Hello! I decided to take it back to my style of rambly blog posts. This time next week I will be packing up everything and heading back up to Limerick for my final year of university in the University of Limerick. Part of me wants next week to go slowly so that I can remain in UL for a little while longer as a third year, but as we know life keeps moving. This is a good thing though. Seeing all the excited people on Twitter receiving their Leaving Cert results made me nostalgic for the beginning of my university journey.

So much so that I decided to talk about my experience so far and give some advice to all of you heading into the world of university. My aim with this is that from reading this that you’ll hopefully gain a little knowledge about what it’s going to be like and that it encourages you to make your university journey as positive as possible!

You're going to spend four years in this place so be sure that you've made the right decision. I was lucky that I had a good idea of the direction I wanted to go career wise, so I picked New Media and English and I managed to get my first choice. If you didn't get your first choice, just know that there are options out there for you and there are different steps you can take to move in the direction that you'd like. I am not just saying this to make you feel better, there always is something that can be done to put you on the right path. 

University is going to be terrifying in the beginning. It's so new and of course, it's exciting but it is a new atmosphere to come into. You are treated like an adult here and it's hard to get used to. So don't beat yourself up for being scared at first. It's natural and you'll soon find out that most people are in the same boat as you.

I hope that you'll find your niche within your university. It's a place where you really can experiment, so you can figure out what you like and try new things. So join new clubs and societies, try going out to an event that you haven't been to before. For me, I tried the whole nightclub scene and it wasn't really for me, style and atmosphere wise, so I moved on to raves and house parties and discovered that a more relaxed environment was more suited to me. If going out isn't your thing at all, that's totally fine too. There will be plenty of other activities you can get involved in and you're bound to meet like minded people.

I also want to point out that university can be an emotional rollercoaster at times. You develop as a person, mentally and emotionally and sometimes things don't always go the way you want. Be that academically, socially, relationship wise or even just mentally. That's life. My first year of university was where I found a spark and since second year I haven't exactly found a similar spark, something that excites me as much since then, but it's important to remember that there are always options out there for you if you're struggling.

For the most part, I have enjoyed university. By making the mistakes I have, I've learned not to take anything for granted. It's so important to look after yourself and please, don't blame yourself for every little thing that goes wrong. Sure, take responsibility when you've done wrong, that is essential. But be kind to yourself. I find that university culture often is just about having fun, but you need to remember that when it comes down to it, your happiness is more important than any exam, relationship failure and especially doing things that you're not comfortable with. Your university does have services available for students who need that support, so don't be ashamed of availing of these.

I personally want my fourth year to be as jam packed with activity as much as possible. I don’t want to drift through it like I did during the first semester of my second year in university. I want to do as many different and exciting things as possible. One more year as a university student, with the world at my fingertips. I want to make even more friends, make lasting memories with the good friends that I have and allow myself to be happy. I don't know what the future holds for me, or you the reader, but I just hope that we live our lives to the fullest. I've written this blog post as much for me as it is for you, so let's hope we learn something.

I picked this outfit for this post because it's me in the clothes that I have grown to love during my three years of university. The Eilis of three years ago would not be seen in a brightly patterned blouse but it just shows what experimenting and leaving your comfort zone achieves! I really encourage you to try new things.

I really do hope that your first, second, third and even fourth year of university is a happy and rich one. Seize every opportunity, you won't regret leaving your comfort zone!



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