Going to university for the first time can be a very nerve-racking yet exciting time. To help you through it, here is one student's experiences of their first year.

When I learnt that I got into university I admit, I may have been disappointed at first. I’m quiet. I’m nervous. I’m the type of person for who university was both a blessing and a curse. I loved learning but I hated being around so many new people. I’d gone from a class of twenty to a class of two hundred and it was the most terrifying experience of my life.

My first year of university has gone by in a haze of lectures and assignments, which made me realise how right I was to go into university even after my stuttered start. It gave me the opportunity to show off my skills, no matter what grades I finally got from it, and let me witness first hand that even if you feel like a failure you’re not. This whole experience is one that if you are about to go into university come September can both frighten you and excite you all at the same time. Going in to university I didn’t fully know everything about how the experience would be and I have to admit I judged a majority of it on American films.

The month before I actually started university I spent most of my time flittering between being terrified of having to go to my classes and watching university films. I admit I watched Pitch Perfect and Monsters University far more than I should have done and formed this as my basis for university. What I didn’t realise was just how different it would be.

Monster’s University…my reason for joining…

A difference I formed first off between real life and the films is that there are actually quite a lot of people who live at home and commute. At first I thought it was something to be ashamed about, in a lot of ways I felt I was going to miss out living at home instead of on campus where all my friends could go to parties and hang out but I realised that it’s totally different from what you first think. A forty minute train ride didn’t seem so long once I realised that time went much quicker when you’re too busy thinking about going to a lecture every day and so if I had to go up for meetings or the like it wasn’t actually that much hassle.

Secondly classrooms are not completely like those in the movies. All big open auditoriums filled to the brim with Apple Mac computers…I mean for one how many students could really afford a thousand pound Apple Mac? Instead they were mostly smaller classrooms and to be honest that felt a lot more comfortable to me. I can’t speak for every University but at Winchester the auditorium was a single big building in the Stripe where you’d go for larger lectures, so I still got some experience of big American Universities.

What I also learnt from both the movies and real life experiences is that university is something that if you have decided to give it a try, one of the most rewarding experiences of our life. Perhaps you decide to pack it in after a semester, or decide in the end not to even try, all I can say is that it’s worth you attempting it because it gives you this whole new outlook on life. You get to learn to be a grown up whether or not you happen to live at home or on campus and it can teach you just how to handle yourself in a growing adult world. Not only have I learnt some interesting stuff on my course but I’ve also managed to make new friends which I hope I’ll keep for life.

My first year at university was difficult, yes, it was the attempt to fit in to a place I’d never experienced before and where I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to be myself. However I have to say it was a place where no matter who you are, or what you do, you’ll find you belong. For those of you starting university in September or about to go into second or third or even more years, I have to tell you that it’s all worth it. It’s all going to be good. You don’t have to be worried about anything apart from having fun and maybe, just maybe, getting your assignments in on time (and not rushing them the day they’re due like most people I know!), but don’t forget, most of the courses in most of the universities don’t see the first year as completely that important.

Don’t leave assignments until the night before they’re due in… 

This first year, or any year you plan to go into, will be rewarding. It will be an enriching experience that sees you learning new things and meeting new people. Just make sure you have fun. Everyone feels scared on their first year but don’t worry, none of you are alone.

Enjoy it; it’s the best time of your life.





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