Starting University: My Experience

My first uni update post is not really in the direction I expected it to go. I thought it would be a post about the small challenges and the bundles of fun I've been having but unfortunately, it isn't the case. It's very early doors as it's Monday as I write this and I moved in on Saturday, but I wanted to upload this now as a form of reflection on the first few days, to be honest with you about how challenging it can be for some people and to allow myself to reflect on the post in the future and hopefully realise just how different I feel about the situation.

I moved in Saturday morning and spent the day unpacking and with my family, including going out for a lovely meal. The accommodation I'm in is really lovely, it appears to be of a high standard and is in a good location. On top of that, so far, I've been really happy with my flatmates as they've all been lovely when I've seen them. Plus, as we're all girls so, so far, it's been a lot tidier than I expected.

Saturday night we went out as a flat plus one other person, which I hadn't particularly looked forward to and almost didn't go as clubbing is not my sort of scene. However, I'm glad I tried it the first night so I had less time to overthink and worry about it and got to go when I didn't have an early start the next day. As it was my first time clubbing, I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would but it did confirm that a quiet night in or an evening meal and cocktails is more for me and it's not something I'd really want to do again.

I briefly met and spoke to a few of my flatmates when my parents were here and a little after but the whole move seemed to hit me that evening and rather embarrassingly (especially as I hate to cry in front of other people, so rarely ever do it!), I burst into tears right after introducing myself to one of the girls- excellent first impression! The three of them were lovely though and for the rest of the evening kept asking if I was okay and encouraged me to go out with them to take my mind away from it all.

I wish I could say that that was the end of the crying. Unfortunately not... after getting home and to sleep okay, I felt very lost and overwhelmed the following morning and spent a good 45 minutes on the phone to my family, in tears the whole time and then found myself crying on and off throughout the day including when I spoke to them for a similar length of time that night as well. I haven't felt that way for a long time and have never spent so much time crying but I think it just hit me and felt like a whole new world, where I couldn't just walk downstairs or across the hall and see my family. The actual group of people and accommodation, couldn't have been any better; I just didn't handle the distance from home very well and I think felt very overwhelmed by all the changes. In turn. this made me question a lot of things about the university as well as the course, before even starting!

Fortunately, today was a lot better and although I didn't feel 100% myself, I had a much better day and liked knowing a bit more about my course as well as meeting my course mates. At first, I was incredibly nervous but other than the odd 'hi' to a few people, the first people I introduced myself to and spoke to were the people I spent the rest of the day with and could see a friendship in. It made the day a lot easier, having a few people to move around with and talk to and definitely made the uni situation seem a lot more positive.

I'm now editing this two days later and whilst the feelings are still very similar, I am more confident in my choice of the uni and the course, just still unsure about my living situation so need to see how things go and make a decision from there as to whether I stay for the year, move back home and commute or stay here in the week and go home at weekends. I guess I'll have to just do some research and work out which option is going to be best for me. Despite the fact that it would be quite embarrassing and complicated to kind of 'give up' on uni accommodation and move back home, if I'm going to spend the rest of the year or even the rest of the month feeling the same way, then it really isn't worth it.

University is definitely not an easy adjustment and if you aren't really into going out drinking and clubbing, it can seem as though you're isolating yourself. I know I've felt that way as I haven't come across many people who feel similar to me that are staying in hauls. I'm sure that I'll find people down the line who want to do similar things to me and my flatmates always seem really friendly with me whether or not I go out, it's just going to take some time to settle down and get used to this whole new life.

Upon reflection and after things people have said to me, I do think the feelings of uncertainty and sadness are heightened by recent events as I have spent a lot of time with family over the past few months, especially my mum which I've been with constantly, both supporting each other. So to go from that closeness, to not seeing each other (and this applies to the rest of my family as well), in the flesh for a prolonged period of time, it does feel very difficult and lonely, even if you have other lovely people around you... it just isn't the same. On top of that, I'm the kind of person that keeps things to themselves a lot, particularly when things are challenging so it does mean I have a tendency to distance myself from people, which isn't great in this situation.

All in all, I don't think my experience is the most common of starts at university or if it is, it's not one I really hear much about so I wanted to talk about it as a form of self therapy, a bit of reassurance for anyone feeling similar that maybe haven't found many other people that share the feelings and to be able to reflect on the post in the future and see how things develop. I also filmed a little bit of my moving day so provided there is enough footage, I'll be uploading that vlog next week, so you can subscribe to my channel here to be notified when I upload.

Let me know what you're uni experience is/was like as I'd love to know if anyone has experienced similar situations and has any tips, or would love to hear about other experiences as well. Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it. If you did and want to see more from me, you can follow my social media links in the top right hand corner to see when I next upload.

Love, Steph x

3 comments

  1. Hey, I know exactly how you're feeling. I haven't started uni yet, but at 17 I've just moved out and started a new school, in a new city and the girl I'm living with, I didn't know at all. In the beginning, I felt exactly like you do. I cried every day for about a month, and was questioning everything. I don't think I've ever felt that insecure and anxious in my entire life. It's getting better though. I LOVE my flatmate, she's basically become my best friend. School is getting better too, and I haven't cried in two weeks. I finally feel alright! It's always good to come home for the weekend though.
    I hope you feel better. I know how hard it is, trust me. But at least according to my recent experience, it gets a lot better!! Some days are still hard though. You're welcome to dm me anytime you're feeling down, or if you just want a chat <3

    Theamandaway.blogspot.com

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    1. Whoops, sorry for the long comment!! I hope you realize you're not alone though, and although it's rarely talked about, I think this feeling is something that eventually hits everyone.

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    2. Don't worry about the long comment, it's lovely to have a lengthy response and it's not THAT long :) I'm so sorry you've experienced similar feelings as it really sucks but at the same time it has helped reassure me that others have these feelings too. I'm so so glad things are on the up for you and hopefully things will improve for me too- a month feeling like this sounds horrible! Thank you so much for your support, the same applies to you too! x

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