I'll start this post off by saying that I left my small home town in Northern Ireland in 2011 to study Psychology at Northumbria University in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.
I graduated July 2014 with a 2:2, life long friends, skills money can't buy and a whole bunch of amazing memories.
Back in 2011 when I told people that I would be moving country to attend university they almost didn't believe me. When I think back I can understand why and I even wonder how I made the move. It's because 2011 Franny was a shy shy girl and had been for the whole of high school and most of primary school. I hardly talked when I was with my group of friends never mind any other social situation.
However, my desire to experience life outside of my tiny town was far greater than my fears. Fast forward to 2014, it's like I'm talking about different person. Best decision to date.
So I had packed my life up and moved to this exciting new city. One of my good friends from home had moved over with me and I don't think I would have coped without her. I needed her to ease me into the transition. I was very lucky from the beginning though, I had four of the friendliest and funniest house mates and quickly got into a good group of people that were on my course. In those first few weeks, people come and go like never before. Facebook friend requests shot up, random numbers added to your phone, everyone was just sussing each other and the situation out because we were all in the same boat. I'm so thankful for the ones that stayed.
Meet The New Gang
I love each and everyone of these people. It's so crazy that they all grew up in a different county from me and two decades later we would all meet and become friends for life. We've all gone through this life experience together and I couldn't have asked for better people. Even though I'm back home now I know I could pick up right were I left off with any off them, no matter where I am in the world. The nights out have been crazy, the days after have been lazy. So proud of all of them for achieving their goals and building towards their future, you're all gonna kick butt!
The New Man In My Life
If the only outcome of university was this little guy, I would do it over and over again at thrice the price. I always had boy best friends as well as my girlfriends but none like this wee gem, he honestly feels like a brother now. He will always hold the title of my favourite non-Irish person ever, between that, my best friend Lorna and my best cousin Tash I am the richest human alive, I feel. Despite him moving uni after first year we always stayed in really good contact. I'm so excited for both of us to go down our own path, waving at each other along the way. King and Queen since we were 18.
New Places With Old Faces
Even though I was experiencing all of these new things, in a new city with new people, I always stayed in constant contact with my friends at home. I always told them that it was a great opportunity for them as well, I mean free accommodation at any time, just book the cheap flights and party with me! They didn't need to be told twice. Over the three years I had a lot of visits from family and friends and they have always been the best weekends together, my friends never fail to disappoint with a good time. The Irish just take it to another level. I cherish my home birds so dearly, they make up my life, I wouldn't have made it through university without them.
Let's Get Lost
During my time at uni I've had the pleasure of travelling to new places with my new faces. Fresh, young 20 somethings exploring together, what could be better. I've travelled a lot within the North of England, Sunderland, Carlisle, Holy Island, Wooler, Seahouses and Alnwick. I also travelled down south to London four times (maybe five I've lost count), York, Manchester, Bournemouth, Newport and Cardiff. I also went up to Edinburgh twice, and to Glasgow. Me and three of my favourites even went on holiday to Barcelona where old and new worlds collided blissfully. I am truly blessed.
The Best Is Yet To Come
Grad Ball and Graduation, two highlights of my life that will never be forgotten. Summing up my time at university perfectly. I had so much fun at university I almost forgot there was a degree at the end of it, even if there wasn't I wouldn't have regretted anything.
As I was writing this post it became more and more clear that the only thing that matters in life are your experiences with other people. What I have been working on now is finding the most positive people to have the most positive experiences with. People make or break your time here so it's up to you to find the people you want to share it with. This could also mean cutting negative people out which can be a scary thing to do but I promise you it's worth the effort. Any road to happiness is a trip worth taking.
Thank you to all those positive and negative people, events and experiences that brought me to this moment right now and taught me so much. Keep learning, keep growing, keep smiling. Love.