Diary of a Student: Reflections on the First Year

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Yagmur on her first year at Falmouth, and the transition into university life.

High school was a horrible experience for me.

The bullying and isolation was something I wanted to erase from my mind. For as long as I can remember, I knew that I just wanted to get it over with, graduate peacefully and go to University. Of course, I used to want to attend Yale University and study Law (that was mainly because I was obsessed with Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl). I remember that I spent most of my days in bed, watching movies and smoking too many cigarettes. My mum would be surprised to ever see me leave my room.

So, when I got accepted into Falmouth University, I was so ecstatic, at first I thought it was a joke. I remember calling the admissions office and asking if it really was a practical joke. Never did I actually truly believe that I would get accepted into University.

When September came around, I was so nervous to start this new chapter in my life, especially since most of my adolescence consisted of limited human interaction and crying over fictitious characters. I am not good at making friends or talking to people, so I thought attending University would be a good place to start (you know, apart from getting a degree). I knew I wanted change in my life.

At first, the fact that Cornwall was surrounded by beaches really heightened my excitement, because being a city girl means that I rarely get to go to the beach. Being a city girl also means wondering why shops close at 6... but there's always the up side that it's quiet in the evenings, and I can get home quickly and be cozy instead of fighting crowds on public transport.

As an international student, I do feel jealous of students who have the chance to drive home for the weekend or hop on the train and see their family. It takes me a full day to travel, which includes two planes and one train to go from one airport to another. Before University, I was certain that I would not miss my home or even consider ever going back, but this didn't turn out to be true. (Funnily enough, when it comes to homesickness, the first year of University wasn’t as hard as the second year. Even though I Facetime my mother every day, I still cry about being so far away from home when I have had a few too many jagerbombs.)

But this is, after all, a part of life and independence, so instead of throwing myself a pity party every day, I have learned to face and overcome these kinds of obstacles. 

I still have days where I lay in bed and watch random movies on Netflix and refuse to talk to anyone. But I also have days where I go out with my friends. I have days where my friends surprise me at 9pm on a Thursday and take me to the beach. I have days where we dance until our feet hurt. I'm learning not to take things personally. Most of all, I'm learning to let things go and just move forward with my life. Although University is a short adventure, I know I have created some memories here that I will never forget.

And there’s still a feeling at the pit of my stomach reminding me that I would still be sat on my twin bed, at home, unemployed and smoking too many cigarettes at the age of 20 if it wasn’t for University. So, although I always want to go back home, I also know that my mother is very proud of me that I am not giving up.

by Yagmur Ozmen