Should I go to uni?

by - 08:30:00

Hello!

Should I go to uni?

The question I asked myself nearly every day for two years...

This time last year I was heavily stuck in a rut. I was on my gap year after college and even though I applied for uni, I didn't want to go. I had my head stuck on studying Acting and nothing else. I have a lot of interests in other subjects but since I'd spent most of my life wanting to go into theatre, I couldn't go back on everything I'd worked so hard for, especially when £9000 is at stake. After deciding not to go to uni I set myself goals of getting a new job within an area that I like, and could work up in, and then hopefully moving into my own place after a year. It seemed like a reasonable plan but it proved much more difficult to achieve. I applied for hundreds of jobs. I mean hundreds! In the end, I was getting so down that I began to give up and stuck with the same job that I'd had for the past three years. I had no idea what to do or where to go. I just knew that it wasn't what I was doing at the time.

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View from the seventh floor of the library!
Although I took a gap year, my boyfriend Edmond went straight to university and did his first year of Drama and Theatre Practice. I visited him once but most times he would come home for the weekend. In some ways it made us stronger and we did get used to it but over summer, things got hard, knowing that we had to go back to the same things all over again was upsetting. I was confused and lost. This time last year, all arrows seemed to be pointing in one direction: University of Hull. Before then, I'd barely thought about it. I had such stern opinions on where I would go to uni that I never looked elsewhere. It was Edmond's choice of university and him being there made my positives list even longer. I could go and study drama and theatre practice, a course unique to the university. Despite it being the same UCAS code as other places, it had it's own take on the modules with added extras like all the production side and the opportunities with in the department. I would get the freedom of having my own place to live and learn, and it meant a complete change of scenery. Hull is literally at the opposite side of the country from my hometown and it's a city. There is much more going on and lots more to see.

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Eventually I took the plunge, applied through Extra and was offered my place the very next day. Within three days I had accommodation sorted and student finances confirmed. I handed in my notice at work and began shopping for all of the essentials. In a matter of weeks, I was moving to a whole new place, and to a university I hadn't even looked around. It was a complete snap decision but one I definitely don't regret. Come September, we packed up two cars and headed straight through Manchester and onto the M62. My first day was a complete mix of emotions. From finding out some terrible news about a close friend from college to leaving my parents and cat. I was an emotional wreck inside but knowing Edmond was close by kept me sane. That and the pina coladas during our first house game of Ring of Fire. That night turned all kinds of emotional as myself and two housemates spilled our hearts out. You've got to admit that it's one hell of a way to get to know each other. From that day on, we all became a family no matter how dysfunctional.

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A little present from our landlords!
University itself was everything that I imagined and nothing like it, all at the same time. I'm not one for going out drinking but on the nights where I did go to Piper or Asylum, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The best times were having the odd drink or two playing pool or sat in the sun in Sanc's beer garden, always surrounded by great company. My course found me revisiting things I learnt in high school and college and then continued to broaden my knowledge of various areas. I learnt more about back stage from helping out with shows and during my production classes. In second semester I even got to use my love and knowledge of science to back up essays and seminar discussions. I used my mathematical skills in set design. Who knew I would be being more academic in a drama course? It's really shown me what my interests are!

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I've had my ups and downs, I'll be the first to admit. You meet some amazing people one minute and the next everything has changed. Your house is spotlessly clean on a Monday after the cleaner has been and the next day the bin is already over flowing with nachos squashed into the carpet. Deadlines creep up. The bags under your eyes begin to grow. Before you know it, you're crying at 6am after having no sleep, an assignment due in at 12pm with a 9am lecture dawning on you. All you want to do is go home and forget any of it is real. But you keep on going and in the end it's all worth it. First year done and summer appears. Off you go back home to what feels like normality. A normality that quickly becomes a reality of nothing in your bank account and struggling to get a summer job. August arrives and suddenly going back to university in September feels like normality. Everything that annoyed you feels like a blessing and the nerves of the first year become the excitement of the second year.

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Looking back at it now, as much as I wanted to come home at summer, my first year was a crazy ride. In my first few weeks of starting, I signed up to climb Kilimanjaro in the summer of 2017. It seemed like ages away and I had a lot of money to raise. I began doing stalls in the Student Union, public collections in and around Hull, sponsored barefoot days around campus and even got slimed right outside the Gulbenkian and University House. I eventually managed to raise that money and next Saturday I'm flying out with the rest of the University of Hull Kili team to go and climb the world's tallest free-standing mountain. From doing all this fundraising, I've had the opportunity to go to York and Manchester doing a public collections, and London for a conference followed by food and drinks at Hawker House (definitely recommend you go there!). I have now become a member of the Hull Uni RAG committee and have the opportunity to run the Kili climb, Macchu Picchu trek and many other challenges for the next year!

I also got to play a sport I once loved back in high school but never imagined I'd get to play again. I play for the third team in Ladies Hockey. It's nice and relaxed and not majorly competitive so it can fit nicely into the rest of my uni life. I took part in the Dance Squad during first semester and learnt the basics of tap dancing, again, something I had always wanted to do. Thinking back, I have done a lot of things that have been on my many bucket lists throughout the years and slowly, one by one, I am ticking things off. 

Not only that, I finished first year with a first so I was incredibly happy to know my studies are just as good!

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With second year just around the corner, I am more than happy to be starting another new chapter! It's the first time the academic side to things really matter and it is going to mean a lot more studying but I intend to make the best of it! With my own little house between myself and Edmond, I'll be more independent than ever and by every second I grow up that little bit more. There's so much to look forward to. In particular, this year we really want to get out some more and see what Hull is all about. With Hull being City of Culture 2017 there is something going on every day and a lot of it is right on campus so it's about time I get out and properly go see what's going on! Starting tomorrow, when I go for a little visit to Hull, I'm going to go for a full tour of campus and see all the areas I don't see when sticking to the drama department! Including all the Cairns, which are life sized sculptures by Icelandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir. I've spotted about 5 so far but there are quite a few left to see!

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I guess I wanted to write this post to kind of reflect on my past year and I know results day is coming up and I'm sure there's plenty of people out there still debating on going. Whether that's because you're worried about your results, or the places you've chosen, or the course you've chosen. Maybe you're like me and just want to decide not to go at all. Well hear me out, try it and see how you feel. If, come results day, you didn't quite get what you want or you want to change universities there are always options. You could look into clearing. A lot of people think clearing is just for those who didn't get the results but it's really for everyone! Even if you got perfect results, you can still apply for places through clearing to get a place where perhaps you would be more comfortable! If you're looking for a bit of guidance, you can ring 01482 297000 which is Hull Uni's clearing number or you can visit the website to find out more information about the options you have!


If you're interested in attending the University of Hull then check out their TV ad above! Some of my friends are in it, including my drama mum, which just shows how they are keen to get their students involved instead of hiring actors etc. 

For those of you who are going to university in September, thinking about going to university, getting results, or even if you've just graduated, best of luck in every choice you make! Just remember, the first ones you make may not be the right ones but you'll find your way, so just keep on going and trying new things!

See you in September Hull!

- KC xx


* This post is in collaboration with the University of Hull but they got in touch without knowing I actually go there. I was very glad to be able to work with them on this to share my experiences, not just of the university but of applying late and not actually wanting to go to originally!

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