Returning To University

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returning to university behind the schmile college internship placement

Congrats! You’ve completed your industrial placement year/summer internship- hopefully you’ve learned many new skills and are better prepared for the working world! If anyone would like to hear my experiences over the past year, let me know via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below!

applause gif taraji p henson behind the schmile congrats university behind the schmile

You’re probably buzzing and can’t wait to go back to uni- I’m happy for you. Unfortunately, I can’t relate right now.

I’ll be completely honest with you, after a relatively stress-free year, returning to university has done everything but excite me. I’m a worrier and the truth is that I’m more scared for university now, after having already completed two years, than I was when I began, having no idea what to expect. So maybe it’s somewhat ironic that I’m here attempting to give you advice, but we’re all in this together! Hopefully, by organising my thoughts, I can help us all (myself included) *prays*

What’s bothering me?


Change brings discomfort, discomfort brings stress, stress brings spots- I only just cleared up my skin! The environment isn’t new, but it’s different. The people won’t be the same as when I left and once again I’ll be forced to socialise- not one of my strong points. I’m transitioning from learning on the job without external pressure to worrying about exams, coursework and remembering how to calculate thermodynamic isentropic efficiency calculations. I just can’t…

new york tiffany pollark i cant university behind the schmile


Imma keep it real, the uni struggle is real! I think every student can relate to how the financial stresses of university can add to the stresses that come with your course. After a year of steady income and random extravagant purchases, I’m worried that it might take me slightly too long to adjust to simply not having money. Those shoes I bought because I got a bonus, or that Fenty Beauty I picked up because my pay was a little bit more than expected, will not be part of the lifestyle I will have to re-adopt once university starts. Watching West End shows and travelling around the world simply won’t be within my budget- these new methods I have adopted for simply having fun and de-stressing will no longer be viable options.

insecure hbo broke no money kelly university life finances behind the schmile

This Blog

I guess this is somewhat of a pre-warning to you all; the biggest cause of stress to me right now is disappointing you guys. I started my placement and I launched Behind the Schmile..:) around the same time. I started taking this ‘blogging thing’ seriously and I have been consistent with my weekly uploads because I have had the free time to do that. After working so hard to get to where I am now, thanks to all of your continued support, I worry about how long I can keep this up.

But you know I can’t come to you with problems and no solutions…

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy” – Psalm 94:19

What Do I Plan to Do About It?


People are stressed when they’re uncomfortable, we’ve established that. In order for me to be comfortable, I need familiarity and this comes with a routine. Developing a routine early on is what I’m hoping will help me to settle back into university life without too much hassle.


I budgeted whilst on my placement year, but this budget will need to be adjusted to fit my new situation. We survived two years already, we can do it again! Read my advice on saving and budgeting.

behind the schmile budget money finances kandy burss rhoa


University is not all doom and gloom despite what I think at this very moment. There were good moments; great moments in fact and there will continue to be more. Joining a few more societies, keeping an eye out for student discounts and socialising with other people is how I coped before. Time to do it all again.

Set Goals

I’m sure you already knew this one was coming. For me to be excited about the change, I need to think about what new opportunities this change may have in store for me. Once I’ve identified them, I need to come up with an action plan to help me achieve these things! Read more about setting goals here

This is a new opportunity to:

  • Learn new things
  • Meet new people (network)
  • Gain more experience
  • Find new challenges
  • Discover my purpose

Courage for the Change

Both change and discomfort are essential if I want to continue growing. This new change will teach me how to be more adaptable, just like the last big change to working life did. When I expressed my worries to a friend his response had me triggered: “typical, handing out advice you can’t take yourself”. *le sigh*, he was right. Around this same time last year I wrote about finding the courage for change in my post Embracing Evolution– read here for more benefits of change. It’s about time I learn to practice what I preach.

bring it on behind the schmile university


One of the main reasons in which I worry about everything is because I like to be in control of everything. This isn’t possible of course but it’s never stopped me in the past. Whilst on my placement year I learnt how to relax (just a lil bit) and leave work at work. Once I had clocked out and left the office, I tried my best not to think about work again. I’m hoping to adopt and adapt this mindset to suit me once I return to university. University obviously isn’t a job and so I can’t just completely forget about it- but it will be important for me to learn to switch off sometimes, for the sake of my mental health if nothing else!

“Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.  Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

Time Management & Structured Learning

This seemed obvious to me at first but I really had to think deeply about why it’s so important. Work life tends to be the same pretty much every day (for me). I know what time I start work and roughly when I end; I know what days I’m going to the gym, what days I’m going to church and when I need to do my laundry, grocery shopping etc. It became somewhat boring knowing exactly what was happening every day of the week. But one benefit was that I knew when I had ‘free time’. At university, defining this free time is somewhat difficult to do when timetables change on a regular basis and the work never really stops- there are no set office hours when it comes to university. If it’s 3 am and that coursework isn’t done, you are not going to bed!

So… after being suggested to me by so many, my plan is to treat university like a job. To establish my set hours and work within them- making occasional allowances when need be. My weekends will be my weekends (within reason) and my free time will be my free time (again within reason) as long as I can commit to 8/9 hours during the day as I have done this past year.

This may not work for everyone, but I like structure, I need structure and so structure is what I plan to do.

Sorting out my priorities will be the first step. Deciding how high up I regard this blog, my academics, socialising and most importantly my mental health will help me to organise university life and decide what deserves my time. This doesn’t mean to say there won’t be surprises and setbacks, but we can’t prepare for these.

It’s only a degree

Ultimately, after working for a year, the pressures of attaining an amazing degree have reduced significantly. Of course, at this point in my life, this is probably the most important thing. But isn’t that how we once felt about the GCSEs that no-one asks about? Or the A Levels that got us here right now that nobody seems to judge us on? One day University will be in the same boat, it will certainly matter, but not too much. Such is life. So yes, I will work hard and yes I want to do well- but the world won’t end if I don’t and so it’s not worth dying over. Your mental health should always come first! After all, Education does not Equal Success…

We’ll be fine!

obama hug behind the schmile

I hope this has been somewhat helpful! Planning and writing this post made me think more about the pros of this change rather than the cons and I’m that little bit less worried. Bear with me; I’m working on it… I know that soon enough I’ll graduate and I’ll be dying to go back! But this post is for anyone who like me, at this moment, is flat out worried!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

If you are/have been in the same position, please do share your experiences and tips with me. I’d love to hear about how you coped!

All the best,

Tisha x


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  1. October 1, 2017 / 10:50 am

    I didn’t know I needed this until now. Great post! Keep up the good work and all the best!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 1, 2017 / 11:41 am

      Glad it was helpful! Thank you so much- same to you!x

  2. October 1, 2017 / 11:44 am

    Good post, this reminds me of my university days.

  3. October 1, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    It is so frustrating to come back to school after years of work,l for example, but you understand that you need a new degree or some new skills to move on with your career. So having a plan is always a good idea 🙂

    • TishaKimiira
      October 1, 2017 / 12:14 pm

      Thank you so much for reading! It’s definitely somewhat frustrating, but I’m trying to use the work a motivation! 🙂

  4. October 1, 2017 / 12:28 pm

    Looks like you’ve got your solutions set. What was bothering you, again, lol? But, seriously, acknowledging possible issues has put you steps ahead. I wish I was that thoughtful during my college days. I would’ve graduated at the top of my class. I do understand frustration, though. From my experience, overcoming it will only make you stronger and more disciplined for life after college.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 1, 2017 / 1:03 pm

      Haha thank you! I hope they work! Strength- that’s what I’m hoping for!!! Thank you for reading 💙

  5. Tiara
    October 1, 2017 / 1:04 pm

    I finished my degree almost a year and a half ago. One I could NOT wait to finish! Lol Now, some how life has managed to lead me right back to school .. go figure. The transition in the beginning is almost the hardest.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 1, 2017 / 1:05 pm

      Agreed! I know I feel like this was all stupid a few a weeks, maybe even days from now 😂thank you for reading!💙

  6. October 1, 2017 / 4:16 pm

    Structure! And write down everythinggg! It seems you have a great handle on what you need to do and how to do it already tho. My best advice: Just get it overwith lol. Im out of super inspiring quotes fo encourage people thru school cuz sometimes it’s just that hard. And it aint that fun. But one thing I’ll say is, when you’re no longer connected to a school, you will miss the freebies lol. One of my best friends just had her microsoft office expire because we got it thru the school and she has since graduated and was like omg I gotta BUY this???

