Getting into university can be one of the most life changing moments of anyones life. No matter how old you are, no matter what stage in your life you’re at, getting into university is a shift in your life that is going to involve 3+ years of education, change and PROGRESS. However, navigating university whilst being LGBT+ can be difficult, and I thought I’d discuss some ways in which it can be made a lot easier for you to be able to thrive, live and be open whilst getting your degree.
- The Ugly Duckling Scenario
It’s very easy to get to Uni and feel isolated, lonely and like you’re one your own, and what can happen as a result of this is that you LATCH onto people very quickly, without really thinking about whether or not they’re going to be your best friend, and just from a place of ‘I need company’. I found this happened in first year. Although some of the people that I have met in those first few days are now strong and incredible friends, there are a lot of people that you will meet that aren’t going to be good for you and need to be in your space. The way in which relationships are formed in University can tend to be very backwards. The strength of the relationship with your friends and colleagues in halls/your course in the first few weeks are going to be STRONG and intense, purely because you’re both most likely suffering from home sickness, and you need that level of friendship and closeness that you’re craving from back home. THIS IS FINE. Don’t get me wrong, this is an absolutely OK scenario for you to be in, however it can mean that you can fall into friendships STRONGLY without fully knowing the person, purely because of your new life situation. What you need to do is make sure that you don’t become the UGLY DUCKLING. I found myself in situations where I was with these people that I had latched onto, and realised they had phobic values that clashed with mine, and I was worried. Remember that you’re allowed to be mobile in your friendship groups, and know that although yes you might feel lonely, it’s better to be in a group or alone and have VALUES and INTEGRITY as an LGBT+ person. Your worth is high, and is worth more than you feeling like you have to minimise yourself every day.
2. FIND your tribe
Now one of my most hated sayings is ‘Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe’ – don’t even get me started on the problems within this statement, HOWEVER, part of this statement is true. Your vibe – also known as, you being PRO LGBT+, if you’re open about it and honest and TRUE, this will attract your tribe – FELLOW LGBT+ people. GREAT ways to find other LGBT+ people at your university is to just BE YOURSELF. Being openly LGBT+ is infectious to other LGBT+ people, lets be honest. If you’re walking through the streets and you see someone being iconic, LGBT+ honest and open, it’s like a ray of relatable sunshine that you can CHANNEL. BE YOURSELF. Other ways in which to find your tribe if you’re feeling insecure or aren’t out or discreet, FIND YOUR LGBT+ SOCIETY. My university is a small university, and only has a handful of societies, and even WE HAVE AN LGBT+ SOCIETY. The LGBT+ society is a great place to find your tribe, and find people that you connect with on ALL LEVELS. Whether or not it’s a group of 2 people, or 30902, try and join and interact with them, whether or not its online (as they usually have social pages), or in person, try your best to have a little nosey around the society.
3. SELF FUCKING CARE
Self care at university is of the utmost importance. I think a lot of people think that University is PARTYING, DRINKING, SEX, BEING GAY AS FUCK, and just being loud and bold. This, in part is true for maybe like 1/100 of the whole experience, however the rest of the university experience is A LOT to contend with. Moving home, the work load, living with new people, living in a city, money, keeping in touch with people back home, the list goes ON. It’s a minefield, and I think it’s important to remember that a) you’re not alone and b) THIS IS OK. Don’t feel like you’re the only person having a little sit down in your room just looking at the walls like ‘THIS IS MY LIFE, I WANT TO GO BACK HOME FOR A BIT MORE’ because everyone does it. Add being LGBT+ onto this list, it can be a really overwhelming situation, and this calls for some HELLA SELF CARE. Find your safe space. If you have a bath, BATHE IN IT AS SELF CARE. If you live near a park, go for a walk. If you have 2093839 face packs, USE THEM ALL IN ONE DAY. Do whatever it is that you need to do to be able to calm yourself down, remember your self-worth, and remember why you’re here. You’re here to further your education, yourself, your career, your SOUL, and your inner being. Allow yourself to do that, and you can only do that if you’re going to BE YOURSELF and be your BEST self.
4. HAVE FUN
Remember that although it may be stressful, and you may have to jump over 20,000 hurdles every day, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE FUN. Your life is progressing and you’re learning new things every single day. Whether this is learning how to use a washing machine or how to navigate the city on your own, you’re moving forwards. And also, HAVE ACTUAL STUDENT FUN. Drink a bit, stay up late, go for a walk at 3am because you can, go food shopping in your pyjamas and listen to your favourite podcast. IT’S GREAT. Buy home things for your flat and DO DIY. DO THINGS THAT ARE FUN. You got this babes. Stay in bed all day, self care the fuck out of a whole week, FUCKING DO IT.
Babes, if you have any more scenarios or situations where you feel like it’ll make navigating uni as an LGBT+ person BETTER, LET ME KNOW. Comment them below, or message me them on my socials (you know the drill… and if you don’t then what the fuck are you doing GO AND FOLLOW THEM RIGHT NOW).
If you do have any other questions where you feel like you’re stuck, or you need to ask some important questions regarding your uni life, your identity or if you just feel like you need someone to talk to, I AM ALWAYS HERE to chat to, but there are also a lot of other people who are important to contact. Stonewall have an amazing information service where you can ask them questions via telephone or email, or check out their resources and reports, so check those out darling.
ALL THE LOVE DARLINGS,