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Sunday, 14 June 2015

PERSONAL || Goodbye First Year.

The truth is, I've been trying to write this post for over a week now. The reason I've been struggling? Because words can't explain what an amazing year I've had. When writing a 'Lifestyle' post like this, I usually like to come at it from an angle. Give you my take on things. But when it comes to writing about your own life and not just a beauty product or your favourite new skirt, it's actually really hard. Because when it comes to living your life, you have to take everything at face value.
In my pledge for consistency which I published a couple days back, I went into a bit of detail about how LydiaLulu started off as a 'bit of everything' kind of blog. But after six months, I decided to take my blog in a beauty and style direction - effectively vetoing any discussion of my personal life. That said, it's very hard to separate my blog from who I am as a person. Without reciting every cliché in the book, LydiaLulu is very much a part of me. So when I officially finished - and *fingers crossed* passed - my First Year at Southampton, it only felt natural to write something here.

It's been one hell of a year. I had my trials and tribulations, I can't deny. At times, I was tempted to quit... again. Maybe university just isn't for me. But then I'd pick up my favourite book ('Jane Eyre' because Women's Literature is my not-so-guilty pleasure) and be reminded of why I put myself through all the hassle in the first place. If that didn't work (because F.Y.I. Victorian Literature isn't always the most uplifting of reads!), then I'd knock on a friend's door and we'd do the whole clichéd cuddle and cry, paint our nails, watch girly movies, or just mess around until we felt better. As much as I've loved my studies this year (could have done without the Old English, not gonna lie), the people I've met and can now call my closest friends have made my university experience so far. They're a wonderful bunch of weirdos with unique quirks and dish out priceless advice on every subject imaginable. I've only been home a week and I miss them more than I realised!

Again, just rolling out the clichés here but it's also been a year of self-discovery. I thought I had it all sussed out when I left school at 18, I had my anxiety under control and was going out, partying a lot. Stuff a normal 18 year old should be doing. By the time I was 19, I'd dropped out of uni, was working in retail, and wasn't all that confident as to where my life was heading. I knew I wanted to go back to uni but had my heart set on Sussex. Hey, at least LydiaLulu kept me on track. By the time I finally got everything sorted and was loving life in Southampton, I went through a pretty emotionally stressful period which made me question everything again. All I wanted to do was run home and climb under the covers. But you reach a stage in life where you just have to power through - because there really is no other option. I came out the other end a stronger and happier person who was more than ready to throw herself into her friendships, her studies, and all that university has to offer.
But First Year had to end sometime... sadly. As this was my second stab at university, I'm a little more nervous in progressing with my degree. Next year my work actually starts to count for something, eek! But a little part of me is up for the challenge, I'm pretty sick of being told that none of my work matters and I should take it easy instead.

To be totally honest, I haven't got any advice to offer here beyond just being yourself and throwing yourself in the deep end. If I had a penny for every time someone told me that when I was on the brink of university the first time round... seriously, it made me want to bang me head against the wall. But it's true! The reason I left my first university was because I wasn't ready for it all just yet - I returned to higher education after some soul-searching and was raring to go.
So this post is to commemorate one life-changing year and to the wonderful people I've met along the way. I couldn't have done it without them. Oh, and I've read some pretty great books too. And on the bright side, I have some much needed spare time to devote to blogging. I'm sad I'm no longer a carefree Fresher, but in all honesty - when have I ever been carefree? Exactly. I think it's about time to face reality and head on into Second Year. Bring on September...
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