Let’s start by painting a mental picture. Think of a typical group of 19/20 year old students. Think of student hobbies, think of student lifestyle, think of student housing and think of student mentality. Like most, I bet you thought of a group of young, wild, loud, messy, lazy teenagers who still rely on their parents for money which they eagerly waste on alcohol and noodles they eat out of the pan. Was I close?
In comparison, I felt like a 60 year old lady. Whilst the rest of my peers would head off to the student bar in between lectures, I’d head over to the library. As they returned to the student bar after class, I’d much rather head home to my tidy, cosy home where my cats, kettle and fluffy pyjamas await me. I must have been a bit naive to presume that just because I was studying a stereotypically ‘nerdy’ subject there wouldn’t be a whole lot of the above.
Although I felt uncomfortable and awkward at first, eventually I realised it doesn’t matter. I lost the care for what people think about me long ago, probably when I was around 18 and fresh out of sixth form. I’d suffered enough public stress breakdowns from the work load to be embarrassed of taking pride in my education!
I realise not everybody (okay, more like barely anyone) my age who is studying at university is like me. Chances are you were/are probably just as wild at heart, but if you’re not that’s okay too. There is such a strong media presence of the ‘typical’ student, that people presume it’s the norm and follow in the footsteps of those before them. I’m settled and I’m happy. I’m lucky enough to have started a huge chapter of my life early, because I found my soul mate and my search is over. People have different priorities, different hobbies and different lifestyles.
If you happen to be starting your first year of university (or even are returning with a change of heart) and dreading this social situation,
- Don’t let anybody force you into going anywhere/doing anything that makes you uncomfortable.
- You’re not boring. You would simply much prefer to spend your free time somewhere you can talk to your friends and actually hear what they’re saying.
- Find a friend who has the same attitude as yourself. Whilst everyone else wastes a bunch of money at a nightclub, you can treat yourself to pizza, booze and films at your place!
- Don’t feel unwelcome just because you aren’t a regular at the bar. If you fancy a night out, go for it. No one will judge you. No one cares enough. They will just be happy you’re there!
- Do what makes you happy, and stop worrying about what others think of you.
- Despite all the above, just try to enjoy yourself. It doesn’t last long, and I can’t imagine there is much freedom after graduation!
Hope you’ve had a nice day, lovelies!
How was your university experience? Did you live the typical student life, or find a different path?