Back in 2016 I left home to go to Lancaster University. I had only just turned 18 and I thought I was ready for the world, and to try things on my own. It was this decision that I quickly realised was the most important one, and I hardly even focused on it.
I just want to say that Lancaster is such a beautiful place to study, and the University itself was really nice. But it wasn’t for me!
For me, the campus was too restrictive. I felt cut off from everyone else, and the pressure of being surrounded by people my age made my anxiety skyrocket. Every time I stepped out of my halls I was so paranoid that everyone was looking at me and laughing. I couldn’t go anywhere on my own.
It got to the point where I felt like I had no support around me, I don’t want to drag names into the dirt, but the support centre they provided was not very helpful. It’s all down to everyone’s personal experience of course! Maybe others loved the atmosphere the campus provided and found the counsellors very supportive.
After moving home when my anxiety got really bad and I needed help, I applied for my home University – Lincoln. I’ve been there for a few weeks now, and it’s been really amazing. I feel confident and comfortable, I can go anywhere on my own and I’ve been signing up to so many different things. I even weekly go on the student radio and love going to the library on my own.
The person that I am today, is completely different to who I was back in 2016. I am so happy with the decisions that I have made that got me where I am today. It’s still hard to recognise that part of my history, it makes me feel sad, guilty and confused but with my new happiness where I am today, it’s getting a bit easier.
The main point is, people focus a lot on choosing courses, accommodation and transport links. But the actual University itself is such a major part that is often overlooked. It can either make a home completely yours or ruin your experience.
But at the end of the day, if you’re somewhere that doesn’t feel right to you, it is never too late to change it. You can always move or change course, because it’s your life and you’re in control.