The things to bear in mind when first coming to university
I have thought long and hard about what I wanted my first blog post to be about. I left my home in Switzerland 9 weeks ago now and since then, so many things have happened that I could write for days. Thinking back to those first few weeks as a fresher in a new country and in a new environment, a couple aspects of my everyday life stood out so I thought it would be useful to make a list of some of the major things to keep in mind when first coming to university.
- Your stuff
Whether you are coming from abroad and are limited to two 23kg suitcases or are being dropped offby car, you will quickly realize that you won’t have everything you need and definitely won’t have the same amount of stuff as you do at home. In fact, you’ll come to realize how easy it is to take not only utensils but also the comfort of working and good quality appliances for granted! But, do not fear. Not only is this to be expected when moving into university accommodation, there is also something quite satisfying about being content and perfectly able to get by with less stuff, in a smaller space. And, it will make you treasure going home on the occasional weekend or holiday even more! If you are worried about what to bring with you though, look out for my upcoming posts about .
For most of you, having to make all of your meals for yourself will feel weird at first and you may not quite know what to do. Just know that it will very quickly become part of your routine and you’ll come to actually enjoy planning your weekly meals experimenting with new ingredients and seeing your cooking skills increase significantly! Practice really does make perfect J
: the supermarkets you will tend to go to are not the same as the ones you were used to back home. I remember being quite freaked out about not being able to recognize a single familiar brand on the shelves. But again, you will get used to it and it will all become less foreign the more you engage with it all.
Of course, it is easy to fall into the trap of defaulting to pre-made and microwavable meals because they are just so much less time consuming than cooking your own dinner every day. Whilst the occasional frozen pizza cannot hurt, it is really important to maintain a balanced diet at university. If you want to find out how best to do so, keep an eye out for my next blog post on .
As a fresher, you will most likely come to university knowing almost no one. Whilst what people always say about “everyone being in the same boat” is true, the thought of throwing yourself into a completely new social scene by yourself is incredibly daunting, whether you are an intrinsically outgoing person or not. I think the very best advice I can give, based on my own experience of the first few weeks here at Warwick is to, first and foremost, be yourself and secondly to be patient. Building relationships with people takestime and the more you tell yourself that it is all going to work out and that things don’t have to all fall into place all at once, you will be ok. By that, I don’t mean that not engaging with people and staying isolated in your room is necessarily a good idea. Whilst building these relationships takes time, it also takes effort and you have to just “put yourself out there”, so to speak. Again, this can be and is scary but, at least in my view, university is a time to push yourself, discover who you are and your own limits and step out of your comfort zone as much as you can and exposing yourself to slightly daunting social events is a great way to do this and of course to meet a lot of really lovely people!
- Missing Home
I don’t often get homesick and tend to be alright on my own, but I have to honestly admit that I did catch myself missing home quite a lot in the first couple weeks of being here. It makes sense of course because I am in a very different country, not very far from home but still significantly far away for making day or weekend trips back quite difficult. Whether you are an international or home student and you find yourself a little homesick or are afraid that you will when you come to Warwick, I would advise calling, FaceTime, text, whatever, with your family and friends back home as often as you feel you need to. It helps to talk to familiar people about anything you are struggling with or simply about casual things.Another tip, keep yourself busy. This is very easy to do as there are so many things going on every day on and offcampus. It will help keep your mind of home and at the same, is a great opportunity to make new friends and start to build that network of people you feel comfortable with at university.
There are of course a lot more things to talk about but I don’t want to bombard you with it all at once! Hope these tips are at least useful. Remember to just take it all in, let it happen and mainly, to enjoy yourself!