Today’s post is dedicated to something which every person, especially students attending University, has experienced in their lifetime: change. Whether it be deciding to finally grow up and make sure your socks are matching (don’t judge), or moving half way across the country and setting up home on your lonesome, change is usually a rather daunting aspect of life.
If you have ever done the inevitable and moved away from your family and friends to chase big ambitions, you’ll be no stranger to this concept of change. Similarly, if you’ve ever had a child, changed schools, got a new job, decided to go travelling, or even simply changed your hair colour, change is a big deal, and we, as human beings seem to absolutely hate it. I’ve come to understand that we have been conditioned to believe, or feel, that familiarity is the only way we can truly feel comfortable – if you’re an avid reader like myself, you probably have a favourite genre of book to read and rarely scope away from that, if you absolutely adore fantasy, chances are you grew up reading fantasy and picking up a romance novel would feel like wearing your trainers on your hands to go for a jog.
Why? Because we have been accustomed to accepting the same thing, again, and again, and again.
However, this demand for familiarity will eventually dry up – you’ll start to wonder, “What else is out there that I’m missing out on?” One of my biggest fears is reaching a ripe old age, sitting in my retiring home on my tiny pension (thank you, Tory Government), and wistfully regretting not making bigger and greater leaps in my life. Change is, ultimately, one of the best things we can commit ourselves to. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy your favourite fantasy books anymore, because we all love Harry Potter, but deciding to explore, and learn, and discover, broadening our horizons, our mental capacity, and our lives is GOOD for us! As lonely as I felt once my parents left me in my little room in halls on my first day, it felt right – I had been, for years, waiting to reach this moment. I had reached my first big experience of change, and what was even more terrifyingly exciting was that I then had to set a new aim of life moulding change. I, in fact, chose two; firstly, leave University with a 1st Class Degree and become a teacher/novelist, and then, eventually travel the world.
For an 18 year old, I like to think that I am a person who has adapted to change and climbed rather formidable mountains to reach my ultimate goal – becoming a student at the University of Leicester – with efficiency and determination. However, I’ve probably, in fact, crawled up many of those metaphorical mountains (stay with me, it WILL make sense) at a snail’s pace, whilst stopping every now and again to contemplate calling my dad and asking for him to come and pick me up. Yet, I always make it to the top, and come out feeling much stronger and happier for it! One of my favourite mottos for life is ‘the grass is greener where you water it’, because it’s unbelievably true. Life is what you make it. Change doesn’t have to be so scary. Maybe you could even eventually learn how to go for a jog wearing your trainers on your hands instead of your feet, and win Britain’s Got Talent. But, don’t give up your Harry Potter books, don’t throw away your favourite jumper and never dismiss your life prior to change – it’s nice to visit memory lane, just don’t buy a house there and move in!
On another note of change, myself and some extremely lovely friends on my degree have all grouped together to set up a Right To Play UoL charity – we fundraise to provide children from disadvantaged countries with sporting equipment, to give them a chance to appreciate the things we took for granted when younger. The difference a football can make in a school in Africa will make all the difference to their happiness and the sense of community within said school!
On Tuesday 30th April, we held our first fundraising event. We booked a table in the SU by Queen’s Hall, baked a ludicrous amount of cake and started spamming the campus with Right To Play leaflets, which led us to raise over £80, which was amazing! However, it wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity and kindness of students all over the Uni – I know I am slightly bias, being a student at the University of Leicester myself, but everyone REALLY is as lovely as their reputation says. I know how awful it is to be pestered mid-lunch, but not one person was unkind and most were really interested in getting involved, so a giant THANK YOU to anyone who donated, or even read one of our leaflets. We are on our way to applying to become a society, and will *fingers crossed* have our own space at next year’s Fresher Fair, so watch this space!