Josh's Blog: My first year at Heriot Watt (part 2)
The next few weeks after Christmas were certainly a low point for me. After tasting the refined comforts of home baking, a comfy bed, and meeting up with old friends, university seemed boring and uncomfortable experience. Even with the most positive of attitudes, occasionally hitting low points is completely normal, and it’s important to know who to speak to in such times. After speaking with the Student Well-being Counselling Services regarding my feelings, a lovely counsellor helped me understand that what I was feeling was incredibly common, and nothing serious. Without an aim to work towards, routines can quickly feel boring and mundane, so I signed myself up for 5 races over the course of the coming spring and summer with a fairly intense training schedule. Immediately I felt much better knowing I was working toward something in the short term, with visible results.
February & March
It's sometimes hard to realise that there’s a world outside of university, and little wonder! Lectures, accommodation, friend groups and societies all exist inside our bubble of university. One of the best experiences for me this year was finally reaching out past my university bubble and reconnecting with an old friend of mine in Stirling. Since February, I’ve spent many incredible days getting the (extremely quick and cheap) train up to Stirling and then fell-running, climbing, and spending time outdoors with my friend. Abseiling off a cliff deep in the Highlands on a free Wednesday afternoon always felt like an escape of the every day for me and was invaluable in clearing my head of the stresses of university from time to time. Granted, you might not have friends local to Edinburgh, but I’d heavily encourage you to find some people outside of university to interact with, or even go exploring on your own if that’s more your style! Getting outside and interacting with nature is essential for physical and mental well being – I cannot stress this enough.
April was spent at home (vaguely) studying for exams, and spending time with family. And finally, exams were upon me! Luckily, all the exams went well, and I’m now looking forward to spending my summer adventuring and working in France.
If you’re looking forward to starting university this September, I encourage you to live adventurously, find your tribe, and regularly do what brings you happiness! Remember it’s normal to experience some downs on this incredible journey but find the positives in everything you can.
I wish you all the best of luck in your university career!