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Saturday, 15 August 2015

Crissy Chats | On University

I guess most of you will have finished uni (either the uni year or the whole degree) and some of you may be about to start this adventure. I have finished my fourth year of university in Spain (degrees are usually four years, more depending on which degree you are taking) and I should have been graduating by the end of this year but I'm going to take another year to do so... and that's perfectly fine.

Like all my Crissy Chats post, I want you to take a beverage of your choice and sit down, relax, and let's have a nice conversation on university. Of course, all comments are welcome...

UNIVERSITY IS TOUGH. Very. I remember when I started,  I was told "welcome to the best years of your life - socially speaking - and the worst - academically speaking. I was so confused. The worst? Why? I'm doing what I want. What I'm passionate about. I should be fine... right?

No. It is tough. You have to work hard everyday and there will be subjects that suck and subjects that are amazing but with awful teachers and vice versa. And that's tough.

Back in the day, my mother would tell me that I could start the degree I liked (English Studies) and then begin the one I wanted  (Media Studies) but I told myself that I would finish English Studies first - and that I would do it at my own pace. Taking into account I have a job as a part-time teacher in an English academy and that I often get other jobs inside the academy that are even better, I cannot complain.

As I have said, I am studying English Studies which is basically cultural studies, linguistics, literature, translation and teaching English as a foreign language all packed up in one degree. And it's unbalanced. The degree I wanted to study was far more expensive and I got accepted in good universities but I couldn't afford moving out of my little island back then or studying that degree at the private university since it's not a degree in the university I'm in at the moment. Nevertheless,  I became very fond of what I'm studying now thanks to my Erasmus experience. I learnt that literature is indeed one of my passions, as well as cultural studies, and that I despise with all my heart anything related to linguistics.

My linguistic-related subjects' teachers are definitely the worst. (Sorry if you're reading this, but it's true and you know it) It's not like they're dumb or anything, to be fair some of them are bloody legends in their fields - but they are not lecturers, they are investigators. Spain has also suffered changes in the academic system in the past years and my degree is relatively new in my university so everything is one big mess.

That is why I decided to go abroad. I think it's necessary in my degree to actually study a semester or more abroad and I applied to go to the United Kingdom. You could guess that, taking into account I'm studying English Studies, there would be plenty of vacancies for United Kingdom / Ireland. Well, That wasn't the case when I applied. There were only TWO vacancies for all the students in the degree to go to the United Kingdom (Sheffield) and two to go to Ireland (Galway) among random destination around Europe. Fortunately, me and my friend got accepted together in Sheffield and studying abroad has helped me broaden my horizons - as cliché as that sounds -  and I have found my passion there. I have found what I want to do with my life and I'm working hard to go back there.

Maybe this doesn't apply to you at all as most of my readers come from the United Kingdom and most of you have to go to another city - which is amazing because that's such an amazing experience - but I would still recommend you to go out of your comfort zone, of your country, at least for a little while to experience something different. It's a wonderful opportunity.

I had the chance to experience different academic systems just like that. And oh boy, I felt so depressed when I came back to Spain. My grades in Sheffield were great and I was graded like a normal student would, without any exceptions. In Spain, no matter how you try, you fight to get the minimum grade to pass rather than the maximum grade in your class. Isn't it sad? Our academic system is fairly fucked,

My Erasmus experience actually made me be a bit behind on my studies as I studied random subjects rather than a normal semester. I mean, it was a semester in the UK but in Spain my subjects are from different courses. So that's why I'm taking another year, which is fairly okay. I used to be very stressed and worried and I felt the pressure that maybe I was doing something wrong with my life. I wasn't going to finish on time. Uh, oh.

I had to realise that taking my time to finish a degree is okay. I have other things to do. I do have my social life, and I love travelling and I am working, too! When I sit in my teacher's offices and I tell them that I'm working, they absolutely understand. Yes, of course it may affect in your curriculum that you have taken another year to graduate. So what? You've been working. You've been travelling. You've been living. I honestly admire the people who can cope with everything and finish things on time. I realised that I can't, just like so many of my classmates. And I'm learning to be okay with that because right now on my CV you can see that I've been studying abroad in one of the best universities in the UK and I'm currently working as a teacher without even having my degree first. Who can say that at 22? I know more people can say it, but I take pride in saying that. And not only that - I've been living, and travelling, and focusing on me, myself and I at times so I can remember that I deserve to be happy. During hard and challenging times, valuing ourselves is the last thing we tend to do. But we have to.

So honestly, while you're studying, be happy. Do what you love, find your passion, and if you don't find it then move on to greener pastures. A wise friend once told me that we always postpone the good things, we always postpone life. We say: "After university, I will..." or "when the holidays come, I'm going to..." Don't. If you can take a weekend away, do it. If you can do something while being in university, do it.  Hell - University is tough enough, don't make it tougher by killing all the fun. You'll never be as young as you are now, so I advise you to be as happy as you can be whether you're studying or working.


  1. I totally agree with you, my college life was like a living hell and what makes it more worse was that i forgot to have fun, i buried myself reading and studying :( I wish i made my it fun but the pressure was on so i have to retreat into my room lol! Awesome post btw <3

    1. Mine wasn't a living hell but it's definitely stressful. Having fun is so important. We'll never be as young as we are today! Thanks for reading Sarah <3

  2. Such a lovely, honest post - I can totally relate to this, everyone makes uni out to be the best time of your life, when in fact it is very hard (especially final year), and I completely agree, you've got to do something you love or else you'll just end up hating everything hah!

    I have a new outfit post up on the blog, would love to know your thoughts:

    * Electric Sunrise - Fashion and Lifestyle Blog *


    1. Bless you Helen!! Yes, final year is probably the worst and if you're not doing something you're passionate about it can be so tedious. But as Oprah Winfrey once said 'Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do' I guess!!! xxx

  3. Happy weekend!
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  4. That's a good look! ;)
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  5. Great post, really interposing read.
    I partied through all of uni so I had to work SO hard in my final year to keep my grades up. Do I regret it? No - I was one of the ones that had a great time (well along with the off days)

    Jenn | Jennifer Jayne

    1. Jenn, thanks for reading! Hahaha I've partied enough and now my final year is gonna be hell. But it's gonna be one hell of a ride, too!!!

  6. University work can definitely be a handful! I'm writing to start ahead on my last year's reading so the stress is less. It's wonderful you've found a way to take it slower though, it's always better that way than rushing it. The ERAMUS project sounds so cool too!

    I'd 100% agree with going out of your comfort zone! For me, I had the opportunity to stay away from my hometown (I go to a local uni) and given my circumstances and whatnot, I'm so glad to have picked up on so many things which I would have never learnt!


    1. Tasnim - thanks for reading! The ERASMUS project is so worth it, I promise. If you've the chance to do it, I suggest you to apply! I'm glad that getting out of your comfort zone helped you xx

  7. You write so beautifully! Sounds like you're enjoying your course and you were so brave to study abroad! I certainly couldn't do it. Everyone needs a balance of work and fun, it's healthy. xxx

    Hannah x hannatalks

    1. Aw Hannah thank you for your kind words. I'm always so self-conscious about my writing in English and I try to improve everyday. And yes, I think I was brave too! It helped me to grow so much. And I agree, a balance is needed!! xxx

  8. Great post! University was a lot tougher than people think. I'm surprised I made it through to be honest haha. I love that you travelled here to study. How are you finding England?

    1. I started my semester abroad in September 2014! Unfortunately, I've been in Spain since February. I miss it there so much, I had the greatest time of my life. <3 xx

  9. i'm so glad to be done with my schools ;) good luck to you in your life adventure!


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