Finding my way around uni these past few months has really taught me a lot. It’s opened my eyes to just how difficult, but rewarding independence can be. I’ve gained new friendships, connections, and most importantly, it’s revealed a strong, confident personality in me that I never knew I had. Workload and stress To say I haven’t enjoyed the semester would be a complete lie – I absolutely adored it. Yes, there were times where I had work piling up, on top of three novels that I had to have read. Plus all of the usual student stresses like lack of money and food. Despite this struggle, I think I’ve handled the first semester really well. I’m getting grades that I’m proud of and I’ve found amazing friends. (Plus I’ve finally managed to get a sense of order in the madness that is my desk!) Saving money One thing I really have struggled with is money management; finding a way to stop spending my fortnightly wages within a couple days! My family always told me it would be hard, but I just thought I’d be fine, having a job and a bit of money saved up. Now I know, money goes so quickly! But now I’m shopping in cheaper shops and trying to cut back on little things, like the unnecessary Primark trips and stopping at Eskimoo on my way to a lecture… Family A big factor in how I dealt with leaving my family and my home was the advice they gave me. I owe a lot to my family, especially my Dad, who always goes out of his way to make sure I’m okay and happy. He’s visited me frequently in this first semester, and it really helped me to feel that I wasn’t just by myself at uni; that I had support and love, no matter how far away I was from them. I’m forever grateful to my family for helping me through my homesickness and initial sadness at becoming ‘independent’. They got me out of my slump, and ultimately gave me the motivation I needed to really get stuck into my work at Uni, and I couldn’t love them more for doing so. They also brought my dog to Lincoln for the day, which in itself is the best thing that anyone could ever do (honestly, it was the best day ever). A Personal Highlight A personal highlight of the semester for me was the connections I made over the past few months. I’ve experienced enthusiastic, passionate teaching, which made the seminars and workshops really enjoyable, and on top of that, when it came to independent rehearsals for the end of year performance in our Drama module, I laughed harder than I’ve ever done before. Some of my favourite memories from University so far have been from those two-hour meet-ups in ATB. (Of course, we did actually get some work done, even though our Snapchat stories said otherwise…) Honestly, if I had the chance to go back and do things differently, I wouldn’t. I’ve had a truly fantastic first semester, even though it had a shaky start, I’ve powered through and I simply can’t wait to see where the next one takes me.