Sunday, 20 August 2017

I'VE STARTED A PODCAST!


If you know me at all then you'll know that if I'm comfortable around you I can talk for England - I'm probably one of the nosiest most curious people you'll ever meet and love nothing more than to chat about personal things/society/the state of the world/last week's episode of Made in Chelsea.

For the past couple of years I've been really into listening to podcasts (you can read about my favourite ones here and here) and, while this isn't correlated, I've also been at university. While this isn't always true, going to university is often popularised as being the period in which people will have the best time of their life - you're thought to have no responsibilities, endless time and essentially to spend three years partying.

And to a large extent that is the case; compared to the rest of my life I know that I'll be incredibly unlikely to have as few responsibilities with as much independence as I do right now - being a university student living away from home. But that doesn't always mean that I'm having the time of my life when I'm at uni. Especially in my first year, I did feel a pressure (which, admittedly, I probably wouldn't have felt so harshly if I wasn't the type to sometimes put pressure on myself/be susceptible to external pressures) to be having a great time at all times.

Because of that pressure I often felt as though I was doing uni 'wrong', that something was wrong with me and why was I sometimes finding it so difficult. My best friend Ellie and I ended up talking about it so much and, knowing how lucky we were to have each other to talk about it, realised that for some people, you might never hear the real, hard-truths of what uni can be like.

Don't get me wrong, I *love* uni now and have been incredibly lucky to have met amazing people from the beginning of the experience who have really made the last year particularly so great. I'm also aware of how privileged I am and that I at no point had it anywhere near bad enough to consider dropping out or anything. But for a long time I've wanted to open up a more realistic dialogue about university - to talk about the fact that it isn't always going to be the time of your life, and that that's ok.

Because I really think that if more people talk about it then fewer people will feel that same pressure to go out drinking more than they want to, to be friends with everyone you meet and to be having the time of your life for a full three years when in reality you're (probably) living away from home for the first time, in a new place and with complete strangers. It is really fun but it's also unsurprisingly difficult at times too!

All of which is to say that Ellie and I have started our own podcast, The Time of Our Lives, "A podcast all about university, its ups/downs and everything in between". We're hoping to release an episode once a fortnight and will be discussing practical things like how to approach the workload and joining societies as well as topics such as drinking, body image and a range of other things. In future we're also hoping to have some guests on because, of course, Ellie and I can only really speak for our own experiences at the University of Exeter which isn't going to be representative for everyone's uni experiences. Our first episode, all about freshers week, is out now and you can listen on iTunes here or on Soundcloud here.

Since we're so new to this it's probably going to take a few episodes for us to really get into the swing of things - both in terms of getting used to recording as well as editing so I know we'd both really appreciate if you'd bear with us while we find our feet! Also any feedback or questions for future episodes would be more appreciated than I can say - you can tweet us or email us at timeofourlivespod@gmail.com.

We're both *so* excited about this new endeavor and, if you have half an hour to spare, would love it if you're at university, going to university or just at all interested in the current experience of being a student at a British university, if you'd give the first episode a listen and let us know what you think! I hope you're all having a wonderful Sunday and I'll embed the podcast below if you do decide to give it a listen :)

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