    • TishaKimiira
      October 1, 2017 / 4:57 pm

      Looooooooool buying Microsoft is something I am used to but THANK YOU for keeping it real as always! 😂I’m done with inspiring quotes, I need practicality.

  7. October 1, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    This post so on point for me! I just retired in March and the struggle is real.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 1, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      Thank you for reading! Glad you could relate 💙

  8. October 1, 2017 / 10:12 pm

    Congrats on going back to Uni. I think you’ll do great. It’s definitely not going to be a smooth journey, but do your best and forget the rest. =)

    • TishaKimiira
      October 2, 2017 / 12:00 am

      Thank you so much!💙

  9. Ellee Davis
    October 2, 2017 / 3:19 am

    I’m already in love with this blog if for nothing else than how relatable it is. I love the language, I love the content. It’s just awesome.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 2, 2017 / 7:43 am

      Thank you so much- this truly means a lot!💙

  10. Bri
    October 2, 2017 / 5:06 am

    You have a solid plan, you’re going to do great! I’ve been out of college for almost three years now and I’m so anxious to go back for masters. This post is so relatable on so many different levels. Thank you!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 2, 2017 / 7:44 am

      Thank you- you’ll do great too!!!!! Glad it was helpful- thanks for reading💙

  11. October 2, 2017 / 9:43 am

    All the best for your future 💙💙

    • TishaKimiira
      October 2, 2017 / 9:45 am

      Thank you very much!💙

  12. October 2, 2017 / 10:25 am

    I agree, mental health should always come first over stressing about university. There’s so much pressure these days to do well and have a degree when really there’s so much more to life in my opinion! Great post!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 2, 2017 / 10:40 am

      Thank you! Glad you agree💙

  13. October 2, 2017 / 1:59 pm

    I really love your perspective love Andrea Ewelike

    • TishaKimiira
      October 2, 2017 / 5:18 pm

      Thank you 😊

    • TishaKimiira
      October 2, 2017 / 10:13 pm

      Thank you for reading- wishing you the best!💙

  14. October 2, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    Love this post! You’ve got a plan and that’s half the battle! You got this!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 2, 2017 / 10:21 pm

      Thank you so much! Trying my best! Glad you liked it!💙

  15. October 3, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    It’s great that you’re going back to school. I agree with you that getting all your thoughts and feelings out in this post probably was more therapeutic than anything. You’ll definitely be fine; wishing you nothing but the best!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 3, 2017 / 2:10 pm

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate your support 💙

  16. October 3, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    Thank you for this. I needed to destress and this definitely helped.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 3, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      I’m so happy it was helpful! Thank you for reading x

  17. October 3, 2017 / 10:36 pm

    lord, i do not miss the university life but even after you’re done, the tools you’ve listed above, time management + budgeting will make an appearance, so it’s good to learn these things now.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 3, 2017 / 10:40 pm

      Haha I’m glad I’m not alone in my dislike. Thank you for reading!💙

  18. kierstenvogt
    October 4, 2017 / 2:41 pm

    Haha this was a very entertaining post!! Thanks for the info and some great ideas about time management and budgeting!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 4, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      Thank you- glad you enjoyed it!💙

  19. October 4, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    This just reminded me of all the struggles I had while in Uni, the struggle was real! 🙂 I wish I had this plan back then, I could have handled the struggles. Good luck girl 🙂 And yes, Change can be scary!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 4, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      Thank you so much- I’ll need it!😂

  20. Joel
    October 4, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    I want to do my master, and I don’t want to do it but you got me hype to figure it out and get it done!…such a great read and I love your spirit.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 4, 2017 / 5:27 pm

      Glad it inspired you!!!!! Thank you so much for reading 💙

  21. Anonymous
    October 4, 2017 / 5:55 pm

    Very very Informational website. I mean you have great advice and ideas. This website is helpful for many things. I love when you talked about stress and you give solutions about deal with it. Amazing. Thank you.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 4, 2017 / 5:58 pm

      Thank you so much! I appreciate the feedback and I’m glad it was helpful! 🙂

  22. Jenaya
    October 4, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Very very informational website. I love when you talked about stressful things and the way you give solutions. Beautiful. This helps me out a lot. I appreciate you sharing you ideas and thoughts.

