A new start at university for me

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.

47 Comments
47 Comments
Posted by PowerHerc

Good luck in your studies at Brookes and I wish you much success making friends, socializing and such.

Posted by Wolverine08

Nice blog. It's brave of you to talk about such personal issues.

Posted by dondave

Good Luck, I'm in A2 so I kinda understand what you're going through

Edited by TheIncredibleSuperHulk8642

@powerherc said:

Good luck in your studies at Brookes and I wish you much success making friends, socializing and such.

@wolverine08 said:

Nice blog. It's brave of you to talk about such personal issues.

Wow you're mom sounds awesome :p, Very nice blog here and As Wolverine08 said it's very brave of you to talk about these personal issues and I really respect that, On a happy note the 4 titles you chose to keep are probably the 2 best titles from Marvel and DC, On another happy note what villains month title are you getting?

Posted by TheAcidSkull

i seriously hope everything works out for you bud ^_^. and i seriously hope that i'll still get to talk to you.

Good luck on everything man i do hope that everything that is good comes your way. your one of my closest friends here and i wish nothing but the best for you.

Online
Posted by BumpyBoo

@lvenger: Aw, mate :( You have my sympathies, I know how tough it is financially trying to get an education in this country. Can't really give you any advice on the social side of things unfortunately - in RL I am sort of inept in that department - but I do hope that things get better for you. You are a really nice, really smart guy and I am sure you will do wonderfully well in whatever you put your mind to. Good luck man <3

Edited by Veshark

@lvenger

I can empathize with a good part of your blog. I'm starting uni in a year's time, and the past year hasn't been great on the social front either. But as Superman himself says, 'You're stronger than you think you are.' ;)

I wish you nothing but the best for this new step in your life, and mad props to you too for opening up on the Vine.

Posted by Omega Ray Jay

Best of luck to you, sounds very similar to myself three years ago. I went down to 3 comics a month, something I amazingly actually stuck with. I hope you meet some good people and have a blast, it can be a fantastic time.

Posted by Lvenger

@powerherc: Thanks I appreciate that!

@wolverine08 Ah they're not so bad really. Not compared to the suffering everyone else goes through. They're just my own hurdles to jump over

@dondave Thanks and good luck with your next year of A2s! I'm afraid the difficulty factor ramps up even more

@theincrediblesuperhulk8642 Just Wonder Woman #23.2. The First Born issue. Azzarello says it's basically what he was going to write anyway regardless of Villain's Month so it plays out as an epilogue to his WW arc as well as a nice stand alone story for the First Born. And thanks my friend!

@theacidskull Your comment means a lot to me my friend as do your best wishes. The feeling's mutual and I'm sure I'll be able to move forward as you are in life ;)

@bumpyboo I know, it sucks that we have higher tuition fees now doesn't it? And that's surprising to hear given what a chatty and bubbly person you are on here! I'm sure you'll do just fine in that department! Thanks for the kind comment! :)

@veshark I'm still reading All Star Superman currently but that scene literally made the book for me. If ever there was a scene that encapsulated Superman, it's right there. Best of luck to you too in the future!

@omega_ray_jay I'm glad to hear the sun shines on the other side. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

Good luck with University man : )

Edited by Lvenger
Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@lvenger: No problem, very interesting post and as you'll have noticed with my reviews I'm very into this series so was happy to read the interview (which I hadn't noticed yet).

Edited by Lvenger
Posted by BumpyBoo

@lvenger: Hehe nope, I am so shy and awkward in real life XD

With regards to the fees, if I can get on my political high horse for a second it just seems like the Tory standard, making it difficult for the less fortunate to get a quality education. I toy with the idea of returning to further education sometimes but the reality is, I can eat or learn. Not both :/

Edited by Lvenger

@bumpyboo: I'm more pi$$ed off with the Lib Dems for going back on their promise to reduce tuition fees and to oppose the rise of them. Not fulfilling that promise really damaged Clegg and the Liberal Democrats credibility as a trustworthy party and practically ensured that few of our generation will ever vote for them :P

Also the raised tuition fees are why you aren't in further education? What do you do if you don't mind my asking?

