The most important thing you’ll learn at university is how to take care of yourself

The most important thing you’ll learn at university is how to take care of yourself


Here’s to new experiences. Here’s to freshly bleached toilets.

Now that we’re approaching summer, congratulations to those of you who will be going to university this autumn. I can barely remember what it felt like in the months leading to the start of university. Was I nervous, excited, or relieved? Now that I’ve only got a year of university left, I can hardly fathom how new and alien the university experience must have seemed to my 18-year-old self then.

What I can tell you, though, is that there will be many new (and maybe shiny) things. Some of you might be thinking, is she talking about partying and drinking from dusk to dawn? For some of you, perhaps this will be one of the many new experiences you’ll have in university. But today, I want to talk about something much more interesting: this yeastr, I bleached a toilet for the first time in my life.

What’s so special about bleaching a toilet? And the answer is: nothing at all. And this is precisely why it’s so worthy of mention.

Letters from the Dorm: school is done, and the summer plans are ready to go

While I was in secondary school, university seemed to be this alternate dimension: an unknown world that would take me on a three-year-long adventure. A place where I would be able to do all the things Hollywood blockbusters had taught me were the pinnacle of student life: nights out, romantic flings, annoying the non-student neighbours ...

Two years on and it’s certainly been an adventure. It’s been an adventure of figuring out how to effectively budget and pay rent. One of trying to contact the landlord when the electricity goes off for no reason in the middle of the night. One of reconciling myself with the fact that the grease stains on the hobs aren’t going to magically disappear and the longer I leave them, the harder they’ll be to remove. And of course, getting my porcelain fixtures squeaky clean has been the biggest highlight of it all (I seriously cannot overstate how happy a spotless white sink and toilet makes me feel).

It is these ordinary things that stick out most in my memory. These are my proudest achievements in “adulting” and are, by far, much more precious to me than nights out where all I can remember are loud blaring music and disorientating lights.

University might not be what you expect it to be. It’s certainly a lot less drama-fuelled and action-packed as the movies would lead you to believe. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be any less of an adventure.

Perhaps, like me, you’ll discover the fulfilment that comes from the quest for the whitest toilet. Revel in the humble every day, because every day is a new adventure.

Be excited. Here’s to new experiences. Here’s to freshly bleached toilets.

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge


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