Going to university evokes a lot of mixed emotions for young people; nervousness, excitement, apprehension, to name but a few. But how does it feel going to university after a loss?
I remember the anticipation in the car journey when moving to university; what will my room be like, will I get on with my flatmates, will I be the only one?
I remember almost having a feeling of embarrassment, as well as worry, about being the only person moving into accommodation with one parent. I felt like it defined me, and I didn't want to be labelled as 'the girl whose dad died'. I had already gone through this in school, and I felt uni was a chance to start a fresh chapter of my life.
It was a dull pain, watching so many people moving in with the help of both their parents. I couldn't help but wonder how my dad would feel about me heading to university, if he'd be proud or concerned, or just be glad of some peace and quiet? Who knows.
I also remember the panic of meeting all my flatmates and them asking about my parents, to which the only response I could muster was, "Oh, it's just me and my mum." I couldn't physically get the words out that my dad had passed away, but I realised that's okay. You shouldn't feel ashamed of your story, and you don't have to share it if you don't want to. After a while I got more comfortable and a lot of people started telling me about their parents' divorce, or whatever their family issue was. It was a comfort to know I wasn't as much of an outcast as I had thought. Nobody's life is perfect, and we all have our demons.
You should never worry about being different, because the world would be an awfully boring place if we were all the same.