Edited by BumpyBoo

@lvenger: Oh absolutely! Some coalition, if they aren't even going to try and push for the things they believe in, it seems that the Lib Dems are just as full of hot air and empty promises as the rest :/

Well that's just it, I have spent the past few years looking after my mum, she had a serious breakdown. I am now looking desperately for work (do not even get me started on the supposed improvement in the job market when so many people are forced into part time work and zero hours contracts), and because of the position my family are in thanks to some of the new disability benefit rules and bedroom tax, work is all I can do. We are in a position where my mum has lost so much money because 1) the three of us live in a three bedroom house and there are literally NO smaller places available in our area 2) they have decided that my mother's PTSD and severe agoraphobia/ psychotic breaks are "not that serious" even though she can rarely leave the house and does not even know where she is some days. I currently do volunteer work and apply online for as many jobs as I can. If I went to college or uni then my mum and dad simply could not afford to live, they rely on the little bit I have coming in. We just about make ends meet now.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@lvenger: Sorry just realised what I replied to (silly me). I thought you'd replied to my post on the other blog you did. Anyway no problem as I do hope you do good at University (again silly me).

Posted by Lvenger

@bumpyboo: That's a really difficult situation you're placed in Bumpy. It makes me feel bad for the possibility that some of my paragraphs make it seem like things are going bad for me compared to your actual problems. It really does show the incompetency of the medical profession is in Hunt's 'capable' hands that a proper medical condition is dismissed so easily. I'm sorry that you're the breadwinner of the house with the jobs you do for your parents. Though I wish I was as forthcoming and willing to contribute to the family as you are.

Edited by Lvenger

@lvenger: Sorry just realised what I replied to (silly me). I thought you'd replied to my post on the other blog you did. Anyway no problem as I do hope you do good at University (again silly me).

I realised it but decided to respond on here anyway :P

Posted by BumpyBoo

@lvenger: Aw don't be so hard on yourself :) Everyone has their problems and things they wished they did more/less. Just because my situation is this way, it should not detract from how difficult you find yours, you know? :) But still, thanks.

Posted by Lvenger

@bumpyboo: A pleasure as per usual Bumpy. Thanks again for commenting on here! :)

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@lvenger: No problem, thanks for understanding. Hope you do well. Noticed you don't like the Lib Dems. Don't blame you, as although there's a small part of me that feels sorry for Nick Clegg he brought it on himself.

Posted by BumpyBoo
Edited by DoomDoomDoom

Congratulations!

I have a pretty severe gluten allergy (celiac sprue) and I'm also lactose-intolerant, so I totally understand.

Posted by Dragonborn_CT

Ah, congratulations, mate. Good luck on working things up :)

Edited by Lvenger
Posted by laflux

@lvenger: I wish you the best of Luck Mate.

And I totally get wanting to be close to your parents, my sister studied at home for her first and second degree. I have friends in Oxford and Brookes, so maybe I'll bump into you some time.

Pray that day never comes >:)

Posted by laflux

@bumpyboo said:

@lvenger: Oh absolutely! Some coalition, if they aren't even going to try and push for the things they believe in, it seems that the Lib Dems are just as full of hot air and empty promises as the rest :/

Amen to that.

Posted by DecoyElite

Good luck man, you're a smart dude so I'm sure it'll all turn out okay.

Posted by mrdecepticonleader

I wish you the best of best of luck, with whatever you do :)

Thanks for taking the time to write this to share this with us. Much appreciated.

Posted by Deadite

Good luck, hope you can find a good life.

I wish you the best of best of luck, with whatever you do :)

Thanks for taking the time to write this to share this with us. Much appreciated.

And have we met before? :P

Posted by Lvenger

@laflux: Thanks Laflux! And if that's so, who knows maybe we will see each other at some point in the future. What revelry that occasion will be :P

Posted by mrdecepticonleader
Posted by Lvenger

@deadite: We must have done since I seem to be following you. Your name does sound familiar. Thanks for the message though!

I wish you the best of best of luck, with whatever you do :)

Thanks for taking the time to write this to share this with us. Much appreciated.

