Just less than a year ago now, I was on the journey to starting university. Starting this entirely new process can be a nerve-wracking experience. Then, you finally get to university, start your studies, and suddenly an influx of worries can hit you in your first term. I’ll be discussing a few that I experienced, and why, looking back, it was all very unnecessary.
· Halls accommodation
First of all, I didn’t get my first choice of halls. Like a lot of people, I really wanted an en suite, and after getting an accommodation which had a shared bathroom, I was disappointed. When I moved in, I definitely worried about whether I wasn’t going to enjoy my time at university as much due to not having my chosen accommodation. Well, I had no need to worry. After all, your halls are just like a base camp, and you don’t realise how much time you’ll spend elsewhere. Another vital point to consider is that when putting everything into perspective- would a slightly more modern looking room really impact your year much differently? It certainly didn’t for me, and like everything, I got used to it and grew to love my bedroom. Besides, if you have great flatmates, that’s all that really matters! Definitely do not become fixated on whether or not you got your first choice, it’s not that important.
· Friendship groups
So, you’re in your first term of university, everyone seems to be forming groups and you still aren’t included in these. Do not stress! Just because it appears that everyone is making close friends faster than you, it’s not always the case. Everyone makes friends at different rates! Term 1 is about talking to everyone that you can, getting to know people, and eventually friendships will develop. It should be natural, not a forced process. It’s also very important to mention that just because you may not think you’re making friends easily, do not turn it back on yourself and start wondering what you’re doing wrong. There is also a huge chance that you will meet other people through societies that you share lots of similarities with and get on really well with!
· Being involved in anything and everything
I felt that as soon as official term time started, I needed to be involved with a lot on campus. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I signed up to quite a few societies without really reading into what each one would entail, and forgetting that once the workload increased, I wouldn’t actually have loads of time to attend sessions. Some people throw themselves into extra-curricular activities, but if you’re not one of those people, it’s not a problem. You can get involved with societies as the year progresses and you have found your footing. Take the first term as a chance to settle in, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to try out lots of new things- there’s plenty of time for that later on!
· You feel like you don’t know how to write in the ‘correct’ style within assessments
Coming from someone who has recently completed their first year, let me tell you that the entire first year is a learning curve, in which essay structure and lots more takes a lot of practice. I undoubtedly still have more to learn about my writing style in the upcoming second year! You cannot expect yourself to arrive at university, and within a few weeks have picked up all the tips for writing the perfect essay. As you progress through the year and receive more and more feedback, you’ll gradually start to improve and sharpen up. Your first essay of the year compared to the last essay you write in the year will look and sound very different.
So, if there’s anything to take from this blog, I would say to not worry too much in term 1. Let yourself settle in to the process, and everything will naturally follow!