I have just turned 21. Forget the felicitations; all I see ahead is boring adulthood and inevitably losing my ideals as I start to pay tax. But I don't want to talk about adult cynicism. I want to talk about youthful optimism.
From the minute I first arrived at my traditionally 'sporty' university, I became aware of one universal truth: gym is life. I also discovered just how competitive it is to get into the twenty-second-division netball team.
Known for being a liberal hotspot, a hub of young folk, creatives and free spirits, Brighton is full of life and adventure.
Gaining weight over the course of Uni is something that can happen, unfortunately. I myself have gained and lost weight during my time here in Exeter, and my weight is almost always in a bad place during essay deadlines, and especially when exams are looming.
My guidance to you on this occasion is simple; take an en-suite where available, be weary of foreign body hair, be grateful there is no gas tap to leave on in your bathroom and never, I repeat never, loan your slippers out to someone who has no intention of wearing them with their socks.
I did a lot of things at university that weren't very green. And not just with food excess. My lights were left on all day and night, I had a mountain of plastic bags hidden in wardrobes, under beds, in cupboards and in drawers ... I'm quite sure I had some in the bathroom at one point.
We all know the stereotype. Students are lazy, good-for-nothing deadbeats, who do nothing but nap all day and party all night. Right? Actually, I think you'll find that for many of us, the reality is something quite different.
Opting for a part-time course isn't quite the bed of roses we would hope it to be. Of course we all know that anything worth doing is never going to be easy, but the perils of part-time study can be tough for even the most eager and well prepared among us.
I used to have allocated family-laptop time, and when I got a laptop of my own, it didn't have internet. Now, people can access and create a wealth of information at just the click of a button. And while this is convenient, entertaining and empowering - and, don't get me wrong, I embrace it just as much as everyone else, I'm only 21 after all - I miss the times when I'd mess around on Paint and Movie Maker for fun before going downstairs to watch the Simpsons, then reading a book before going to bed.
In today's global race for young talent, it is crucial we continue to develop a talented pool of young workers equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to make a valuable contribution to the economy. By emphasising alternative options to university, such as apprenticeships, the UK can stay ahead in the global race.
We often indulge in the idea that clothes shopping is the ultimate therapy, and back in the good old days when shopping was simply a case of picking out something nice and heading to the bank of mom and dad for a quick cash withdraw - this would probably be true...
Living in a student house can be intimidating - suddenly you're faced with scary adult things like bills and landlords. But it can also be very rewarding - if you stick to a few basic rules. Here are some of the things I've learnt from living under a (leaky) student roof...
Anxiety has a nasty habit of controlling your life, and I feel education is one of the areas in which people suffer most. For me, at least, university turned out to be something of a cure, albeit of the toughest order, rather than the devil's own work.
Anxiety is different for everyone, but for me it's something that's with me all day, every week, always. It's like the feelings you have during a nightmare but I have them in normal life. I feel unexplainable panic, nervousness and discomfort. I worry about conversations, apprehensive to say anything in case I say something wrong. I worry about my peers' disapproval, afraid of negative feedback, of not fitting in and more.
We've got to understand what the goal of gay advocacy really is. When I was growing up I didn't want to be like everyone else... Gay people aren't criminals asking to be loved in spite of their crimes. They're not addicts wanting to be understood beyond their addiction. And they're certainly not sinners wishing to be spared of evil.
Political parties are right to worry that young people are marginalised. Representation, however, is a two-way street. If we want to rebuild the connection between young people and political institutions, institutions and the policy makers within them must wake up to their burden of responsibility to represent young citizens...