When I started at the University of Plymouth, I really didn't expect to be where I am now - in an internship I well and truly love, completing a degree which has allowed me to thrive and with a freelance writing career to hand. I have worked hard over the three years, and I'm glad to say it's shown! I joined the university as an easily intimidated, nervous person. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life - just that I wanted to study English Literature, a subject I'd enjoyed ever since I can remember. I'm glad I went with my gut on that decision because it's lead me down an amazing and fruitful path.
Let's get the negatives out of the way. Sure, I had some less-than-ideal times; mainly, falling very ill with an illness that would go undiagnosed for a year. However, this illness gave me the laser-sharp focus I needed to carry on and tackle my coursework head on. Ultimately, It made me a stronger person, and more determined than ever.
In my first year, I'd never written an article or a blog post for anyone. But being at university made me brave enough to begin my own blog - a blog which would later reap thousands of views and propel my freelance career. Having people react so positively to my blog page gave me the confidence to write feature articles for magazines, newspapers and other publications. I'll even be in Devon Life soon - so keep your eyes peeled!
I also joined the Sailing club, which I stuck at for two years before my illness got the best of me. Despite never stepping foot in a sailing boat previously, I gave it my all. I made some good friends, met some interesting people, and even learned to sail - albeit very poorly. I met one of my closest friends in Sailing club, and that alone made the experience worthwhile.
My time at Plymouth has given me so many opportunities. The Santander Universities Scholarship awarded me over £4,000 to spend 3 months in Spain and learn Spanish, something I'd been dreaming of for years. I worked my way up the ranks of the student newspaper and made it as Editor-in-Chief. I worked as a student ambassador and a student blogger, which led to the paid marketing internship I'm loving. This also gave me the money to travel to places I wanted to - namely, Spain and Amsterdam. I developed my writing through my course, I met some incredible people, and I've really made the best out of my time here at university.
Of course, there were bad times; rubbish nights out, stressful coursework deadlines, getting ill, etc. But they taught me so much. For example; don't go out if you don't want to. Plan your time efficiently. If you're ill, focus on yourself; recuperate, relax, and heal. I'm more than happy to say that my university experiences, good and bad, have helped me grow my confidence tenfold. I'll be leaving the university as a much more vibrant person than I was when I joined the student community in September 2015, and for that, I am really glad!