yesterday i moved back home from my second year student house, and surprisingly it's got me feeling a little bit sentimental. admittedly, the house was a bit naff, my room was also naff, but for the past year it's been the place i've called home, and my room provided me with my own little escape from reality whenever i needed it, and after sharing a room throughout my first year of university, i truly learnt how important it is to have your own space available for whenever you're needing a little bit of down time away from the rest of the world (it also helps around deadlines when you're stressed about workload, but that's another story entirely!)
as my room doubles up as both a bedroom and a studio, i did all i could to try and make it feel a little cosier and more homely as i knew i'd be spending a lot of time in it; putting up art from some of my favourite illustrators provided me with something of a 'wall of inspiration' while providing a lived in, homely aesthetic, sitting mallory the sloth on my bed provided me with a stuffed buddy to cuddle up with while binge watching series of new girl, a scented candle on my chest of drawers helped me to unwind on an evening after a day of hard work, and the fairy lights provided me with a dim, cosy atmosphere to get in bed and read a book within. they all seem like such silly, insignificant touches, but they really helped me to feel as though the place was my home and that spending time within it could be an enjoyable experience.
i've spent evenings grafting at my desk desperately trying to complete work for deadlines, spilt vodka all over it during predrinks resulting in an unfortunate sticky mess to deal with the next morning, and sat at it typing frantically away on my laptop compiling the coming week's blog posts. i've laid in bed for hours on an evening sobbing hysterically along to television series, i've spent hours laid in it the morning after a night out in hysterics with friends, and i've flopped into it after deadlines and thanked my lucky stars that i had such a seemingly idyllic place to revert to whenever i found it necessary. my room's provided me with the space i've needed throughout the year, whether it was alone or within the company of others, and a lot of fond memories were created within its four walls. cheesy, i know, i'm making myself want to vom, but it's all very true.
when you rock up to university on your first day as a clueless fresher, you don't quite believe your tutors when they tell you that your time there will fly, but now i'm nearing the start of my third year, i can't believe just how true their words were. you so often read about times within people's lives where they go on some kind of journey of self discovery, and i really think my second year of university has been that for me. the first few months of university were a struggle for me as i was having troubles with confidence, relationships and generally understanding my own character, and although those months were really tough for me, because of them i've emerged more confident and reassured of my person, strengths and goals for the future, and i'm really, really proud that i stuck at it and pulled myself through, and now i think i'm doing alright. at least, i'm happy, that's the most important thing.
with the end of second year comes the inevitable fact that university is going to end altogether, and it's something that i'm not all that prepared to deal with at the moment. i've met a fantastic bunch of people who i have the most fun with, and i've also met a couple of people who have become my best friends. the sense of community i feel while at university is like none i've felt before, like i'm part of a group of people who all kind of give a crap about me, or at least want me around, and that general feeling seems to be present throughout the entire group, which is really nice. it'll be strange when we all move back to our various homes within the uk and aren't a ten minute walk from one another, and the idea of not being able to quickly meet up whenever we're fancying a spontaneous night out or trips to mcdonald's truly sucks, but i suppose that's another one of those things that comes with growing up. perhaps it's the spontaneity of things that gives university it's overall appeal for me, it's nice to feel that although you have deadlines and workloads, you don't actually have any real life commitments that stop you from going out and having fun whenever you desire it.
i suppose i've gone off on a tangent, but i can't help but feel a slight sense of nostalgia for university before i've even left, and it's really got me thinking about appreciating every minute of the year that lies ahead of me, which for me means making the most of my education as well as my friends. towards the end of first year i was considering moving university to pursue an illustration degree, and one year down the line i couldn't be more glad that i didn't. the support i've received from tutors has been truly overwhelming; they've really helped to shape my overall university experience, and for that i couldn't be more grateful. they've supported my creative choices and aspirations, encouraged me to push and better myself, and have altogether brought out a sense of confidence and pride that i never thought attainable for myself. i remember one of my goals for the coming year within my year one reflective report was to feel more confident when presenting my work, and hey presto, one year on and the idea of presenting my work even sounds fun to me at times - now that's what i call an achievement.
university has, and probably will continue to be, fantastic for me. i'm really glad to know that whenever i get asked about university in the future, i'll be able to answer positively about so many of the different aspects of it that helped to shape me into who i'll be. let's hope that my third year house provides me with a bedroom that also encourages such heartfelt blabberings, ey?