Well, what a year. A year that has been hard for us all, a global struggle. When I put this into perspective, my issues which have been brought to light this year don’t seem so bad. So instead of making a post on New Years Eve which goes over simply the negative – despite most of it being negative- I want to reflect over one of my biggest achievements of the year 2020. University.
From A levels being cancelled, grades being wrongly predicted, moving 500 miles across the country and genuinely thinking I wasn’t going to get into any University at all , leading to me to actually considering not going to University at all. Through all of this, I somehow managed to actually get accepted to three Universities.
Moving to University was hard, from money management to long distance relationships and making new friends, it was, well, a mix of emotions to say the least. The online ‘learning’ , to put it loosely, was a nightmare. So, in fact, my first semester had very little to do with learning. Luckily enough I’m studying my favourite subjects, which in-fact has made this semester something similar to a walk in the park. The hardest part, was in-fact, negotiating a social life around the restricting rules of Covid-19 guidelines. I was in fact, one of the lucky ones in the first year covid class to have actually managed to pull together a friendship group. My first, and best friend was in fact made within the first three minutes if arriving on campus, in reception collecting my flat key, and much to my…surprise(?)…excitement(?) he actually ended up living right next door. Soon enough we had found ourself a family of friends, all the roles within the group soon filled with people who didn’t seem like strangers at all. Even if we had only known each other for days.
We did everything I had ever dreamed to do with my friends id eventually make in university – pub crawls, drunken parties, gossiping and selfie taking in the girls bathroom. I was finally part of a group, a group that wanted me, because I helped make it. Sadly, and often in the way that life just goes, the once large group inevitably split off into two smaller groups – me being the only one torn between the two.
First off I have my girls – my three closest and most valued friends. Friends I already know I will have for life. I have known that since the third night in fact. One of them isn’t even a girl at all, but he has been one of the ‘girls’ since the beginning. I don’t know how I would cope with out my girls. Some of my fondest memories with the girls are simply the ones of us sitting in a small dorm room, four of us squeezed onto a bed which is in fact smaller than a single. We spent most of our time playing video games, eating Indian food and chatting rubbish. These memories are in fact the fondest I have of my first semester.
The other half of my friendship circle would often be hauled up in the flat next-door to mine, sat in the kitchen, playing drinking games and eating good food made by one of the lads who lived there. We would spend all night studying and all day sleeping. A classic case of the Covid blues. These people are some of the best people I have ever met, each having their very own personality, composing a group with a huge variety of people. I have never met such a welcoming bunch of people, and I am so blessed to call them my mates.
First semester had lots of downs but had many more ups. So as we reflect on a year which has uprooted us all, and caused all of us distress, lets, instead of focusing on how this year has hurt us. Focus on how this year has helped us, made us stronger and made us better people.