A year in the life of a Fresher – Looking back

So this is it, I’ve come to the end of having the tag ‘fresher’. As of tomorrow it will be September, when I feel I’m an official 2nd year as well as my last few weeks of being a teenager. First year was full of challenges, full of fun and no doubt the best thing I have ever done in my life. I have so much to write about, so much I’ve done this year and I can see just how well I’ve done to get here. This time last year I wanted to start the blog, I was terrified and didn’t know if I’d get though a term…now I want to stay an extra 1 or 2 years to do my Masters.

Before I put all the pictures up of the great moments from this year I want to thank you all and assure you that as of tomorrow I will start writing on the page entitled Surviving Second Year  I want to carry on this blog through uni and beyond. I have over 100 of you following this blog, nearly 300 twitter followers and as of yesterday set up an Instagram ( ChloeMetz_).

I’m proud of so much I’ve achieved this year and apparently  I can’t add photos of everything (damn).

September 

It started with playing Tetris with the car, some emotional goodbyes and going to Sainsbury’s in the pouring rain. I got used to shopping for myself, went to two balls, at one I got hideously drunk through nerves (oops) and the other stayed completely sober in a beautiful dress and had a great time. My 19th birthday wasn’t the best, but I knew people cared. In the first week I got to meet Deaf Havana, get my ID and Hoodie, meet some new people and start to work things out for myself. I was tired and handling my illness the best I could, although not always how I wanted to. I went to lectures and became amazed with how much brain hurt but also how much I loved it. I saw Paramore AGAIN, got over my fear of buses and learned that a lot of freshers don’t sleep…

IMG_3234 (2) 554543_10152206270193206_679370642_n IMG_3266 IMG_3281

 

October 

Things changed in October, I started to realise who I was. I saw Sir Trevor McDonald and laughed with Joe (as I did for the rest of the year). I disagreed with people and realised that was ok. I got a kidney infection (not my best move) and had to go home for a little bit to get looked after. I got my finally A* and saw Tonight Alive and I had to start learning to pick myself up when I was alone. I got offered a job and had my first ever night out with the girls (thanks Bekkie!). I had so many late nights and went home to gig again for Reading week, six weeks already done!

IMG_3333[1] IMG_3358[1]

November 

Coming back to uni with a cheeky nose piercing! Then there was a special birthday, Ali’s 20th with a party of the two flats at Kingston hill and a visit from his sister. Then I finally realised Creative Writing wasn’t for me and decided to change my mind, although I had to carry on for the rest of the year I learnt I could.  I went clubbing and hated it and at times I struggled along. If anything I’m most proud of when I struggled, I was doing okay even when things were tough and I was getting little sleep. Finding out I was Dyslexic was also a HUGE thing for me and such a relief.

IMG_3411[1] IMG_3399

December 

The last month of my first semester done already. All my deadlines got closer and I knuckled down to get things done but that wasn’t the most important thing this month. This month kicked off a huge part of my life, No People Club formed and it was the start of me constantly being in Kingston Hill and having some incredible friends I hope I will have for life. Then I headed home for Christmas which I appreciated more than ever (especially with my beautiful camera!) and got a job I loved and the news I’d been offered a part on the teaching course later in the year!

NPC 20131225-211131.jpg

January 

My Gramps called me at midnight and said ‘Babe, this is going to be your year’ now I know he was right. I decided this was the year I’d pass my driving test and wanted to be more positive. I went to the SU bar more and more with the boys and got into practising, although I was still terrified. I got my first 1st on an assignment, played  gigs with the boys and opened up to them too. I applied for the KUTalent awards, saw You Me at Six and found a fellow mad person in Amy.

DSC00486 DSC00597 20140129-220236.jpg

February 

Being me I forgot how to relax..again. So I worked really hard, had quite a few sleepless nights and stressed. I felt lonely too, especially at weekends. But I got so much out of music, Ali and I met We Are the In Crowd ( Twice!!!!) and I took my sister to see Taylor Swift. Little Lexi turning two was hard but we got there and she LOVED her pretty dress. Rhys finally turned 19 😉  I spent a lot of the month feeling anxious, like something wasn’t quite right but got through it eventually. Then I got the news I’d been shortlisted and after a visit from Mum I finally relaxed.

IMG_3789 IMG_3822 IMG_3811 DSC00702 IMG_3749

March 

Not the best start to the month getting Evacuated and taken to hospital for possible Carbon Monoxide poisoning, lots of long and painful blood tests before Ali could take me home. It sounds silly but then he was all I had and he was absolutely amazing. After sleeping for a few hours after getting the all clear, I got to go out and drive before coming back to the news that I had gotten the Student Ambassador job, something I’d wanted since before we started, which lead to me being PAID to blog, a dream come true. I still didn’t sleep (lucky me) but I did go to the awards. Losing hurt like hell but now I’m fighting to win before I leave! I spent time in the studio with the boys…little did I know the first of many hours. I failed my driving test (again) but felt on top of the world because I’d finally started getting my nerves under control. I took my sister to see Fall Out Boy and went to my last day of classes as a first year (eek!). Despite all of this I was still pretty low, but I had to keep fighting, I spoke at an event for lecturers and felt really proud and then tackled trying to find a flat.

