Extra-curricular Activities

Moving to university is a challenge in many ways, not least in the overwhelming task of making friends. It feels rather childish, to be calling home and the first question on your parents lips: “have you made any friends?” It feels like the first day of school all over again, which in a way it is. At university, however, the first day lasts a whole week.

I have met more people that I can remember in these first weeks, and can proudly inform my mother that “yes, I have made friends”. I even have photographic evidence, just in case she doesn’t believe me.

Looking beyond my course, and  the peers I know I will spend the next four years with, I began to consider my options in terms of societies and sports teams. I have joined the BSL society, which I am very excited about. Learning to communicate with other people, who I could never have spoken to before, gives me great joy.

The sports teams were rather more intimidating. Walking into the marquee with the Sports Fayre in full swing was overwhelming, to say the least. Athletic figures on all sides, people who clearly take their fitness very seriously, as I munch on Dominos pizza. They’re handing it out free, and I’m poor. It took a lot of courage to put my name down on their list, and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t attend the “give it a go”. Anxiety won that battle.

I gathered my courage, and went to the first training session. I can now proudly say I have attended one water session and the most grueling fitness session I have ever experienced. I am not fit enough, not by a long shot, but I am getting there. I have began to form friendships which would not have been possible otherwise, and I feel I am being accepted.

Pushing myself beyond my comfort zone has been, and will continue to be, a challenge. A challenge I am ready to embrace.

Reality Check

I received an Unconditional offer to study at the University of Dundee at the beginning of March 2016. So I had a long wait between receiving my offer of acceptance and finally packing my car and uprooting my life. I hope you understand, therefore, that the reality check of actually being at university has been rather overwhelming for me.

As I mentioned previously it has been a whole two years since I waved goodbye to the world of school. The world of textbooks an deadlines and studying – for a while there I believed I was done with that part of life forever. We never know, of course, where life may lead us, and here I am, thrown back into that world from which I was so eager to flee.

My tranquil life of coffee making has been thrown up in a whirl, and while I am feeling more fulfilled than at any moment in the past two years, I am most certainly feeling more challenged also. I forgot the difficulties I have with sitting in a class, therefore my first two hour lecture was most certainly a challenge. It has made me decide I will print all lecture material prior to attending – otherwise loss of focus shall be a constant challenge. I felt so intimidated by reading lists that until half and hour ago I hadn’t even looked at them. Reminding myself that this is what I want, I gathered my courage and ventured into the library to print and read the materials I need.

The course and daily structure of my life has changed dramatically in the past few weeks, and I am beginning to understand what people mean when they say university can be overwhelming. This is me making the choice, however, not to be overwhelmed, and to embrace my new reality.


My Road to Teaching

School is coming to a close, and suddenly you’re faced with the question: what are you going to do with your life?

There are meetings with your guidance teacher, lessons on how to apply for university. Endless university visit days to help you decide where you want to go. Everyone else seems to know what the want to do. How lucky, they already have a plan.

I finished school with no goals, no plans, no idea what I was about to do with my life. All I knew was I needed to work with people – a desk job was not the way I wanted to go. I got a job in Starbucks and I worked, but that was never going to feel fulfilling in the way I craved. I went on to get a job in a nursery, and I fell in love with working with children. I knew after just a few months that I wanted to pursue this line of work. I needed to pursue this line of work.

From that moment on I began to gather prospectuses, attend visit days, begin to consider a new future for myself. A quiet hope began to build, a silent determination because I realised I could achieve this, I could become a teacher.

I cannot begin to express the joy I experienced upon receiving my unconditional offer of a place to study at the University of Dundee. Suddenly, my dream was within my grasp. It was no longer a dream, my dream became life.

In some ways I am living in a dream, mundane reality has been left behind. The truth, however, is much different. This is where the real work starts, the hard graft is about to begin. Four years of essays, assessments, and placement. There will be challenges and achievements, failures and successes, highs and lows. This is what I want, this is what I came for, and I’m ready to begin.

The future is still a mystery. I’m ready to be a teacher, yes, but that opens up a world of possibility itself. The opportunity to travel, the opportunity to make my mark in the world, the opportunity to fulfil my purpose in life.