By Lvenger 47 Comments
This blog is a bit more of a personal piece since some changes are happening in my life and I feel like informing y’all about them. So, as you can tell from the title, I’m starting university soon and am going to be studying a BA Honours History Degree. This Saturday is Fresher’s Week or the week of university where people who hardly know each other go out to various events set up by the university and get wasted. For a while, I bought into this illusionary picture of university but some stern and frank talks from my family changed my mind a great deal. When I first thought about writing this blog, I thought I’d be more enthusiastic about going to university for the unique social opportunities it provides one with along with the academic development one undergoes there. But, as I’ve realised in these past weeks, I’m actually more worried about socialising with people I don’t know than I am about the educational step up I’ll have to undergo. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no genius prodigy or anything like that but I did end up with straight As, one of them being an A* which in Britain is like an A+ I guess and a B for my final year of education. The university I’m going to is called Oxford Brookes and whilst it is an Oxford based university, it isn’t on the level of its more famous university in terms of rankings and all that. It’s a very good university and is a very good place for studying history for any student but the entry requirements are lower than more prestigious universities. You only need 3 Bs to get into the course and before I started my repeat year at a sixth form college, I had an A in history and a B in psychology with a strong chance of getting an A in religious studies. So I was pretty much guaranteed a place there given my grades. With the results I do have, I admittedly could have gotten into better universities for history such as the Russell Group Royal Holloway or even Warwick if they hadn’t rejected me because I wasn’t predicted an A in philosophy (which I did manage to get)
So why am I going to a university that I could easily get to rather than a better one? Numerous reasons for this really. First of all, I have quite a few food allergies. I’m allergic to gluten, wheat, dairy and most of all nuts. The first 3 might just make me ill but the last one will send me into anaphylactic shock where my throat closes up, my face goes red and puffy and potentially I could die if I don’t inject myself with an adrenaline pen. So you can imagine the difficulties I have with my diet. But I have an absolutely wonderful mother who’s fallen on her sword more times than I can remember and has made me an incredibly healthy but also varied and tasty diet. She’s a very good cook who’s made sure that I eat almost as variedly as ordinary people. I’ve had pizza, cheesecake and more things you wouldn’t think I could have thanks to my mother. I’m probably not appreciative enough of what she does to me even though I offer to help in any way I can with jobs around the house and teaching me to cook and all that. Anyway, the problem is that living away from home would be incredibly difficult for me. I wouldn’t be able to have canteen food or your average takeaway so I’d always have to make my own meals. But I’d have to be in self catered accommodation to do that and this would mean I would have to make my meals before other people did and this would mean I couldn’t socialise with them at meal times which would be really annoying to not be able to sit and eat meals with my roommates. Hence, Brookes is the closest university to home that is good for history and means I don’t have to worry about cooking for myself. People can judge me all you want for relying on my parents when university is supposed to be about independence and living away from parents but I’m in a different situation to them.
Second of all, there might be difficulties I have with socialising with new people. It’s a common misconceived stereotype that those who like fictional media like comics, video games and cartoons etc aren’t that good at socialising. Unfortunately, I fit that stereotype sort of well. I did build a group of friends who I thought I was quite close after spending a lot of time with in and out of school at my long term secondary (high) school but once they all left for university, I lost touch with all but two of them. And the last year I’ve spent at college hasn’t exactly been the best socialising I’ve done either. Nothing bad happened but I just didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone since most came from other parts of the country or the world so either studied in the library or went back to their host families after lessons. So yeah that was an...interesting year. But I did manage to channel more focus into my academic studies and get good grades in Religious Studies and Philosophy which was worthwhile. I didn’t need to study hard to get into Brookes but I wanted to do the best I could to challenge myself academically this past year. Being lazy in my studies isn’t something I wanted to do at any point in my life hopefully.
And third of all, a quick note on university costs. International Viners may not have heard the news that tuition fees for universities in Britain have skyrocketed to £9000 a year for most British universities making my time at university even more expensive. Staying at home cuts down on living costs and reduces the amount I and my parents have to pay back to the university. Though I might meet some people I want to share a house with in my second year as is the common tradition. Time will tell.
As for my time on Comicvine, I’ll still be on here though somewhat more infrequently than I have been in the past 3 months. Academic studies taking top priority and hopeful socialising will reduce the time I usually spend on here though I’ll try and keep up to date with the latest comic news and threads. I probably won’t be doing any more CAVs for a while which is a shame given how fun they’ve been and I’ll be blogging much less. I’ll try and write a review once a month though since I’m on a good trend with Superman Unchained so far. Speaking of my comic pull list, that’s being halved from the already meagre 8 titles a month into a pitiful 4 comics a month. I won’t have the time to read the number of comics I do anymore and though digital might be more practical, I don’t like reading comics off a screen. I much prefer a print copy in my hands and I’m more than willing to cut down on the number of comics I read along with having my subscription come a month later to do that. Though I’ve always been a month behind anyway. The series I’m keeping are Superman Unchained (good luck trying to get me to drop this one), Thor: God of Thunder, Wonder Woman and Indestructible Hulk. Yes I know they’re all titles from the Big Two, TMNT just missed the list but with Villain’s Month in September, I’m keeping the series for one more issue given that I’m only reading one Villain’s Month title. And I’m missing out on loads of Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Valiant and more titles and I was just expanding my reading horizons this summer. But the thing is these are some of the better comics of the Big Two and they’re doing awesome things that I just wouldn’t want to miss out on. Especially Wonder Woman, the last issue was absolutely brilliant, my favourite issue of the series yet. I look forward to Unchained more but Wonder Woman is the better title for me.
So I know it sounds like I’ve vented a lot and am moaning on this blog but truth be told, these are only minor issues and hesitations I have about the new start I’m making in life. I’m lucky to have the family I do that has been supporting me all the time. And I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to go to university and start to make something of myself by learning new things and gaining new knowledge. And, though this may be cheesy, I’m glad I found this place. I’ve known some awesome people on here who I like and respect a great deal. And I’ve had great talks about the medium we all share a passion for. Plus I’ve learnt new things about the medium I never knew before. And for the community I have on here, I’m very grateful for. I’ll still be here for a few more years in the very least if not longer.