For my second blog post I wanted to share my thoughts on how fast university has gone for me in the first few terms of my first year. Never did I think that I would still be at university 6 months after joining. I was too worried about being homesick and missing everything back home. I thought I wouldn’t be able to hack uni life. I was also worried I’d never make friends and would become a loner for life! Luckily, uni has been better than I was expecting, and here is my story from the beginning…
I came to Reading Uni on 16th September 2016 full of nerves, sad to be leaving home but also excited for my new adventure. Luckily Reading isn’t too far away from my hometown so I have a constant comfort knowing I’m never too far away if I do have a period where I become homesick again. My parents joined me that day and to say they were emotional is an understatement. My mum held back her tears pretty well. My dad on the other hand was bawling his eyes out and at one stage I never thought he’d stop! Bless him, gotta love him though.
I remember telling him to stop crying so much because I didn’t want to miss home even more than I did already (and I’d only been at uni for 2 hours at this point!). Eventually things calmed down and we sat and had lunch after our hard task of lugging all my belongings up to the very top floor of my halls. Just my luck to be placed on top floor of a building that has no lift! Anyway that was a small inconvenience and once i’d unpacked it felt a little less surreal and the traipsing up and down stairs was definitely worth it. At this point it was more exciting and I couldn’t wait to meet my flatmates. I was the first to arrive out of my other flatmates, my parents have always prided themselves on being early to events. It was 10am and my other flatmates weren’t due til at least 4pm. So we had a lot of time to kill. Lunch in the cafe it was!
With lunch done and dusted it was time for goodbyes. “I’m so proud of you” was said to me about a thousand times. But I didn’t mind. Things like that make being away from home worth it. Knowing I have made my family proud is the best thing for me and at times is the only thing that keeps me motivated. Wiping away my tears I finally managed to say goodbye and waved my parents off, wondering what was in store for me that day. Hurry up flatmates!!
Eventually, by 6pm all of my flat had arrived. We had gone out together that first evening to stop us feeling homesick and it was a great night that’s for sure. We made sure we had eachother’s numbers in case anyone got lost on the way to the club in town, but we luckily all survived. I opted to stay in that night. I didn’t really feel in the “club” mood and so happily went to bed ready for the next few busy weeks of freshers.
I really tried for the first few weeks to really settle in and find my feet at uni, but it proved harder than I thought. I’m naturally a shy person until you get to know me and I’d much rather spend ‘nights out’ at the pub with my mates than raving in a cramped nightclub full of drunk sweaty people. Don’t get me wrong though, every once in a while even I like to join in the clubbing lifestyle and ‘let my hair down’ so to speak. It is always good to have a good laugh with your mates and laugh at eachother’s drunk dancing. Because I didn’t go out much I didn’t really meet many people and I had seen in my flat that they had already made friends with other flats which definitely worried me – “how am I ever going to make friends if I don’t like going out every night?” definitely circled round in my head for days.
Freshers was, to me, a big worry even before I came to university. From what people in my family had told me who had been to uni, I expected endless nights of drinking and clubbing with nothing more on offer. This came to be far from the truth and whilst there were clubbing events every single day, the daily schedule was much better than I anticipated. There were games days, societies fairs and sports events. So they really did cater for everyone. But even though this was on offer I still felt lonely and at times wondered whether uni was right for me.
Thankfully within a few months I managed to find some people who have similar interests to me and who don’t live too far away from my halls. A small group of friends is all I’ve ever wanted at university because quite frankly, it’s definitely always been more quality over quantity for me. It wasn’t until Christmas 2016 that I realised how much those friends meant to me. It may sound silly because by this point we had only known each other a few months, but they really did become and are my best mates here. We spend lectures together, spend time outside of lectures together and try and talk on our Facebook group chat when we can. At the moment we’re deciding on our housing choices for second year here and can’t wait to live together!
Maybe the reason uni has flown past is because the constant workload leaves you no time to be sat there daydreaming. At first, the workload was so overwhelming and I just didn’t know how I was going to cope, but after a few months I settled into the swing of things.
University is definitely a step up from college and there is a lot more expected of students. Independent work has never been a problem for me. In fact, I often prefer it to group tasks. The thing that stumped me the most was the essay writing requirements. 1500 words due in a week on a topic no-one had ever heard of before, had one lecture on and had a choice of thousands of books to narrow down to just 3 to use. Nightmare!
Eventually I managed to get into the swing of things and started to feel settled and successful here. With a few 2:1’s and firsts under my belt already, I can’t wait to see where uni life takes me next!!
If there’s anyone reading this who is feeling uncertain about joining uni this year, I have one piece of advice for you. Enjoy it and work hard, but don’t forget to have fun and get involved with as much as possible!
Thank you for reading, and if I don’t post in a while please forgive me. Uni work has probably taken over again!