When I moved to University just over a year ago, I remember thinking how amazing I was going to make my life. Eating well, going to the gym, being overtly confident and extremely unlike my admittedly introverted self to ensure I make lots of friends; the desire for change within me was endless. It was all very exciting preparing for university and this reinvention of myself I was planning on creating, and at first, all was well.
A place of change where no one knows you is the perfect place to reinvent yourself
I really tried to eat well, go to the gym as often as possible and be EXTREMELY friendly to as many people I met during my first few weeks of university. A place of change where no one knows you is the perfect place to reinvent yourself. You could dye your hair and change your dress sense, and no one would react because that’s the only way they’ve ever known you. It’s all very exciting.
But as soon as I began to feel comfortable at university, my old habits came back. Exam season hit and I stopped gyming, eating well and as I found my closest friends here, my desire to be this confident person faded all too quickly because I’d become so comfortable with them my personality continued to come through honestly.
I remember feeling some level of disappointment with this lack of motivation to change my entire personality like I once intended before I decided to move to Nottingham a year ago. However, I can’t help but look back now and acknowledge how much I have changed since being at university. My compassion levels with others, my money management, endless amounts of things my old self from home couldn’t have done, which is something to celebrate and reflect on occasionally.
it’s the easiest thing to self-criticize yourself when it comes to reinventing who you are
I sometimes feel like it’s the easiest thing to self-criticize yourself when it comes to reinventing who you are in every way, whether that is physically, emotionally or academically, because we are surrounded by expectations of how we should be and who we should aspire to be. However, I also think it’s important to remind ourselves every once in a while, that the change you may wish for won’t happen over-night, or even happen just because you’re a 2-hour drive from your hometown.
The encouragement of bettering yourself is something I wholeheartedly support. We all have the time to grow and become better people in every way we can, and if that means going to the gym 5 times a week instead of once a month to you, then so be it. University allows that level of accessibility where you could say you were once a totally different person, and no one would know.
…better the person you are rather than becoming an entirely different person…
But deep down, I don’t think that really what any of us wants. University, in my eyes, after being here for just over a year, is more about discovering what you love and who you want to spend your time with. Focusing more on how to better the person you are rather than becoming an entirely different person is much more important in my eyes.
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