By Lou Ramsey
So you’ve arrived at University fresh faced and ready for your next chapter.
Well maybe not fresh faced if you’ve made the most of your Freshers. But you’re here now and that’s what counts. And you’ve found your way to this column. As a heads-up, this going to be all about messy human moments we don’t always talk about, the fear of failure and downright f*cking up. As well as Good Stuff, uni and advice from a walking contradiction. Seriously, it sounds cool and all, but it just means I’ve not got my sh*t together, but then does anyone? In short, this column is the pep talk no one will give you.
So if that sounds like your cup of tea, grab one and get ready. If you enjoy it, do let me know and come back to read more!
How are you finding everything? Maybe you’re feeling a bit lost, scared or just plain indecisive. Let’s face it, it’s kind of a big deal if you decide to commit 4 years of your life to. I know a thing or two about indecisiveness and the fear of f*cking up. Let’s give you some context shall we? I’m Louise, but you can call me Lou since we’re friends now. I don’t let just ANYONE call me that. Honest. It’s even on my Tinder profile.
I decided I wanted to come to Strathclyde while I was in Zante. In August. After results day. So yeah, I know a thing or two about being indecisive. To have an itch in your feet. To be wondering if and what and why. To have fear in your stomach and a need for more. Feeling similar?
I’m not going to repeatedly tell you it’s natural to be nervous about university or the future in general. I mean yeah, OBVIOUSLY it’s scary. New world! New people! New life! But that bit of reassuring advice feels a bit redundant, because it’s so cliché and we’re too cynical to bother with it. What does the older generation know anyway? They can barely type on touch screens and repeatedly liked Instagrams accidently before zoom was created. (thank god for zoom. Bless you Insty).
Instead, I’m going to tell you whatever fear you’re feeling right now. Lean into it. Seriously. Grab it and don’t let go. Make a home in it. If there’s something about university (and I’m in third year so I think I’ve got a pretty good idea) is that it doesn’t get any less scary. The class content gets downright fascinating and the workload triples, but you will still have to speak up and let your ideas be strewn across the lecture hall. You’ll still meet new people, more and more often, but after a while you realise how good it is to have people in your life that get you a bit more than your friends back home. New people can be frightening, I’m not a Glasgow native so I know this feels like a completely new world. But it’s your world to create. Completely yours.
If you grab that fear and hold tight, if you lean into it, you’re going to be doing life that extra bit right. Don’t we all want that? In a world of flawless Instagram’s and a #goals list longer than our arms, doing something so incredible as leaning in to fear can help. Let fear motivate you. You’ve probably seen the quotes scattered across social media smugly promoting ‘comfort is for the weak/lazy/boring’ mind set, but this doesn’t need to be for gym jocks trying to get that extra rep. If you get into the headspace of never settling, you’re going to get to those places you dream of. It’s a big secret you see – people pretend they’re totally cool and together, when really they’ve got three loads of washing to do and an unwashed smoothie bottle in their flat.
I’m not saying it won’t be hard. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to suck and you’re going to have moments where you feel so small in a world so big. But you will soon relish in this itsy bitsy existence. Because it means everything you do matters only to you. Did you know that? Everything you do matters only to you. That makes It feel bigger. Louder. There will be moments where you’ll feel the same as you do when you’re driving at night and a really good song comes on. The type where it feels the drums are bashing into you and everything makes sense. And there will be some days it doesn’t. And you will want help. That’s ok. You’re allowed to reach out – it isn’t weak. Call Nightline, they’re really helpful.
You’ve got this you know. Just remember to lean in. And no tequila shots.