The Talk: It’s okay not to be okay

3 mins read

Three years ago, I stood bent over a suitcase trying to slowly zip it all the way while forcefully stuffing it with my favourite pillow. There was no way I was going to university without it. How else was I supposed to get a good night’s sleep after a night out?

I decided not to take a gap year between high school and university, knowing (and hoping) that the experience of moving from Denmark to Scotland would be enough of a culture change that it’d make up for not backpacking in Asia.

I was excited about my degree and I was done with home.

To my content, I was right in my presumptions about moving to a new country and now I even appreciate my home more. But university is not always the best time.

First of all, going to university is no small accomplishment – so, well done for getting here! You’re doing good.

Secondly, going to university is also not the only option, so if you’re not quite sure about your choice, don’t be discouraged from taking another route.

Leaving home. Image credit: Julie Brinking

University life is often projected to be a big life-changing event that will set you on course for the rest of your life; you’ll make friends for life; and it’ll be the best time of your life.

It feels like a taboo to even think about admitting that university life sometimes sucks. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay if everything is not okay.

Admittedly, I did not have the ideal start with covid and hybrid teaching that was never delivered. But everything that I struggled with was not directly related to the pandemic.

I thought I was going to be a new person. I thought I was going to fall in love with the first Scot I’d find. I thought that I would suddenly love clubbing. 

Instead I found myself scattered across modules, struggling with friendships at university and from home, things not working out exactly as I wanted. The only thing that actually did change, was that I learned to drink and like beer.

In an attempt to diagnose myself I turned to Google. I found that so many people, like me, didn’t have their expectations met. They were not suddenly different people at the moment of entering halls.

Learning that there is nothing wrong with not having a good time all the time helped me appreciate the good moments even more. I feel more secure and confident about life after university knowing that it is okay not to be okay.

Featured Image Credit: Healthline

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Fourth year English and Journalism student and Comment editor. Talk to me about fashion, culture, language and media.

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