When I left college I decided to get a job rather than go straight into university. I didn’t feel there was anything that sufficiently interested me enough to dedicate a large portion of my time and money in pursuing. And I didn’t buy the argument from my friends that if you weren’t going to university you would miss out on the most exciting time of your life.
However, during those years at work I began to experience a niggling feeling of anxiety that something exciting was happening just beyond my reach. I felt like I was missing out.
So after much thought, in September 2010 I enrolled in a three-year nursing course. I knew I wouldn’t be in for a stereotypical student life. For a start I wouldn’t be living with my parents but instead I had a young family of my own. I would be a nursing student which adds another level of professional scrutiny on your conduct as a student. And I would also be spending half of my time in practice rather than on campus.
But I still wasn’t prepared for just how different university would be from my dreams and expectations.
Those years of anticipation had painted a picture in my mind of sitting by an open fire sipping on real ale and having philosophical conversations with my fellow students. I imagined that I would be a member of a whole host of societies. I thought I would be preparing speeches to be delivered at the debating society.
In reality, I spend a lot more time studying than socialising or thinking progressively.
Maybe we should all enter university with realistic expectations. However if there is some aspect that you long for then you have to be the one to make it happen. If you feel like you are just on a conveyor belt from lecture hall to library and you long for something else, then you need to do something about it.
As we are living in an age when money governs time management I know my early vision of university life was unrealistic.
What were your expectations going into university, were they different to reality? Is student life what you expected?