student is so underestimated. Knowing that one day I’ll be walking up onto a stage in front of hundreds of people to collect my degree makes me feel so motivated and I know that all the hard work I’m putting in will be worth it."

Becky's thoughts: "Now being a student is quite the strange experience, its being a child, going on adventures and having fun yet also being forced into the task of ADULTING. From my experience university can be quite pricey from university fee’s alone. (£9000 a year, or £3000 if you’re lucky enough to be welsh) Not to mention paying for accommodation, bills, food and so on. Its quite a tricky money game to get the hang of, but if you’re mature and budget your spending you can get away with living off the glorious student finance maintenance loan. Thank you lord for free money! Well until you eventually have to pay some of it back..

When you think of being a student and going to university you think its all studying, partying, a little more studying, and guess what.. a little more partying. But you’d actually be surprised by just how much free time you get. In first year alone I found myself being driven a little crazy, as I had so much time on my hands it left me actually wishing for more work and assignments. And that could just be me *geek alert*, but seriously when your money is budgeted It can be quite tricky to find free things to keep yourself busy. But I still wouldn’t change that for the world.

The one thing I can assure, is that transport is the simple part. From my experience of living in Bristol as a student there are ridiculous amounts of busses, every few minutes. You can pretty much get anywhere, and they offer student priced tickets.. and discovering that was music to my ears.

So far I have learnt a countless amount of things. Not only do you learn more about an independent lifestyle, but you learn more about yourself. Most importantly who you are. Through university I’ve become more confident than I ever thought would be possible. I’ve created friendships, and gained new experiences. Ventured around new areas, and laughed more than my than belly could take. 

Now the hard part.. moving out and away from your family can be a very hard thing to do especially if you’re quite the home bird, but I can assure you that it gives you a new sense of appreciation. You learn to appreciate the little things in life, and the family members that once drove you crazy. University may not be for everyone, and a few people that I’ve met have realised this within their first year alone. But even if its not I would recommend at least trying it, because It may surprise you by turning out to be one of the best experiences of your life. I know one thing for sure, so far its definitely been mine.

Jamie's thoughts: "‘You’re going to University? Oh you’re going to have the time of your life!’ Like most people, I went to University ready to start over, meet new people and make the most of every single opportunity that came my way. What I actually experienced was very different. I found myself becoming more and more disillusioned with the education and questioning more and more where my money was going. It was about mid way through my second year I decided I didn’t actually like my course. I was very disheartened. I thought I was letting everyone down. To be honest, I still feel a bit like that. I’m sticking my course out and I have one year left at University but my passion for academia has gone out the window. I’m ready to be out and earning money, not struggling to get by and feeling dependant on my Mum. I decided to go and see a counsellor and a doctor in first year. I always struggled with my mental health but with being away from home came feelings of loneliness. It seemed that if I didn’t want to, or couldn’t go out, I was wasting my youth and struggled to make friends.

It’s not all doom and gloom. This year I really have learnt a lot about other people, my life ambition and myself. I guess that’s what University is all about really. It’s so much more than sitting in a lecture and learning stuff from textbooks. It’s finding out what you like and, importantly, what you don’t. It’s easy to look back and wish I had done things differently but, at one point, it was my main goal. Instead, I have to embrace it. Before University I never thought I’d enrol on a PT course. I never thought I’d have a radio show and I never thought I would have met someone whose family has become like my own. University hasn’t lived up to the hype for me. I guess I put too much pressure on University to be the time of my life, where I’d meet life long friends and leave with a first class degree and a graduate job in a big city. Now my plan has changed, but that’s okay. I lost and found myself at University but I’m back and excited for what my future has to hold.

Jamie Lee Jenkins"

My thoughts: "I've been a student on and off since I was 16, thats almost 5 years of education. Unfortunately I failed to make my first 2 colleges work for me, but they say third time is a charm and it certainly it, I currently study Medical Science which in itself is hard but people underestimate what being a student is like! Waking up at 6am to catch a bus that takes at least an hour to drop me off, then repeating the journey at the end of the day when I'm shattered. But its not just the travel, I've had to deal with grumpy teachers, bitchy classmates, constant applications for learner loans and bursaries as well as the overall course I take. For me being able to get an education is a big deal because we don't have much money and I've had days where I've only just been able to afford the bus fare to college and its been hard at times but very worth it. I enjoy what I study and I can see my loved ones trying to share my enthusiasm over Chemistry, Biology and Physics but they don't always understand what I do (bless them for trying though), but its also given me a new found confidence that despite these hard times I've taken myself to college and done so well already. In September I start my second year so we shall see what that holds, but I'm ready for the challenge so lets go.

I plan to go to Uni when I'm done at Hull College and I can't wait to see what that's like! I've heard mixed reviews and I know it'll be something I've never experienced before but I always accept a new learning experience so I'm excited nonetheless. I plan to continue my Science career path and study Biochemistry which is what fascinates me the most so fingers crossed I get qualified and find a kick ass job someday!

If you liked this segment and want to take part in one simply tweet me at @itsallzara on Twitter or email me at zaraanne@hotmail.co.uk! I upload a segment every Saturday (unless I'm busy in which case its either a Sunday or the next Saturday) around 12pm.


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  1. I loved student life, and often miss it.
    The high for me was definitely freedom and learning to manage my own time.
    The lows was definitely the stress of assignments, especially presentations. I never thought I'd say it, but I miss studying!


    1. I totally agree there are certainly highs and lows, thanks for reading! xx