I’ll be honest, I started writing this blog post in the mid-semester break of semester one, had a crisis as I couldn’t really get my point across, and then stopped. So here we are again, with a clearer mind and hopefully a more coherent post!

So, we’re once again a semester in. Already half a year back at uni. You likely are aware by now that I chose to completely change the direction of my degree this year from arts and law to commerce. This was a choice that I didn’t take lightly by any means as it was basically a choice that would map out a lot of the rest of my life. Honestly, my reason for such a dramatic change in degree was largely since when I left school I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. For want of a better phrase, I didn’t have a clear direction. This hugely bothered me as ALL my closest school friends knew exactly what they were doing; a doctor, a pianist, a psychologist, a physicist. And then there was me, a pharmacist? A lawyer? I come from a family of high achievers and I am very proud to say that. I think that may be why I went into uni with unrealistically high expectations for myself. I chose law, ultimately not because I wanted to be a lawyer, but because I thought I had something to prove. But in all honesty, I just didn’t know.

I spent all of 2018 working extremely hard on my law/arts degree and I got grades that mirrored the work I was putting in. I reached the end of the year quite burnt out and tired. I realised I didn’t want to be a lawyer, and I didn’t want to spend five years working insanely hard towards something that wasn’t making me all that happy. So as 2019 came in, so did commerce. And I have thus far, loved it. I wasn’t sure I’d be a fan of seven compulsory papers in the first year but despite me knowing full well I won’t continue down some of those pathways, I have enjoyed learning about things I otherwise wouldn’t have touched with a bargepole; coding for example. It’s been so rewarding getting to work more closely with peers in business class and taking away practical information from accounting like learning how to accurately put together a balance sheet.

One thing that I wish I had got into sooner is the uni club scene as it took me until this year to finally start getting involved! One of my closest friends had been pushing for me to join the university concert band for weeks and I resisted, thinking I wouldn’t have enough time but OH MY IT’S AMAZING. I sincerely wish that I had joined earlier on as the people are fantastic and playing in a light-hearted musical community is something that I’ve really missed since leaving school.

I have to say, hindsight really is 20/20 in some aspects of life. I’ll be honest, I’m an extremely affectionate person and almost immediately upon coming to university and moving into O’Rorke, I got into a relationship. I’m not saying necessarily that this was a bad choice on my part, as I made some of the best memories and had an amazing time. But I’d just like to issue a disclaimer to any of you thinking of diving headfirst into relationships in the first year, please be careful. Relationships are amazing, but in the first year, there is so much else going on and so many other people to meet that you may risk meeting as a result.

I came back to uni knowing full well that it has its ups and downs. There are many many ups at uni of course that come in the forms of extra-curriculars, coffee dates with friends, late-night chats over a cup of minty tea and walks through the domain, but uni is tiring and can wear you out, so at this time of year especially, you must remind yourself to do things that make you feel good. I’m not nullifying the importance of study of course but keeping your mental health in check is extremely important. Go for a walk, pat a dog, bake a cake!

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Sophie Burns

Just a student from England who loves dogs, stationery and herbal teas!

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