So today I moved out of my little Cardiff student house and moved back to Carmarthen for the last ever time. That's four years of studying gone in a flash, although I still have a dissertation to work on over the summer, and now I'm ready to start the next chapter of my life and to embrace the real world. It's all very daunting and I have no real "plan" of action at the moment, which terrifies me. I am the type of person who always needs to have everything planned, so going with the flow is all kind of new to me.
I can still remember the day I moved to Cardiff, as an excited 18-year-old fresher looking forward to starting my studies, meeting new people and embracing everything that university life could give me. I planned to join societies, to make the most of the nightlife, to get a little job and to work hard at my studies whilst making the most of the city. It's funny because I always envisioned myself working late into the night on assignments in a little university flat overlooking the whole city, and I always thought I would absolutely love it.
The reality couldn't have been more different. I was holed up in a ground floor flat and hated it all. The second year was no different as I lived in a tiny, grotty house filled with too many people and a lot of awkwardness, and I spent the majority of my first two years counting down the minutes until I could hop on the next train home. Honestly, it was only because I really loved my course and was really passionate about my chosen career path that I stuck it out. That and the fact that I was no quitter, and I knew I'd feel incredibly angry at myself for leaving if I did end up dropping out of university and heading home.
As time went on, however, I gradually started to adjust to living away from home and even decided to enrol in a Master course to ensure I had the very best chance of pursuing my dream career as a magazine journalist. And I'm pleased to report that the past year studying a Masters and living with three girls who I had only met once before moving in has been the very best year yet. I'm honestly really going to miss living in Wales' capital city. Here are the things I'll miss the most...
1. CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
The last four years of living in Cardiff have revolved around being a student at Cardiff University. I cannot explain how amazing my time studying there has been. I've met so many awesome people, that I would never have crossed paths with otherwise, and am now completely prepared and seriously excited to take the next step as a fully fledged journalist. I'll really miss these old buildings and all the memories made whilst studying there.
2. THE CITY
Obviously Cardiff doesn't have the huge hustle and bustle of larger cities, and it's as quiet as a sleepy village in comparison with London, but I'll really miss the city life. I'm a country girl at heart, but I used to love heading to the shops, out for dinner and for drinks in the huge variety of Cardiff night clubs. There's always something going on and something exciting to attend. I'll even miss living in the stinky studentville that is Cathays. Ahh, the sweet smell of rubbish as you walk through the streets on the morning after "bin day"...
3. CARDIFF BAY
I've got nothing but lovely memories of spending time in Cardiff Bay, and honestly I would absolutely love to live there one day. I used to go there to watch shows in the Millennium Centre with my mum, and to watch the rugby with Dan and to go out for food and drinks with the girls. I absolutely love living so close to the sea, so being at the bay and seeing the water, and how beautiful it is, is utterly calming.
4. THE PARKS
Another place that you can get a little peace and quiet away from the craziness of the main city is in the pretty city parks. Bute Park was just across the road from university, and I used to like walking through there after a hard day of working, and Roath Park was just up the road from my house and the perfect place to go for a stroll. There really is nothing quite like these parks in the springtime...
5. THE ATMOSPHERE ON GAME DAY
Cardiff is a rugby-mad city and every game day is just incredible. A swarm of people donning their bright red shirts come to the capital ready for a day of singing and supporting, and if you're actually heading to the stadium to watch the team playing in the flesh then it's even more exciting!
Cardiff - it's been a blast!
Lots of love,