Thanks for the kind message mate, I really appreciate it! It was my pleasure to write this personal piece and see what you guys thought of it.

Good luck man, you're a smart dude so I'm sure it'll all turn out okay.

Thanks I hope you're right!

Edited by Deadite

Well, the system still seems buggy. I didn't see this pm. Anyway, I'm glad to be back again (:

Edited by mrdecepticonleader

@lvenger: No prob :) I am sure you will do well.

Edited by mrdecepticonleader

@deadite said:

Well, the system still seems buggy. I didn't see this pm. Anyway, I'm glad to be back again (:

Glad to hear it. Yeah the new system has being a bit buggy.

Edited by FadeToBlackBolt

Good luck, mate. Uni is always weird, but you're awesome, so I hope it all works out well =)

Posted by Deadite

@deadite said:

Well, the system still seems buggy. I didn't see this pm. Anyway, I'm glad to be back again (:

Glad to hear it. Yeah the new system has being a bit buggy.

Can't wait to see you in the Horror thread, but after my internet went into turmoil, I kind of quit Horror altogether in that same time span. I mainly watched a bunch of mainstream movies on Netflix. I unleashed my inner mainstreamness lol

Have you heard of any good Horror flick that's coming out?

Posted by mrdecepticonleader

@deadite said:

@mrdecepticonleader said:

@deadite said:

Well, the system still seems buggy. I didn't see this pm. Anyway, I'm glad to be back again (:

Glad to hear it. Yeah the new system has being a bit buggy.

Can't wait to see you in the Horror thread, but after my internet went into turmoil, I kind of quit Horror altogether in that same time span. I mainly watched a bunch of mainstream movies on Netflix. I unleashed my inner mainstreamness lol

Have you heard of any good Horror flick that's coming out?

Yeah I can't wait to get that back on track too :) lol Good? Eh I don't know. (I will give you more of an in depth answer on the horror thread) Since I don't want to derail Lvengers thread.

Posted by green_skaar

Very brave post.

I was in your shoes over 15 years ago, yes I'm old! I did very well in HS, had my pick of universities to attend. I too have severe dietary restrictions (by choice, not allergy, but can still sympathize). Was always socially awkward and hated making new friends.

My advice, embrace the change. You are not alone, there will be thousands of young adults in your situation one way or another. University life is very unique and nothing replicates it in the "real world". You will do a lot of growing and learning there, and hopefully have some fun!

As I grow older I notice more and more how little control I have over life and what happens, I only can control how I react. So don't expect anything, just experience it and go in with a flexible attitude.

Lastly, be strong like Hulk (the strongest), not like Superman (weaker). :-)

Posted by Lvenger

Good luck, mate. Uni is always weird, but you're awesome, so I hope it all works out well =)

Ha a vote of confidence from you is always a good sign Fade! Thanks again! :)

Very brave post.

I was in your shoes over 15 years ago, yes I'm old! I did very well in HS, had my pick of universities to attend. I too have severe dietary restrictions (by choice, not allergy, but can still sympathize). Was always socially awkward and hated making new friends.

My advice, embrace the change. You are not alone, there will be thousands of young adults in your situation one way or another. University life is very unique and nothing replicates it in the "real world". You will do a lot of growing and learning there, and hopefully have some fun!

As I grow older I notice more and more how little control I have over life and what happens, I only can control how I react. So don't expect anything, just experience it and go in with a flexible attitude.

Lastly, be strong like Hulk (the strongest), not like Superman (weaker). :-)

Not really brave given that people have been through worse or are going through worse than me. Still, this advice from someone who's been in my shoes is greatly appreciated on my end. This is some of the best advice I've had about uni so thank you for that and I'll take it to heart for certain!

Posted by TheIncredibleSuperHulk8642

@lvenger: Yeah I kind of guessed that would be the one you'd get and Best Wishes man I really hope you have an awesome time their I sincerely mean this :) and remember "When in doubt always look up in the sky."

Posted by Samimista

Congratulations dude! =D Hope everything goes well.

Posted by dccomicsrule2011

Congrats dude =D

Posted by Lvenger
Posted by Samimista