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Reflection on leaving UWE by 3rd year student Olivia Spithouris

By shodgson 16 Apr 2024

Hi, I’m Liv, I’m a third-year psychology student who is soon to be an alumni of UWE.

For the first two years of university, starting from my first day, I worked as part of the student life team. Student life gave me an opportunity to meet such a range of students from all over the world and work one-to-one with some wonderful individuals, not only on the team, but also students on campus. I started this degree and within my job welcoming students, I was in the first team of the students life assistants and I am proud of this! Yet, I feel as I welcomed the students I started with I will now also wish you farewell! 

This is a letter to all my fellow students at UWE who are also leaving this year.

Let’s address the elephant in the room, which is we will always have this university in a place in our hearts, it will always be at least one of the chapters in your own personal book of life yet, as each chapter does it will eventually move on to the next one.

I’m sure every single individual reading this before coming to university was fuelled with a fun mixture of uncertainty, anxiety,  anticipation fear with a little bit of excitement, am I right?. I think these are also incredibly understandable feelings we are all experiencing leaving University. As humans, uncertainty for all of us can bring such a mixture of thoughts and feelings. However, I want to assure all of you now that uncertainty is not to be feared it is to be embraced each and every one of you took a chance on yourselves to start a degree, move away from home and get thrown out of your comfort zone (well done please pat yourself on the back!) which in itself is a massive commitment and a huge leap into new possibilities.

If you, like me, came to university, with expectation, wishes and hopes of what it would bring you, I want you to know that every single person has a completely different experience and there is no right or wrong way of which to experience university. Unfortunately, university is not like it is presented in the American movies. It’s not frat parties every night and living the wildest best life every single day filled with coffee and crazy night out all the time nor does it always go to plan in the first place. Frankly, university can be an utterly challenging transition which maybe doesn’t meet all of our expectations and that’s okay! However, regardless of whether you know it or not you will have grown and learnt so much from being here that you probably don’t even know! 

I am sure lots of you have experienced the same repeated question that is “so what are you doing after uni?” or a personal favourite “What job have you got lined up?”. Yes all of us are probably receiving these questions from family, friends and peers. I also want to assure you if you don’t have an answer to these questions that is also okay! I would also kindly like to remind you of a few words of love and wisdom for you when you leave:

  1. Do not compare your path to anyone else’s
  2. It is also okay to not know what you’re doing right away, take time and learnt what you enjoy and makes you  happy
  3. Baby steps are still steps forward!
  4. Although your learning at university is coming to an end, never stop learning, it’s a gift
  5. Still reach out and make an effort with the friends or people you have met – this doesn’t need to be the end if you don’t want it to be
  6. Do what brings you joy! If you ever find yourself in something that isn’t bringing, you joy – change it!
  7. Look after your basic needs – sleep and take care of your bodies and minds
  8. Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy that you experienced it in the first place
  9. Keep learning about yourself it will be the best lesson you ever take
  10. Never Never Never give up – (Good old Winston)

Heads up fellow third years. Its been fun😊. Now as we nearly are at the end take a moment to stop and realise just how far you have come and all the hard work and hours you have put into this. Well done. I wish you all the best. Take care.

 Warmly, Liv x

Olivia Spithouris (Student Life Assistant 2021-2023)


Leaving UWE,