That day that everyone has been dreading has finally passed – those who did their A Levels this year have finally found out whether they’ve achieved enough to get into their chosen university! To those of you who did (and Congratulations to you!), here’s a few hints and reassurances about your first year!
I hope you’re all excited, but along with that excitement, you’re probably feeling a bit nervous! That’s okay, but just remember that everyone there will feel the same! You’ve all just moved out of home and agreed to live with complete strangers, but honestly, you will have a blast! University is great fun so just make friends and get involved!
Don’t worry about that first day where you won’t know where to go or the following week where you won’t really know what to do! The University will be really helpful and they won’t leave you to get lost on your induction day! They’ll be older students around to help out and point you in the right direction! On that first day you’ll collect your keys to your new home and move your stuff in but there will be people all around to help you out!
Don’t worry about the following week either, you’ll have timetables with scheduled introduction events for your subject, giving you a chance to meet your new classmates and lecturers. You’ll also start to get a grip of the university and begin to understand where everything is! Along with the academic side, there will be scheduled events happening at your local clubs which can normally be found on your Freshers’ Facebook page, or if not, there will be leaflets hanging around in the university buildings and halls! These are also a great chance to meet people and also to get to know your new flatmates! There’s an internal barrier up in people when you first meet (you know all those making a first impression cliches!) but this comes down when people get drunk and you’ll get to know who they really are!
Time at university flies by and before you know it Freshers week is finished and you’re starting up your weekly lectures. Surprisingly, these also fly by! Suddenly you’re going home for Christmas and can’t wait to get back! Although you might miss home and you friends at first, you’ll soon be so settled in and it will feel like you’ve known those new friends forever! If you are having trouble settling in then you can talk to your flatmates or course friends, they’ll know what you’re feeling and can help out!
To help with the homesickness, I’d suggest taking some photos of your family and friends as well as DVDs and books from home to put on your shelves. It will brighten up your room and make it feel more homely for you. You’ll be more comfortable surrounded by things you’re so used to seeing at home and it will distract you from the universal, plain wall colour!
A doorstop is a good idea! Keep your door open to meet your flatmates as they pass your room – it makes you seem more sociable and gives you more opportunities to meet and talk to your flatmates.
Oh and don’t worry about not having everything you’ll need. The chances are, every one of your flatmates will have brought something you’ve forgotten and you’ll end up with five toasters and twenty saucepans. Trust me, you don’t need all those saucepans. (And for some reason that no one can explain, by the end of the year, you’ll have lost half of the lids for them!)
One thing that several freshers will end up doing is going home every weekend. If you can get home easily, it understand it being a temptation but it won’t help you settle and get used to your new environment. The people I know who went home a lot found it hard to come back every time and some even quit university all together! You’ll see your family in the holidays and the occasional weekend, when it’s someone’s birthday or something, but part of university is becoming independent and learning to look after yourself! Throwing yourself fully into university will make it an altogether better experience for you!
It might be nice to see a larger than normal sum of money in your bank account but don’t blow through your loan too fast! It has to last you quite a while so don’t spend it all on alcohol and clothes! You’re a student – you need to eat! If you’re sensible you’ll learn how to budget and you’ll be able to make your money last!
Is there anything else about starting university that you’re worried about? Leave me a comment and I’ll try to reassure you!
And Good Luck to all you new Freshers! Have a great first year!