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From the end of college to coming to university

When you get to the end of college and the time comes for UCAS applications, the choice of applying for an apprenticeship, or going to university, carefully, weighing up the pros and cons and deciding what the best options are for you, can be overwhelming.

Finding the right course that I wanted to do was extremely important for me, knowing that I was going to be in university for 3-4 years of my life or maybe longer, if I wanted to consider doing my masters and further studies. I needed to make sure that the course I would be doing, was the right one and something that I would be enthusiastic about.

Finding the right course and preparing mentally and physically for going to university, can be scary. Some of my friends were moving further away to university to places like Staffordshire, Plymouth and Liverpool or renting a house with their friends or partners and some people that are slightly bonkers, like me, decided to stay at home and commute to university and back four-five days a week. Most of my friends have met wonderful people during their time living in student accommodation, but the idea of living with 6 or more people sharing a shower, pulling crusty hairs out the shower, finding out a random persons been sick on the carpet, you’re being woken up at silly am in the morning by your flat mate, playing dance music whilst you’re trying to work and you walk into the kitchen the next day, to find a random person you don’t know asleep on the couch, or the floor doesn’t appeal to me at all.

Though most of my friends have had some lovely experiences. Some have formed group chats, created study sessions together, supported each other through the Coronavirus pandemic, stuck with each other throughout university and have even bought a house together, so they don’t have to live in accommodation.

The change from college to university is nerve-wracking for anyone, but it’s even worse when you’re living with endometriosis. It negatively impacts my quality of life by causing chronic pain, fatigue, feeling or being sick, heavy periods and has taken a huge toll on my mental health. I’ve found this to be challenging, especially with taking my BA in Multimedia Journalism, as I’m constantly on the go interviewing people, meeting people, going to events, working on multiple projects and attending meetings. Therefore, I must remain motivated, appear happy and keep my emotions together, despite dealing with my endometriosis flare ups and depression episodes.

I also did most of my college work whilst being rushed in and out of Stepping Hill hospital and spending weeks in A&E. However, this year I decided to base one of my projects for my course on the topic of endometriosis, due to suffering with the condition myself. In addition, 1 in 10 women are diagnosed with endometriosis meaning that every woman either knows someone who has had endometriosis, knows someone who is currently suffering with endometriosis, or the person has endometriosis themselves but have limited knowledge on the condition. Despite suffering from endometriosis, anxiety and depression myself, I am determined to one day pursue my rather bizarre career in War Reporting. Yes, I’m fully aware that anxiety and war reporting don’t mix well together. However, I've always had a love for History, always been interested in the way people lived and wanted to find out more about the people who were living there and their stories. I believe that war journalism is important because, you’re receiving information that the public won’t be able to find out themselves, which will be valuable.

Author Biography

My name is Tia-Louise Barlow and I am a third year Multimedia Journalism student. I have always had an interest in History and in making people more aware of mental health issues and invisible illnesses from struggling myself. I hope to inspire individuals who are struggling physically and mentally to follow their passions and dreams no matter what their age, race, or ability. I aspire to be a War correspondent in the future.

Note: 'Student Blog' articles highlight the student perspective on issues relating to ProtectED. Consequently, this article reflects the views of the author and not ProtectED.



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