Returning to a Degree in English (and Juggling…)

Two weeks in and uni life is already jam-packed! (In a good way I have to add). Being Vice-President of a society means Fresher’s Week was crammed full of emailing, organising and painting signs – because who doesn’t love a bit of colouring in! Stepping back into Bristol after a summer of sun and sea (or in my case mountains and wellies…) came with so much comfort and excitement – I just wanted it to begin. This time last year I was so nervous about who I was living with, moving from a tiny village into a city and going through the transition from dependence to independence.

If I was allowed to go back in time and give ‘Victoria the Fresher’ one piece of advice it would be to throw herself into everything! This is the mistake I made and it didn’t help that I became a little bit of a hermit. When I realised that my flatmates weren’t scary and I could knock on the door opposite for a chat, I instantly felt happier and like I was settling in. You have to remember, everyone is in the same boat – different people have different ways of showing it – but everyone is nervous and everyone wants to make friends.

This year, I am living in the Redland/Cotham area with my new flatmate and just round the corner from some of my best friends I’ve made here – perfect distance for cups of tea and pancakes! Redland and Cotham are great areas to live! Just off the famous Whiteladies road which hosts a whole manner of shops and cafes (Boston Tea Party would be my recommendation), a short walk from both the Downs and Clifton Suspension Bridge and of course, you are near the biggest Sainsbury’s in the city… I have already been venturing out and exploring my new home – take a picnic to Leigh Woods, you won’t regret it!

Within English this year, the variety in unit choice has expanded compared to first year. I have currently just started Science and Literature looking at how each one interacts with the other and I am already considering this path for a dissertation topic. While next term, I am being set free and going to work with the Drama department for a unit outside of English (don’t worry, I’ll leave a trail of breadcrumbs so I can find my way back!) Along with this, I am going to be a mum! No, no need to hang up the bunting just yet – I am a faculty mum with my “wife” to 4 freshers who we are eagerly waiting to meet. (We proposed to each other with a ring emoji over Facebook – who said romance was dead!)

There really is so much planned for this year and since starting second year I’ve suddenly realised how short my time at university is! I’ve always been someone to cram as much in as possible and this year certainly won’t be any different! I’m aiming to progress and push myself further academically. I am also going to make a point of seeing my tutors in their office hours more and reach out for help (I am far too proud and stubborn sometimes and think I can do everything on my own…)  With everything I am doing at uni, I am also juggling training and trials for Team GBs Olympic Development Programme. Although some people may think I’m absolutely crazy, I want to be able to show that it is possible to pursue everything you love and not feel that you have to choose – and having an athlete’s mindset – I am very determined in both pursuits!



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