University | Year 3 | Term 1

Wow. My last year as an undergraduate has begun and these types of blog posts are coming to an end also. It is both equally terrifying and heartwarming to look back through the last six posts that summarise my last two years at my university. An even scarier thought is, as I type up this instalment, I am halfway through my last year even though I have two more terms to go. Instead of getting bogged down in nostalgia and fear of the future (all of which will I'm sure have their own dedicated blog posts next year) lets have a nice neat re cap of my last winter term at university.

I'm not going to sugarcoat this; third year sucks. Actually so did most of this term. Sure, there have been high points and I'm not one to be a negative nelly but there is just no way I couldn't include how hard this term has been.

The term began badly. I lost my dog Alfie. His passing has been the hardest grief I have ever tried to cope with. Whilst I tried to come to terms with my grief, one of my housemates had her 22nd birthday which we celebrated with cake, booze and a night out.
This year I am on a committee for the Raise and Give (RAG) society I have been a part of for the last two years (of which I did Jailbreak and Lost with) as an event manager. The first event of this year was in freshers week and was Harry Potter themed; thankfully it was a success and lots of fun. I spent most of freshers week chained to my society desk urging people to sign up and intermittently throwing up all over campus from being too hungover. To add on to the mounting stress, my laptop broke shortly after and this was the second week of term so my patience was being tested.

My wonderful friend from home E, came to visit and took me on a much needed night out with my entire house, old housemates and everyone else we could scrape together before the reality of deadlines hit us. The great British bake off began again and I tucked up every week with my housemates with cake and coffee to urge on our favourite bakers (Liam, Yan and Stephen).

In October my family decided it was time to get another dog and somehow... we ended up with three new puppies. My sister and I had one each (Barney and Murphy respectively) and my parents had one also called Ted. They have been a handful to say the least but they seem to be settling in well! I took my housemate to my parents home to visit the puppies a few weeks later to escape from the stress of university and to soak in some beach air.

(My new puppy, Murphy)

When I wasn't semi living in the library and occasionally surfaced for air, it was nearing the end of October which meant one thing; halloween. My housemate and I decided to decorate early, get crafty and replicated an iconic scene from our favourite tv show Stranger Things. A few days later another amazing friend C, from home came to visit me for a couple of days and I simply had the best time with him. He brought laughter and light back into my life in places I didn't know it was missing and I honestly can't thank him enough for what he did.
I darted home again for the day to try and bond with the puppies before racing back to university in time for halloween and my housemates 21st birthday. My friend E who had come up to visit me in the very beginning of term came back up for halloween and we had a great last halloween at university, green wigs and all.

Saturday study club became a thing in my household this term as deadlines, dissertations and society commitments all mounted against me. Pain au chocolates and proper strong coffee fuelled us for hours as we sat underneath stacks of paper in our pyjamas. Another tradition that we would be doing for the last time was bonfire night/firework night at a nearby village called Ottery St Mary's. Ottery is known locally as the place where flaming tar barrels get run down the street for fun. As always, its terrifying yet amazing fun and this year was no different.

We may not go out as much anymore (the boring life of a third year) but we are all burning through our savings on meals out to treat ourselves. The Christmas market moved into town gave us the perfect excuse to buy copious amounts of bucks fizz and put up the Christmas tree 7 weeks early. I went back to my hometown for a flying visit to see my amazing friends C and K for a long overdue coffee catch up and went on a big night out with two other school friends A and A which was so sorely needed now I wasn't going out as much at university.

We discovered a new board game cafe in town and spent a lovely evening there, getting high off sugary sweets and the adrenaline of winning a new game. My house celebrated 'Exemas' or our university Christmas and the day was filled with delicious food, Christmas tunes, secret Santa, Christmas with the Kranks movie, pass the parcel, prosecco, chocolate and a three hour long quiz. All in all, a perfect day.

In a shock to all but mostly to me, I have been to ONE gig this term. One. I know I sound dramatic and thats because I am being so, one is unheard of for me. One a week was the norm in first year, even in second year one a month was a bit lame. But one this TERM pains me in ways I cannot express fully. However, despite all of this am dram, it was a bloody good one. My housemate bought and surprised me with tickets to see my favourite band LANY in Bristol. We got day drunk in TGIFridays and then I had an experience I can only equate to a religious one. It was beyond incredible and I am so thankful.

My society RAG had an end of year Christmas dinner so I got all dressed up in one of the few dresses I own and had a really great time. The evening became a rowdy one which I expected and it felt great to let out some steam that had been building for weeks. My housemate L's birthday happens when we are all home for Christmas so myself and a friend, J, decided to surprise her by taking her to a nearby animal sanctuary with penguins, seals, otters and other aquatic friends then for a fancy meal to say happy 21st. This was the beginning of L's birthday fortnight.

A couple of days later we went for lunch in town which had a free bottle of prosecco attached to it and a big night out in the evening. A few days later she went home and celebrated with her family and friends on her actual birthday. Just before we went away for her birthday present, we spent the day in London having dinner at the Ivy and then L surprised me with tickets to go and see DreamGirls on the west end which was phenomenal. The next day we, with as much enthusiasm as you can at 7am, jumped onto the Eurostar to one of the happiest places on earth: Disneyland Paris.

We had a fab few days being grown up kids and completely detaching from reality. The few days we were away truly felt like pure escapism and we managed to completely smash the two parks and get all the rides we wanted done. We were both super sad to leave Disney as it had been so christmassy and head back to England but we are already talking about our next trip to Disney!

All in all, when its all laid out with photos and nice captions this term hasn't been awfu. I know I'm lucky to live the life I do and I have had some lovely times this term but it has just felt flat. Everyone I know is super stressed, including myself and that shows in us not really doing anything. I think being able to look back and compare previous terms just shows how much I can do and how much I'm not doing. Hopefully in term 2 I get to do more of what makes me happy but with exams, a dissertation to write and figuring my plans out for the future I think I will have to take what I can get! Fingers crossed though!

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