IMG_3875[1] IMG_3924 IMG_3937 IMG_3943

 

April 

This month really was mental health based, I found a new love in piano to help me through things, earning my own money was setting me on track and I was able to set up a new plan with doctors when I got really ill. On the positive though I recieved two awards from the English department, I won Academic Contribution in First Year and got commended for Best Overall Performance! I finally got to announce Basingstoke Live, finally found a flat and went home to rest. Two assignments down and two to go, no slowing me down!

IMG_4029 IMG_3983 IMG_3963 IMG_3812

 

 

May

This month I found out teaching really wasn’t for me…and that’s ok! I got through it in a Secondary School…something I never thought I’d be able to achieve. I found my place in practice with the boys and really enjoyed it and I got a little better and more confident with the band, recording, gigging, so exciting! . The best part though? After 5 attempts I passed my driving test!!!!!!! The best feeling in the world and the weirdest thing? I celebrated in a social way, drinks with the boys, drinks with my work friends and of course once I got home going out in the car with my sister was something very special.

1509719_10152848442828206_190602469637506024_n (2) DSC01515 IMG_4090 IMG_4099

IMG_4119

June 

Practice, recording, practice recording. My life this month and I loved it (minus getting dropped on the head). I said goodbye to teaching and saw The Fault in Our Stars (falling in love with it), made a cake for my Mum and made some big steps. I went on a night out with girls on my course, we’re now the best of friends and went straight to work the next morning…although at the end of the day I was exhausted I was so proud of myself and had so much fun! Leaving halls wasn’t emotional, I was ready to leave and wouldn’t miss them in the slightest (I like my sleep too much). Rhys came to stay and I actually learned a lot from him. I caught up with old friends and got used to being back in my home town (a big difference from the hustle and bustle of Kingston). Oh and don’t forget the bands teaser video!

IMG_4142 IMG_4185[1] IMG_4239 10417446_10152925908118206_699032724958692702_n IMG_4232 IMG_4240

July 

BASINGSTOKE LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE. Only one part of this month but something absolutely incredible. Meeting up with friends, quality time with family and travelling to see uni friends. My results finally came back with 3 1st’s and 1 2:1, an average of 71%, a first wahooo! The singles were released and I nearly broke my wrist (again not the best idea).  My baby sister turned 13 too 🙂 Other than that I was pretty bored…

No People Club Stoke Live IMG_4356 IMG_4397 IMG_4326 IMG_4352 IMG_4346IMG_4334

August 

So here we are, this crazy month. Moving again, Reading Festival, actually going into central London for a night with the girls, taking control of my health and myself, celebrating six years, working like CRAZY, finally getting work experience, sorting out next year and going out with the beautiful Jen and getting ready to turn the big 2 0!

IMG_4461 IMG_4436

 

 

IMG_0001 IMG_0017 10559757_10153096129458206_6076936978528095345_n IMG_0032 IMG_0072 IMG_0057

 

That’s it a whole year and what a year it’s been. I’m so pleased, so proud and so happy to have done all of this. Thank you to everyone who has been a part ❤

Next year going to be crazy. I can’t wait.

 

Chloe 🙂

 

If you missed any of these or want to read more then click here and it will take you to the list of all my posts for A year in the life of a fresher

 

 

10 Things I’m proud I’ve done in my first year

As I’ve come to the end of teaching in my first year I wanted to look back on 10 thing I’m really proud of. To others these things might not stand out but they meant a lot to me. 

 

1. My Band 

It means a lot to me that I met these guys, I’m closer to achieving my dream of being a musician than I ever was before. I’ve found people that took me on even with my faults. The EP might not be done yet but I’m pretty certain it’s going to be something special, here’s to lots of gigging in second year! 

2. I made friends

Image

 

A picture of me and my lovely Jen. I’ve made friends and lost them this year but that’s ok. I was terrified of not having friends this year and I’ve ended up with some good close friends and some more general friends. The point is that I managed to get out there and meet some people and they liked me! I don’t feel like I need more friends next year, although it would be nice. To those reading I may have only put one picture but you know who you are, I love each and every one of you, thank you for a fab year!!

3. I’m (hopefully) making a difference

And so are you! With this blog! I’ve managed to connect with a lot of people through blogging about my own experiences of mental illness and Dyslexia. From the feedback I’m getting and my ongoing work with the university disability department I’m hoping I can continue to make a change and run for disabilities officer next year. 

4. I got my driving confidence 

So I haven’t passed…yet. Still I’e got more confident with my driving and know I’ll pass before classes start in September and getting my license will be an amazing feeling. My anxiety and dyslexia will not beat me on this!! 

