Tuesday, 5 June 2018


I’ve actually done it. Not only have I officially finished my first year, I conquered five thousand and one fears, made lots of Lovely Human Friends and learnt a lot of Cool Stuff, and Entirely enjoyed myself doing it. Around Christmas time I was probably 90% sure I wanted to drop out and give up on the whole ~Uni experience~ altogether, but I am so very glad I saw it through to the end of my exams. It’s definitely been a major rollercoaster of emotions, for want of a better cliché. There were days I spent bursting with happiness and motivation for my new-found independence (often those days were spent with friends and alcohol in the sunshine), but there were also days where I felt indescribably low. Homesickness is Real and that’s The Tea on that. I missed my house and my cat, my family, and just having somewhere else to revise other than at my desk staring at the building works outside my window. Halls were probably responsible for more of the lows than the highs.

*Pls enjoy the mix of half decent photos taken at the start of the year, and the less-than-excellent photos taken more recently. The lighting ruined many a selfie over my year here, and these shots are no exception. I also considered tidying up but this is much more representative. Keeping it real*

~Snakes don’t hiss, they steal your vegan pizza~. I’ve had that written in the notes section on my phone since the first week of Uni back in October, the fateful night that I naively left two thirds of an £11 dairy free Zizzi pizza in the fridge, only to find it had mysteriously disappeared by morning. We lost A Lot of food over the year thanks to the gracious stealing that occurred overnight by Unknown Flatmates, a sin that honestly I consider largely unforgivable. I feel like the best advice I could give from my entire experience so far is that if any of your food is taken even once, save yourself the losses and keep everything (that doesn’t need to be in the fridge/freezer) in your room.

My room itself was actually ~more than~ wonderful, with plenty of space for my things and clothes and an immaculately impressive ensuite bathroom, all of which I was incredibly thankful for everyday. I knew I was going to struggle with being away from home from the offset, so my living situation was super important for me to get right. I was quite literally delighted when I got a place in my top choice accommodation, Cityside, in Leeds, and I would definitely say from my experience that having somewhere you’re comfortable makes all the difference if you’re nervous at all for living in halls. The stereotypical and generic suggestions for making your space home-y are exactly the ones I would recommend: plenty of cushions, pillows and throws, fairy lights (if you’re allowed them (or if you’re not)), photos and any ~prized possessions~ from home (see my extensive Disney collection that occupied a large proportion of my space).

I think it’s easy to be disheartened by those who confidently assure you living in halls will be the ~best days of your life~ if you just don’t seem to click with it. My flat were far from best pals, I only really spent time with one or two of my flatmates at most, and after certain events which may have highlighted small amounts of ~tension~ between the rest of us, there wasn’t a whole lot of communication by the end of the year either. But I guarantee that even if you end up clashing with your flatmates, it is not the end of the world. I was initially surprised to hear how many of my other friends didn’t get along with their flat either, but then in hindsight, the chances of six or seven random people being thrown into a close living environment and all getting along swimmingly all of the time isn’t all that high. If you end up best pals at the end of first year, that’s great, but it’s okay to not find living with strangers the ~best days of your life~ too. I didn’t get the best luck of the draw, but I still formed friendships that I’m sure will extend further into my time at Leeds, and I’m super excited to live with the lovely ladies I am next year in our house.