  23. junejewels
    October 4, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    I absolutely love how you first talk about the struggles you are facing and then switch over to talking about how you are going to tackle them *claps*. All the best, keep it up!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 4, 2017 / 6:56 pm

      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it 💙

  24. October 4, 2017 / 9:05 pm

    I needed this post!! I’m currently in school and working full time, and I so understand both sides of what you’re saying. It’s a struggle in all aspects, financially, spiritually, mentally. Speaking as someone doing both, it’s definitely a challenge. But it’s not impossible. You just have to do what makes you comfortable, time off is important sometimes. As long as you finish, that’s what matters.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 4, 2017 / 9:07 pm

      Thank you so much- I agree, it’s difficult in every sense of the word but not impossible! Good luck to you- all the best!💙

  25. October 5, 2017 / 2:54 am

    Fantastic post! 100% I had to subscribe. I’m serious!

    I think you hit the nail on the head. With every detail! I also recently started studying again and, man, it’s a lot of work. You can do it. I believe in you! I hope you also try your best to continue blogging. You have a real talent.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 5, 2017 / 9:47 am

      This means so much go me- thank you!!!!!!!!!! Good luck to you with your studies! I’ll definitely try my best! Thank you so much again💙💙💙💙💙

  26. beautywithbreex
    October 5, 2017 / 3:59 am

    Such a great post! I’m getting ready to head back to school next semester and all I can think about is how broke I will be 😭😂😂 but it’s all worth it in the end!! We got this!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 5, 2017 / 9:51 am

      Haha it’s not something we can avoid, we just have to adjust to the struggle life! 😂All the best! Thanks for reading 💙

  27. karlamaye
    October 5, 2017 / 11:35 am

    Reading this made me miss my student life! I know it’s stressful and all but you gotta savor it. Best of luck to your uni! x

    • TishaKimiira
      October 5, 2017 / 1:27 pm

      I’ll try my best! Thanks for your support 🙂 x

  28. October 5, 2017 / 2:00 pm

    Change is the only thing that is permanent. I forgot who said that. Enjoy your time in the University. There are gonna be lots more unpredictable change in life after University.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 5, 2017 / 3:00 pm

      Love that quote- can’t remember off the top of my head who said it either 🙈Have to learn to embrace the change- thanks for reading!💙

  29. October 5, 2017 / 6:55 pm

    I can definitely relate to this as I have a fear of change as well. But I enjoyed my time in college and I’m sure you will enjoy yours too! Keep pushing towards the end goal 🙂

    • TishaKimiira
      October 5, 2017 / 7:00 pm

      Thank you so much!💙

  30. Teya
    October 5, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    You have a plan and some goals, you’re ahead of the game!!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 5, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      Haha I try! Thank you!💙

  31. October 6, 2017 / 9:53 am

    I like that you acknowledging your fears about this transition. At the same time, I am happy you have a plan to combat those fears as well. As far as I am concerned, it is okay to be scared, but it is not okay to let it hold you back from achieving your goals.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 6, 2017 / 2:47 pm

      I completely agree- hopefully my plan actually works! Thanks for reading x

  32. October 6, 2017 / 10:24 am

    What an awesome post! Making a plan and working it is good. It can seem like a lot to take on, but it look like your Plan have you prepared to be successful. I look forward to hearing more from you.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 6, 2017 / 11:05 am

      I really appreciate this- thank you so much for reading!💙

  33. October 6, 2017 / 1:52 pm

    Hey girl hey! Uni is stressful but as a college graduate I would do anything to take that kind of stress over adulthood stresses. Ninety percent of my life lessons I learned in college. I sat back and say if I can stretch this little bit of money for two weeks and work two jobs in university, I can get through (insert stressful situation here). Enjoy those student discounts while you’re still a student. Also don’t forget to unwind (easier said than done) because stressing sometimes makes everything worse. College was also a big test of time management. I was super involved in everything and did my homework a week in advance and by senior year I was the time management champ. Last but not least, don’t worry about disappointing your readers. Write what you want to write when you want to write it. Blogging should be relaxing and not something else on your plate. Sometimes you update once a week and sometimes three. I’m sure readers are just happy to read what you have to say.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 6, 2017 / 1:57 pm

      Heyhey! I feel like in 2 years time this will be me😂 definitely learning how to unwind, getting there slowly but surely! & thank you! I have to admit that once again blogging was beginning to feel like a chore, but I think I’m close to finding a balance. Thank you so much for the advice- I really appreciate the support💙💙💙

  34. October 6, 2017 / 2:26 pm

    Oh man, even after a couple of months travelling over a break it was hard for me to get back into uni! I’ve graduated and like some other commenters might eventually pursue a master’s, but giving up constant income will suck.
    Great post, thanks for sharing your plans!

