Make university your second home
By Lauren Letch,
August. A month of summer, sunshine and general holiday fun. However, perhaps for students, August is more likely to be associated with a little anxiety, stress and anticipation for the future. Results are fast approaching and thousands of students across the country are preparing to leave home for the first time and take the next step in their lives, often to university.
For me, once I knew I had achieved the grades I needed, I was hit by some relief, but in reality a little more fear. In two weeks I would be moving from London to Edinburgh. I would be living on Scottish soil, a country that I had only even visited once before, and this was to be my new home. Nobody that I knew was going to Edinburgh and I began to doubt my decision. Could I handle such a move away from friends, family and everything that I identify with as home? No matter where you move to university, even if it’s a mere hour away on the train, everyone experiences the fear of the unknown in making a new town feel like you belong.
Before moving into my student flat, I stayed in a hotel in Edinburgh, unable to sleep due to the sound of my own heartbeat, drumming fiercely with both excitement and dread all rolled into one. Yet, on arrival at my new flat, I soon realised that there was nothing to be nervous about and my fears were quite unnecessary, as everyone was in exactly the same position. We all said quiet polite hellos, introducing ourselves timidly with a name and where we’re from. I unpacked all my belongings and slowly my room began to feel slightly more like my own. That evening I said goodbye to my parents, yet I had little time to dwell on the sad goodbyes as I embarked on my first Fresher’s event, a pub crawl with everybody from my accommodation. It was here that I happened to meet some of my best friends. It is difficult to believe when I look at my university friends now our shy introductions, as just like any group of old friends, we are far from quiet when together now!
Ultimately, I discovered in my first semester at university that the way to feel comfortable in a new town with new people is to mould it into the home you want it to be. There are so many people at university all looking to make new friends and meet new people, there is a world of opportunities in societies and sports teams, which enable you to be the person that you want to be and have the university experience that you desire. Societies can be so useful in meeting like-minded people, so even if you don’t instantly click with your flatmates, there will be so many chances to meet others you may feel more comfortable with.
Although perhaps easy for me to say now I have got through the stress of UCAS and moving away, honestly, I realised that it was easier than I may have first thought to turn your university town into a second home that you grow to love just as much as your hometown.