Michael Flatley is a world-renowned Irish dancer who skyrocketed to fame following the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, at which he, and a troupe of talented dancers following his choreography, performed ‘Riverdance’ for the first time. Jean Butler, co-star to Flatley, also gained recognition for her remarkable talent. If you don’t know who either of these dancers are, I’d recommend that you stop reading this blog and Youtube them right now. Although there are many, Riverdance is a logical place to start before you fall down the rabbit hole of endless spectacular performances.
You’ve found the house, signed the contract, and you think you’re ready to make the move from halls to student housing. Think again. Assuming you’ve sorted the big things like paying your deposit and arranging how you’ll split the bills, here are 8 other things you need to think about.
You might have opened this article because, like me, you are one of life’s worriers and making friends at university is one of the many things you have started to think about, even though September is many months away. Equally, you might not have given much thought to the friendship aspect of university life yet – this article is not to tell you that you should start worrying. On the contrary, the first thing you need to know is that friendships will fall into place when you get to university. That is not to say that friendships don’t require work or that you shouldn’t put yourself in situations to find friends. You should join societies, remain open to meeting new people, and introduce yourself to other students. However, making friends is not something you need to worry about – before university or when you get there. I admit that I would have scoffed to read this article before I went to university, wondering why the writer assumed it was easy to stop worrying. Although the concern may be something that continues to persist in your mind, I can give you some evidence to support my claims. Firstly, you can look to your own experiences, and then I’ll share a somewhat embarrassing story of my own to prove my point.
It feels like a dirty confession to make, but I don’t write essays as a revision technique. Despite the fact that most of the GCSE’s and all of the A-Levels I took were essay-based subjects, and the degree I’m currently taking is almost entirely assessed by essays, essay-writing has never been my go-to revision method. It isn’t because I hate essays, I like to think I have a normal love/hate relationship with them but because they don’t work for me. The reason this confession almost feels sacrilegious is because it is something I’ve heard repeatedly for years from teachers, ‘practise writing essays’ and ‘write practice essays’. School was a constant stream of ‘practice essays’, ‘practice essays’ and, you’ve guessed it, ‘practice essays’. It would be a lie to say that I’ve never written any; I had to write my fair share at school and did write a few at home. I’m not trying to say they aren’t helpful but that they aren’t equally helpful for everyone, and I’m one of the people that can revise more successfully in other ways. This article isn’t to give you an excuse to stop writing essays but a reminder that it is okay to prioritise other revision methods. I feel guilty sometimes, wondering if I should write an essay and am in fact being lazy- and sometimes I am, but normally it is more than that.
I was always fiercely competitive at school, even if I had no responsibility for, or involvement in, the thing that I felt competitive about. Take sports days as an example: I always wanted my house to win even if I wasn’t competing. Lots of people probably felt the same way, but I would like to add that I was very competitive; I was deeply invested in school dance, school art, school music and school drama competitions too. Maybe that’s why I felt so strongly about Varsity and wanting my University to do well. It was also more than that: I felt proud every time I read about the University teams, as it seemed a lot of people did. This time last year conversations frequently involved the question: have you seen the Varsity score? (Not to say that the fun of Varsity depends upon who wins). I left the results page open as a tab on my phone to check for updates, and I watched all of the videos on the University’s Instagram stories. Continue reading
I’d read a million blog posts about moving to University, packed all of my things, and bought the recommended door-stop which would help you make friends (although living in the end room made my open door pointless). I thought that I had prepared myself as fully as a person could, which is was I was surprised when the homesickness hit me. Spoiler alert: I may or may have not cried into a cocktail. I love my family, and I was prepared for the tears I had to blink back when they left for the long drive home. I wasn’t expecting the feeling to return the next day.