As I’m writing this it’s the Easter break and I’m back down in London catching up with family and friends. Yesterday I had a school reunion day, everyone from my school year went back to school to visit our teachers, collect our A-Level certificates, and to catch up with each other; finding out where people ‘ended up’, who’s still in contact with who and how everyone’s finding life beyond the school walls. As well as seeing my school year, I also saw the year below and was able to catch up with them and have a few déjà vu moments as they told me what they were going through in this busy time as year 13 students. And it gave me the idea to maybe write my blog today on the main things the year 13s asked me and my friends while we were there and our advice/answers to their never-ending questions.
The main question, other than ‘how are you?’, that everyone asked was ‘what are you doing now?’. And you may be thinking well you know what I’m doing as I am writing this blog as a Loughborough University student. However, this question really stuck in my mind throughout the day… As EVERYONE was asking it, and near enough EVERYONE had different answers. Between my friendship group, we have all ended up doing so many different things from a barrister’s clerk internship, to being an au pair in Paris, all the way to going to university all over the country. So, as my friends and I were sitting in the same spot we would every day last year during our lunchtime and free periods, it made me think, none of us knew for certain how drastically our lives would change in a year’s time, and what our answer to that question would be on this reunion day. That’s why the question stuck. And that’s why I decided to write this blog to you year 13s today to make you think, what would you like your answer to be to that question in a year’s time from now. Among all the stress and apprehension, you may be feeling right now, take some time to think about what you really want to get out from sixth form because I can tell you that having a rough idea of that answer will help give you some motivation to excel in your exams/coursework. Also, it’s a good thing to realise and understand that everyone will most probably end up doing very different things, things that are suited to their personalities and interests, things which may be very different to what you had in mind, and that is absolutely and positively normal and fine! Don’t stress about what everyone else is planning on doing, it’s your time to be selfish here and focus on your very own answer to that question and then get excited to find out everyone else’s answers in a year’s time!
Another question that was frequently asked to those who ended up at university was ‘how are you finding university?’. Now, obviously, I could only answer that question regarding Loughborough (something you will see my answer through my various blogs). But again, one thing I noticed surrounding this question was that everyone’s answers were very different. Don’t get me wrong, most people were saying about how much they enjoy their university, and how different it is to sixth form, but some told stories of how they dropped out within a month as it wasn’t for them, how they originally didn’t like it but grew to love it, or how they transferred from their original course to a different one. There were also answers which pretty much stated ‘it’s alright, nothing amazing’, literally, which is far from the stereotype surrounding university of it being ‘the best years of your life’. So, from this, I think you can see that everyone’s experiences and opinions of their university vary dramatically, and I think this is very much down to everyone’s very different personalities and preferences. And the advice I would take from this is that you shouldn’t have any expectations for university, go in to it open-minded, because you may be the person who comes back and can say they love everything about their university, but you may also be the person who says they hated university and have chosen something else to do instead; all of which are perfectly okay answers and are not anything to be ashamed of, as it’s down to personal experience.
There were so many more questions that I was asked when I went back for the reunion day, but right now I need to get back to doing some coursework (Easter break doesn’t quite mean no uni work, unfortunately). So, I’ll continue the saga of reunion day questions in my next blog!
Oh and one last thing, happy Easter!!!