If you haven’t read part one to this post, click here to read it first!
Once I returned home from Huddersfield, I emailed my old tutor from my sixth form college and explained the situation to her and she was brilliant and arranged time for me to go into college and see her and we sat down blasted out another UCAS application. As I was so certain on going to university, I did this as soon as I could, but this time round, I only gave myself one option as I wanted to commute in from home, and that one option was De Montfort University.
I was stilling willing to study Journalism and the DMU course was very different to the Journalism course I was studying at Huddersfield, the biggest difference was that DMU offered an accreditation from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).
At DMU, before I could even get a conditional offer, I had to take part in an interview and exam process that was extremely scary. I completed the interview and exam process and after a while I was given a conditional offer so I still had to wait until results day to final out if my place was certain; the day came around and I got my place.
My gap year was pretty uneventful, I worked two jobs with the hopes of saving enough money to go travelling in the summer, unfortunately, nothing came of travelling, and to this day, I’m still disappointed about that.
So my gap year went by wistfully and it was soon October. As I mentioned before, I decided that I would commute into university from home and that journey averaged between 45 minutes to an hour everyday, I wasn’t able to park on campus so I paid for parking everyday and the car parks I used, there were three all next to each other, they were half a mile away from the university, so once I parked I then had a short walk to campus. I actually enjoyed the walk as my route took me through some really pretty gardens and down little cobbled streets.
The first week at DMU was just an induction/freshers week where lots of different activities and talks were scheduled for students to take part in and essentially meet lots of new people.
It never crossed my mind beforehand that there was still an option to stay in accommodation in my first year, it was only when I spoke to a few of my friends at work, who also attended DMU that they stayed in accommodation just for their first year, and as much as I loved living at home, if I was to do university all over again, I would definitely have considered and maybe would have, lived in student accommodation for the first year.
Living in accommodation is the easiest way to make friends at university, and it wasn’t that I struggled making friends because that wasn’t the case; I got on extremely well with everyone on my course because we were such a small group and we had all of our classes together, that we formed a really good bond.
During freshers week, DMU hold their activities/societies fair where you can look around and look at all of the different societies the university has to offer, joining a society is another great way to meet new friends and is something I wanted to do, but never did and really wish I did!
Most societies will hold weekly socials, at least DMU socials are every week, and it gives everyone the opportunity to go out and have fun, and yet again, meet new people.
What I learnt from my experience of university is, if you want to get the most out of your experience, you need to put yourself out there and leave your comfort zone, and this is something I didn’t do until the final weeks of my final year.
I’m not a massive drinker and I’m not one for going out into town every week and I didn’t go on a night out until the final weeks of final year. When I would tell people that after three years of uni, I’ve only ever been on one night out, people generally look confused or offended!
If you ever speak to someone who has attended university, going on nights out is usually the biggest highlight of a students time at university, and this is definitely something I regret not doing more of because once I went on my first uni night out and absolutely loved it, I just wanted to do it again.
So far in this post I feel like all I’ve done is complain about my time at university, but in reality, looking back now, I had the best time ever and I am genuinely sad now that it is over, there are obviously things that if I had the chance, I would have done differently, but overall I am so glad that I decided to see it through after the early hurdle. I had my graduation ceremony yesterday and all of the hard work, tears and laughter paid off as I graduated with a 2:1, I now have a BA Hons degree in Journalism – like, what!
Not only have I learnt all about Journalism and have been taught the skills and techniques of what it takes to be a journalist, even if it isn’t something I want to do straight out of university, but I have learnt so much more than what my course had to offer. I have learnt an incredible amount about myself as well as life itself. Studying journalism pushed me so far out of my comfort zone, an integral part of journalism is talking to lots of people, and lots of people I don’t know, and being quite a shy person, this was something that was very hard for me to overcome, but I did it, and I am so proud of what I have accomplished.
Mentally, my time at university was very challenging and I struggled a lot, but I have definitely come out of it a stronger person and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends and tutors. I made so many incredible friends during my time and I think when October rolls around and the reality sets in that I won’t be returning to DMU, I will genuinely miss everyone and everything DMU offered me.
If I were given the option to do university over again, I would 100% say yes and my graduation yesterday confirmed how much I loved my time at DMU and would give anything to do it all over again. I will be doing a post all about my graduation with lots of pictures so that will be up very soon.
I have decided that I also want to discuss my tips and advice for university based on my own experience and that will be going up in the next week or two, so keep an eye out!