The end of my first term at university is quickly approaching and so I thought now would be a good time to share some of my thoughts and feelings about University.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to university, such as which uni is right for me? How far from my friends and family am I willing to go? What if no one likes me? What if I change my mind on which course to study? Etc. Etc. Etc. And don’t get me wrong these are all great question to ask yourself however by asking these questions too often you are probably going to end up scaring yourself shitless. After all I looked at three universities, the first two I felt really were not for me so of course I was freaking out that I wouldn’t like the third and final one that I looked at but when I did check it out I was pleasantly surprised and fell in love with the area, university and the facilities straight away, so that’s the first question answered. You know which uni is right for you and it might not be the one you expect. Second answer to how far am I willing to go from my friends and family for the next three or more years for me was easy. I like to think I’m a chill person and quite independent, I also felt I left my family home at not only the best time for me, but for everyone else there. So distance wasn’t too much of a problem but money was, so I needed to attend at university that did not break my bank balance whenever I wanted to go back to good old’Norfolk. So a University a couple hours or so from Norfolk sounded good to me. The next question is not so easy and probably needs its own paragraph….
What if no one likes me? Okay, the likelihood of not a single person liking me was pretty slim considering there’s like 10,000 students here. I wasn’t too worried about making friends. I think I’m easy to get along with and like I say I’m quite chill, so didn’t let something like making or not making friends bother me. However, I can see that for some people, the idea of being in a new place with totally new people would be totally horrible and they would hate every second of it however I think I have a couple of tips to offer on this. The first one sounds so cliché I know but you literally have to be yourself, especially if you are in any type of shared accommodation, after all you are probably going to be living with these people for a while and they are the first people that you properly meet. Its important to ask questions, chat and find out some things about one and other and who knows, you may find you have the same likes or dislikes, sense of humour, interests or hobbies. Having said this though, you need to go into it all with an open mind and have a realistic view after all you can be living with a fair few people and its okay and fully acceptable to not like or feel like you have much in common with everyone. That’s fine and in fact it probably makes you better person and prepares you that little bit more for life after uni, after all you may not get along with everyone in a work place or your neighbours etc. I think the best thing to do when getting used to flat mates is 1) make an effort i.e. get involved on nights out and play drinking games or if that’s not your thing go to the cinema together or cook for everyone, just show that you’re trying and everything will be super. However if you really don’t like the people you live and find you are just not compatible with one and other you are of course allowed to move; whether that’s to the flat upstairs or totally different accommodation on the other side of the town/city. The next tip I can give on the whole making new friends and meeting new people is to remember that you and everyone else are here to get a degree. That’s what it boils down to. Keep that in mind and of course keep that as your priority and between the nights out, the pub crawls and cinema trips, make sure you study a little.
Another question that I and many others I’m guessing wonder is about their chosen course. What if I don’t like it or it’s not what I expected it to me? I soon learned that this is fine too, in fact a couple weeks after lectures and seminars started a friend decided the course wasn’t for her so she changed it, I’m not entirely sure of the process because I’m really liking my course and have had no need to look into changing it, however there are lecturers and support staff that can help and you’re also part of a tutor group, so you can talk to your tutor if you have any doubts about the course.
Anyway, fast forward roughly 10 weeks, one trip back to good old’Norfolk, one weekend visit from a friend and multiple texts, calls and cards to and from family and friends later, and I can honestly say that university is great. I mean don’t get me wrong it isn’t exactly like you see in the movies or on tv or even read about in books and it doesn’t have to be one big party if its not your thing. However I am very much the party girl so most of my fresher or ‘Welcome Week’ is a blur and a majority of my memories from my first term here are drunken ones, but hey, I guess that’s just me being a modernworldgirl.
One final word, on leaving friends and family behind is that you never really leave them behind; there’s facetime, facebook, snapchat, phone calls and like a hundred other ways to contact them and if you really do find you are missing them, which you will and I’m not going to lie to you, it may even get you down for a couple days then there’s trains or cars or coaches to take you right back there. But one thing I hope you find is that once your back there, you miss your flat mates and your own room and your own mini home and sooner or later you’re happy to be back in the lecture room or lab because people are good at adjusting, you just have to brave it and go for it and give yourself and others and uni a chance and then you’ll enjoy it. Well, as much as you can, after all.. you are trying to get a degree!