5. I was shortlisted for a KU Talent Award

Out of all of the first years that applied I made it to the final 4 for my category. I had a great night with Mum. I wont lie I was gutted that I didn’t win but there’s always next year and third year… 

6. I managed to go to a gig a month

I have seen SO MANY bands since I moved here to name a few Deaf Havana, Paramore, Fall Out Boy, You Me At Six, Tonight Alive, We are the in crowd the list goes on an on I’m so lucky and amazed that so far I only missed one month of gigs! I have so many memories, signatures and I’m not sure about what to do with all those gig tickets… 

7. I became a Student Ambassador! 

Image

Clearly the best job you can get as a student. From 400 that applied to the final 50 that got the job! I’m so thrilled and couldn’t have asked for better. I can’t wait for the next few years of my job! 

8. I got more than one first! 

2 so far and hopefully more to come….watch this space! 

9.I’ve got the confidence to want to do a masters 

Not my best English but I’ve gone from saying I wont go to uni a few years ago to actively saving for my masters degree at Kingston. I nevver thought I’d get this far so I better make the most of it…

10. I survived

This is a huge thing back in September I was terrified. How would I live, handle money, have time with Ali, do all the reading, pass, learn how to cook. I might be exhausted at the moment but I’ve survived and I know I can live away from home now. I wont go as far as saying I’m a grown up but I’ve surprised myself. 

So there is just 10 things. I wrote this because I know how up and down I’ve been feeling lately. Writing this blog isn’t always easy when my moods are against me, which in the last few weeks they have been. I’ve been feeling bad lately meaning that thinking of these positive things hasn’t been easy, it’s been a huge struggle. I think overall though I’m doing better, I’ll have blips just like anyone but I’m starting to get better. As a note to you all, I promised an entire year so I will continue writing for fresher until August 31st, then you will be pleased to know I will start ‘Surviving Second Year’ a whole more year for you all! Here’s to a fab summer and the rest of my degree! 

I’VE BEEN SHORT LISTED!!!

After a really crappy morning I got an email that has made all the difference. I’ve been invited to the KU Talent Awards dinner because I’ve been short listed for the ‘Rising Star’ first year award. I don’t know if I can describe how excited I am or how grateful, just being short listed for something like this is so incredible and something I never thought I’d get. For the kid who wasn’t supposed to pass any of her exams I think I’m doing pretty well. After calling all of my family and Ali of course I spent the rest of the day mostly on a high, I HAD BEEN CHOSEN! 

I was only allowed to choose one guest, luckily I had thought about this at nomination stage. On the 14th March my Mum and I will be attending the dinner and awards which has a ‘Hollywood Glamour’ theme! So as you can guess it is now a frenzy of getting things booked and bought, a new dress for Mum, our hair, nails (more for Mum, possibly for me) and the room at the hotel it’s being held in. I honestly have no idea who is going to be there or what’s going to happen but I’m feeling happy and excited, if not a tad nervous about it too. 

I’m so glad I could share this with all of my 50 (??) followers and thank all for you for reading, I think this blog really gave me the confidence to go forward and talk to staff about going for the award itself. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to win but being short listed? It just makes me feel good to be recognised by the university! So now I have around 3 weeks to get over my nerves and get ready! Keep your fingers crossed, I might even win! 

Where has the year gone?!?!

Tomorrow I have my last lecture of first year English Literature. Last week my favourite module ‘Deabtes in Literature’ had its last lecture, tomorrow it will be for Writing and Rhetoric and that’s all my lectures for first year over. I didn’t realise when I signed up that it was 2 teaching blocks and one purely for exams/assignments and so it is a bit of a shock.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was packing up my things, nervous as hell and wondering how on earth I was going to get through the first year and now I only have a week and 3 months until I pack everythin away and had back to Basingstoke for a summer. Most people are planning on going home as soon as classes end, for me that would be the 21st March but Kingston can’t get away from me that esaily! I still have so much planned, a flat to find, assignments to write, my teaching job is 15 days between April and the end of June. I’m hoping to be working for the uni again if my interview goes well, fingers crossed!

I don’t really want this year to end, aside from not really feeling that good about the halls situation and my struggles with Creative Writing I’ve loved first year. I have friends, adventures and a whole different life here. I’m kind of a different person to who I was before and that’s okay. I’m more aware of my illness and how to manage it, I have more of an idea about myself I think and Kingston has helped a lot.

I makes me upset that in a mere few months a third of my degree will be done. As excited as I am at the thought of going into second year I’m bloody terrified too. The work will be uppsed, I’ll be living with Ali for the first time and I’ll be managing bills, a job hopefully as well as trying to keep the blog going. It’s easy, if I think too much, to get overwhelmed by this in an instant, to start to freak out and lose sleep, which I previously would have. I am working through ways of not letting things get on top of me and trying to keep my anxieties under control. 

So now I’m sitting here with part of next year reading list and taking a good go at it but for once I’m not rushing to start second year. Yes it’s me and I will do additional reading over the summer, I’ll try and get ahead but no in such an urgent way. I’m pretty happy just being at uni and taking my time a little more. Now I’m not saying I’m at peace and calm now, my anxiety has been a bitch for the past week but right now I’m just hoping I can appreciate what I have left of first year.