I’m currently in a transition year, a time in life where everything seems uncertain and extremely confusing – Year 13.

At the moment I have to decide what universities to apply for. Luckily, I am dead certain on the course but not certain about the place. I’ve looked at three different universities, two further away and one quite close to home. Of course, there is an opportunity to put five universities on my UCAS form but that doubles my confusion as I have no idea where else to apply. I’ve settled on four universities to apply to but when it comes down to it, I don’t have a favourite, there isn’t one that I’ll really be over the moon to receive an offer from. However, I have a feeling that this is just nerves.

Growing up all I wanted to do was branch out, fly the nest and go to a university that allowed to live away from home and gain new experiences. However, now the time has come, my attitude has completely changed. I want to stay home or even do a gap year. My enthusiasm has decreased which is very unlike me. However, I have mainly put this down to stress. Also, now, my support network is larger at home so if I was to leave that, I feel as though I’d be unable to cope.

Recently, I have been diagnosed with anxiety, which believe me, is not pleasant and is definitely a factor influencing my university decision. I am slowly overcoming it, slowly, my mind is opening, however there is still something tugging at me, telling to remain at home, whispering to me that I’ll find it too tough.

I’m trying to pull myself up, and prove to my younger self that I can do it, that I can fulfill my dreams and move away to university. During this scary time, I have spoken to a number of people, some going through the same thing as me, which has helped because I certainly don’t feel alone now. I have also spoken to a girl who has just started university, she hasn’t gone too far from home but she has moved out. She told me that at first, she hated living away, she missed her boyfriend, her school friends and her family but now she loves it, she loves the independence and the way of life she has. I have also spoken to another boy, in the same university who loves it there but is struggling with the course. Speaking to people about this has really helped and encouraged me. Yes, I’m nervous but I really need to over come my fears and get out of the sorry routine that I’m currently in.

From what people have told me it was their university experiences that made them the people they are today. I would love to be able to tell that to my children in the future so I am leaning towards moving away from home in order to gain experiences and quite frankly, to grow up.

For those in the same situation, I’d like to bring some comfort to you. Those who I’ve spoken to lived living away and even people who didn’t changed their minds. Universities offer loads of support to students and allow you to have many opportunities, more than you would if you stayed at home. I think, for most people, this is tough decision and if you don’t feel ready there’s always the option to defer your course for a year. Within that year, you could work, travel, or even just give yourself a little bit longer to prepare yourself. Even though this isn’t preferred, if you hate your university there’s always an option to move, if you really have to. It’s a big decision, that will affect your life but I’m sure you’ll have to make bigger ones as the years go on.

If you are going through this, I hope you make the right choice for you, and I hope you love every minute that you spend in university!