5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before University

26/02/18

What I Wish I'd Known

Featuring the new Strathberry x Inthefrow collection
When I headed to the University of Manchester in 2007, I was overwhelmed by advice from numerous people. Some came from experience, some came from assumption and others came from worried parents – all of it, was definitely well meaning. I felt like I couldn’t have been any more prepared as I stepped into my shared University halls. I knew I would be a good flatmate, I knew I was going to work hard and I knew I wanted to meet great friends too – that was all there was to it really. Right?

Wrong! No amount of advice and tails of personal experience could really have prepared me for the rollercoaster ride that my experience would be. There were wondrous experiences I could never have known would happen for me and there were also times, when I wished someone had offered me a touch more personal advice, before I’d headed off to into the big, wide, world. So here they are. The 5 things I so wish I’d known, before I headed off to University. I hope they’re as helpful to you, as they would have been to me back in 2007!

1.

Follow your own path

From the minute we start our GCSE exam prep, through to the last days of College and then over to choosing exactly which courses our University degree should consist of, we are encouraged, by others (knowingly or not) to follow a specific path. Some advice is well meaning – our teachers, lecturers and tutors, often see our passions before we do and can imagine where our abilities are best suited. Other advice, whether from parents, siblings or friends, can be somewhat biased and doesn’t always have your very best interests at heart. Always follow the path of your choosing. Think long term. You don’t want to be stuck in lectures you don’t care about, you don’t want to complete a degree in a subject you truly dislike and you definitely don’t want to enter a career you have absolutely no interest in. Believe in yourself and your path will get you where you want/need to go. I wish I’d known, how important it was to realise, that this is your life – no one else’s.

2.

Hard work is a must

A relatively simple point, but one that a lot of people don’t realise straight away. You’ve suddenly gone from a very strict timetable, being watched over every step you take; to a timetable that is constantly changing, lecturers that don’t babysit you and subjects that are studied far more in depth, than ever before. Suddenly, it’s very easy to miss that Monday morning lecture, steal a friend’s notes for that essay that’s due in next week and leave that project till the night before, to complete. The only advice I can give you here – don’t. Start as you mean to go on. Diving head first into the hard work and tackling it as you mean to go on, is a sure fire way to be able to enjoy every single aspect of your time at University, both educationally and personally. This may be the biggest lesson I took from my University days, into my career as a self employed blogger – hard work will get you everywhere. I wish I’d known, just how rewarding it would be, to work harder than I ever had before.

3.

Organisation is key 

From the minute your timetable enters your hands, managing your time is essential. It’s one of the first huge steps into being successfully independent and one that I still struggle with to this day. ‘Adulting’ can be hard! You have to be organised, in every way possible, if you’re going to experience everything you truly want to. It’s all too easy to get your priorities a little skewed, rather than working out a flexible, adaptable, work/life balance. There are so many amazing opportunities when you start University, that the only way to make sure you stay grounded and hit your deadlines, is to plan, plan, plan. You’ll thank yourself in the long run, I promise. I wish I’d known early on, how important my diary would become to me and that it would still be my best friend, 11 years on. It may seem hilarious when you’re 18, to plan not only your education but your personal life too, but it works!

4.

Moving away from home is hard

I remember vividly being equal amounts of anxious and excited to move out of the family home. I had dreams of becoming the best of friends with my new flatmates, being an independent woman in a new city and thriving on every experience thrown at me – definitely inspired by Sex and The City. The reality was much different. My 1st year flatmates were not my type of people. We didn’t get on and I found myself spending more and more time away from the flat and desperate for my second year to start so I could move out. I was never homesick, only because my boyfriend would come over, or I’d go to my best mates flat two floors above – but it does hit you hard that you’re was suddenly responsible for every aspect of your life – my wonderful Mum had done so much for me and I haven’t even realised the extent of it. In stark contrast though, fast forward to my second year and I truly came into my own. I lived with people who are now life long friends, I became much more independent and I can happily say University became the making of me and boosted my confidence like no other. I wish I’d known how hard it would be but equally how incredible too.

5.

You’ll meet amazing people

Cliché alert! For me this was entirely true. You will meet people who will impact your life and change you for the better. From people who love you, people who lift you up, people who question you and people who stick with you for life. You’ll meet lecturers who are just as passionate as you, you’ll meet friends who are a shoulder to cry on when things get too much and you’ll meet fellow students who push you to be a better version of yourself. If you’re finding it difficult to meet people though, try starting a team, or a hobby or a new job. You’ll soon find some new friends; it might just take a little more work. University is one of the most amazing experiences you’ll ever have and my one encompassing piece of advice is to enjoy it. Enjoy what you learn, enjoy meeting new people, enjoy being independent and most of all – enjoy your growth. I wish I’d known just how special those years would be and just how many friends I would make.

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This week saw the launch of my collaborative accessories collection, with the amazing luxury brand – Strathberry. I am so excited to share this with you and I hope you love all the pieces as much as I do. I was lucky enough to take Strathberry’s values of high quality, unique hardware and innovative design and add my own personal touches to create a limited edition, capsule collection. As you can imagine, you’ll be seeing more of the accessories featured across my social media channels and I hope you love seeing them styled alongside my usual blend, of personalised topics. You can shop all of the items below for a limited time and you can use the hashtag #strathberryxinthefrow to chat with me about the collaboration. I’m so sorry that a few of the bags have already sold out, to those of you who didn”t manage to treat yourself in time! But thank you all so much for this amazing opportunity.

Victoria x

#strathberryxinthefrow 

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