I wish my university started on September 1st. Then I could at least pretend that I go to Hogwarts…
This time last year, I was about to start my first year at university. I was excited but also nervous. Some of my fears were silly, others were realistic. At some point, I made a list of all of them, deciding to return to them in a year to see if they had been realised.
Right now, I know that another group of students is waiting to start their university careers. A lot of guides and articles tell you not to be nervous but people don’t always identify exactly what scared them, and how they dealt with it. If you’re about to go to university and you’re feeling anxious, I hope this helps you realise that most if not all anxieties are unnecessary. It’s true that people’s experiences differ, but some of what I felt as a fresher may resonate with you.
So, one year later, here are my findings.
Fear: I will not make any friends.
There’s so much to do in university that this just isn’t possible. You will meet many people at events, at lectures, in your accommodation, in societies… Some you may never see again, but familiar faces will keep popping up (as well as new ones, of course), giving you plenty of opportunities to forge friendships.
Fear: There won’t be anyone who shares my likes/interests.
I’m not really into wild parties and endless socialising, which I thought might alienate me from my peers. However, not only did I find friends who were similar, I also found myself coming out of my shell more. Plus, if you meet people who don’t share your interests, you can always find new ones together. Joining societies really helped me with this one.
Fear: People will steal my food.
Unfortunately, this did happen a few times. Fortunately, it wasn’t a big deal.
Fear: I won’t find a good time to cook/do laundry.
Living away from home for the first time, these chores initially looked daunting. It took some time to fit them into my routine, but if you plan ahead you should be fine. And even if you find yourself doing some last-minute laundry, no one will tell you off. 😛
Fear: My cooking will be too loud.
I’m from India, which means cooking can be quite elaborate. As I shared a kitchen, I was afraid my cooking would be too loud/messy, or the smell too strong, but my hall mates actually seemed to like it! In general, people can’t really complain if you’re sharing a kitchen, because it’s your space too. But if they do, maybe you can plan ahead and let them know when you’ll be cooking beforehand.
Fear: I won’t be able to write fast enough in lectures/exams.
I saw this coming, really, but I had great opportunities to learn about note-taking in lectures and organising exam time. If you have the same, make sure to take advantage of it!
Fear: I will fall behind in reading.
Fear: I won’t be able to understand Middle English.
This was specific to my course. Couldn’t do too much for this except study hard…
That’s it for all the fears that gnawed at my mind! Listing them actually made me realise that I didn’t have as many as I thought. As you can see, many were not realised, and the ones that were did not ruin my university experience.
If you’re planning to go at university at some point, I hope this helps you even a little bit.
Thank you for reading!