    Julie |

    • TishaKimiira
      October 6, 2017 / 2:45 pm

      Thank you for reading- I hope it was helpful!!! All the best💙

  35. Tiffany
    October 6, 2017 / 3:32 pm

    This post can apply to change in general. I love how you identified your fears then made a plan to address each one. Sometimes just listing it all out like that reduces stress. Great read!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 6, 2017 / 3:47 pm

      Thank you for reading! And yes it definitely helped me out!💙

  36. October 6, 2017 / 3:34 pm

    I remember those University days. I was broke! I was struggling with school work. I wish I would have set more goals, and did better on my work. This was a very interesting post. You included some good tips

    • TishaKimiira
      October 6, 2017 / 3:47 pm

      Thank you for reading luvie!💙

  37. October 6, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    Transitioning for anyone can be hard but i think you will be fine, you seem to have a well thought out plan. good luck!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 6, 2017 / 4:37 pm

      Change is always tough- I definitely agree! Thanks for reading💙x

  38. October 6, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    Loved this, I had to drop out of college due to financial issues but I’m still determined to get my degree when I have the money! Thanks for the motivation.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 6, 2017 / 9:55 pm

      All the best! Wishing you the when you return! Thank you for reading- I’m glad it was helpful!😭

  39. October 7, 2017 / 2:50 am

    All the best to you and your future!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 7, 2017 / 9:45 am

      Thank you very much!😊

  40. October 7, 2017 / 5:37 am

    This is me when school opens; I always get depressed and anxious each time I have to go to school. I am learning to trust God though.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 7, 2017 / 9:46 am

      This really should have been tip #1, trusting God through all things is essentially all we need! Thank you for reading 💙

  41. October 7, 2017 / 9:03 am

    I am done with school, but I hear you.

    My main stress at school after completing my internship was not the same as yours, though; I was very worried about finding a job, and I did not find one until the summer after graduation, so I was a ball of nerves my whole last year f grad school.
    You will possibly find school easier after a stint in the real world. You will also be able to relate those crazy calculations to things you actually experienced in the workplace, so they will be more fun to learn and retain.

    I wish you all the best!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 7, 2017 / 9:49 am

      I know a lot of people are worried about grad jobs at this stage- it’s definitely a common stress factor. I agree with your point about understanding, understanding the application of the theory should be a lot easier now which should hopefully reduce my stress factors further. I think my main issue at the time was simply a fear of change! Thank you so much for your support!💙💙💙

  42. October 7, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    Love your blog and how real you are with daily issues I struggle with! If i had this advice when I was in college , college woulda been a breeze

    • TishaKimiira
      October 7, 2017 / 1:20 pm

      Thank you so much- this means a lot!!! LIVE for your podcasts!💙

  43. Elizabeth O
    October 7, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    I really love your perspective in life. I do really miss when I’m in the University. Congratulations on going back to University All the best for you!!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 7, 2017 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂 x

  44. Annemarie LeBlanc
    October 8, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    I really want to go back to university and finish my Master’s degree. I miss going to school and meeting new friends. However, I think completing my degree online would be the best solution for me.

    • TishaKimiira
      October 8, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      If it’s more convenient for you at this time then I say go for it! Finishing a degree is an accomplishment no matter the methods! Thank you for reading 💙

  45. October 14, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    I really wasn’t ready for change when I graduated college. To make matters worse, I chose a degree I later found out I wasn’t passionate about. So, I started a blog and a freelancing business. I haven’t looked back ever since and I really don’t want to go back to the University (bad experiences).

    • TishaKimiira
      October 15, 2017 / 9:59 am

      Thank you for reading and being honest! I feel like sometimes people feel that it’s a taboo to say that they disliked their course- I’m glad you found something more suited to your pasisons!

  46. Becky
    January 17, 2018 / 3:14 pm

    I have spent most of my life in education but I am very ready for the working world. I tried to do as much as possible, because I cannot imagine myself going back to uni after work. Lets hope my life choices treat me well.

    • TishaKimiira
      January 17, 2018 / 9:27 pm

      The hard work always pays off! I’m sure you have a great future ahead of you! Thank you so much for reading💙

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