When I first began my university experience all those years ago in 2011, I was one of those annoying people who cried endlessly for their parents and wanted nothing more than to go home. Now, however, I am about to start my third year at Swansea University and I am so happy to be back in my student house with permanent bottles of wine in the fridge in favour of actual food, permanent damp and occasional mice.
This autumn, for the second year in a row, the number of young people going to university will fall. Three years on from the decision to increase tuition fees, the coalition's promise that the hike in the cost of higher education would help universities and not hinder applicants has been found wanting.
For 25 years, UK university students have had access to a scheme that offers life-changing opportunities. It can boost their employability, increase their knowledge, skills, and personal experience, and save them money - particularly welcome as tuition fees rise up to £9,000 a year. Yet despite all of this, relatively few sign up.
The BBC's new adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations rolled across our screens this Christmas, portraying the struggle of young Pip as he made his way in a turbulent Victorian world.' A story of the past' you say, ancient cultural history... but Pip's plight is apparently not so far from reality in 2012.