A letter to my first-year self…

Dear Saskia,

First of all, congrats on getting into university. I know this is something you’ve wanted for a long time, so you must be very proud of yourself.

I am writing to you because going to university can be tough, and unfortunately, I know it will be tough for you, so I hope this will make you feel a bit better.

You will be homesick. You have a big family and I know it is tough to leave them all behind. You will feel like you are missing out on birthdays, meals out, holidays that you can’t go on because you have to study. You will feel really lonely sometimes. There will be days where you don’t leave your bedroom, and days spent on the phone to your parents telling them you want to come home. But the thing that will get you through will be the unwavering support of everyone back home who wants you to succeed and do well.

You will make them proud, and you’ll make yourself proud. One day you’ll wake up and you won’t miss home so much. And then one day, when you’ve left halls and have a flat of your own you’ll realise you haven’t spoken to your family in days. And then the time will come when you have to go home for the summer and you’ll find yourself wishing you could stay in Glasgow instead. So it will get better.

You are going to have to work so hard. You have big dreams and it won’t be easy to achieve them. Keep going to class even when it’s hard. A hangover is NOT a good excuse to miss class. Start your assignments far in advance because you do not work well under pressure. You will enjoy your classes and because of this you’ll be driven to do well, so keep this up – that means YOU, Future Me.

You also need to make sure you take care of yourself. OK, the first week you can order take away and drink cocktails for breakfast, but after that you need to get your act together and eat properly. You need to learn how to use a washing machine, and don’t leave all your dirty dishes to pile up. Keep your bedroom tidy because when it’s messy, you can’t concentrate on anything until it’s clean, so just stop messing it up in the first place.

The next four years are going to fly by: I’ve only done three of them but I know this last one will pass faster than I would like. You are so lucky. You have had the chance to study in a city far away from home. You’ll get to become your own person and you’ll be so much more independent by the end of it.

You have been given an opportunity many don’t get, so don’t waste it. I know you won’t take it for granted.

Good luck!

Saskia x

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