Recently Lancaster was awarded University of the Year, I firstly felt real pride at my university getting this accolade and secondly made me extremely reminiscent of my time there, and sparked something in me to write this blog post about my time there and why I would encourage everyone to go to university!
I’m not going to make specific arguments about why you should go, hopefully my experience will be give you an peak at the benefits more from a personal point of view rather than just professionally.
I will make this point before we go any further however a student loan is one of the best loans you can ever get:
- It doesn’t have much interest
- There are loads of requirements before you have to pay it off and more importantly stop paying it off
- Finally it gets taken off before your wage hits your bank account so you don’t really feel it when you are paying it back because you don’t see that change in real terms
Back to my personal story about university and specifically Lancaster.
When I started all the way back in 2010 I was a pretty quiet and shy individual, I was terrified at meetings all these new people, just hoping that they would be nice and I’m sure my parents would agree that I was stressing out in the car on the way up. I did get put with a brilliant bunch of people who I have to mention on being a massive part of my time at university and to this day in fact.
They along with the whole university experience and support really helped bring me out of my shell and become more confident and the person I am today.
To the point where at the end of first year I was getting involved in extrav (a big end of year party) and was the photographer for the event, going round speaking to hundreds of people and having the confidence in my abilities, something pretty unimaginable in that first freshers day.
I met people whom I’d have never crossed paths with thanks to the total mix you get at universities especially when the accommodation is a mix of course students like Lancaster’s. It gives you such a mixture of experiences and perspectives and through this and much soul searching and some pretty emotional days, that I finally came out as gay to my friends. Which I thought would be a surprise to people, but pretty much everyone said they’d kind of guessed, in fact one of my best friends who on a night out spent the entire 15 minute bus journey into town telling me that she knew over and over, much to our joint amusement.
I also got involved in LUSU (Lancaster University Students Union) in mostly communications and publicity role, which helped me grow in different ways. I’d always been petrified of public speaking but towards the end of university I stood in front of an audience of over 100 people as well as it being streamed online and gave a speech and answered questions on why I should be elected into a further students union position, I didn’t win that election but I did gain a huge boost in my confidence in speaking in front of people and speaking to people I didn’t really know.
My whole university experience really transformed me into who I am today, comfortable in my own skin, a more confident, healthier and rounded human being.
It also obviously has been a massive bonus for me professionally and academically learned so much, but thought I would share just a snippet of my university experience while I was reminiscing and if this helps make just one person feel more positive about going to university then that would be a great bonus.
I’ll just leave you with this, which will always remind me of Lancaster as it was played in Fylde Bar on Lancaster University Campus at the end of my Fylde College Fresher’s week in the pub quiz.