Now’s the time when things start to get real. A-Level results day has been and gone, and many of you will be coming to Leicester for the first time this year.
I had so many mixed emotions around this time three years ago. At first I was so excited but, as the start of term drew closer, I realised just how nervous I was. The idea of living alone away from my family in a new city terrified me, and I remember feeling so resentful of all those other people I knew that had friends going to the same university as them.
The first few weeks are normally the hardest for all of us that go to university for the first time. There’s quite a lot to handle in such a small space of time, what with all the Freshers events, meeting new people, getting used to a new city and starting lectures. But once you get settled in, things really start to feel more normal.
So I’ve drawn from my own experiences and come up with a few reassuring things for new students to bear in mind before setting off to university. These are the sorts of things I would have liked to have known three years ago. Here goes:
- You don’t need to be a pro in the kitchen. Many of you will have to start cooking for yourselves for the first time, but as long as you know a few basic recipes and have some common sense then there’s nothing to worry about. I was by no means a good chef when I first started at Leicester. Three years down the line and I’m better than I was but no where near a pro. With some time, experience and trial and error you’ll soon learn your way around the kitchen.
- There’s no need to stress over making friends. This is something I was quite worried about seeing as I didn’t know anyone when I arrived in Leicester. I really wanted to make friends, and so I put in loads of effort to make good impressions when meeting people for the first time. Frankly, it was exhausting. In hindsight, there was really nothing to worry about. Everyone’s in the same boat and so it’s not that difficult making friends in your first year. Make the most of the first few weeks when people are looking to make friends!
- You’re starting university to learn new things, not be tested on stuff that you already know. I was quite worried about how little I felt I knew before going to university. But you have to remember that, depending on which degree course you’re doing, professors don’t expect you to know loads and loads of stuff when you first start. With History of Art at Leicester, you’re not expected to have much prior knowledge of art history before starting university, and first year modules are mainly tailored towards those students who haven’t studied it before. So everyone basically starts on the same page.
- You don’t need to worry about finance as long as you spend wisely. This is a fairly obvious one I suppose. If you keep an eye on how much you’re spending and make sure you have enough money to last you until the next student loan instalment then there’s no need to worry. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t treat yourself every now and then!
- It’s normal to have mixed feelings at this point. As I said earlier, I was so excited but also really daunted by the prospect of starting university. Just remember that these mixed feelings are completely rational.
Anyway I’ll wrap things up! Not long now until Freshers’ Fortnight. It’s going to be my last one as an undergraduate student (cry) so I can’t wait.
Are you coming to Leicester for the first time this year? Let me know in the comments!