'I gained an undefeatable sense of self-confidence': Sonam on living away for uni
My heart is racing, at each beat high fiving my chest. Terrifying but exhilarating.
That’s how it felt moving away for uni and into student accommodation. It was daunting, especially because it was the first time living away from my family and friends - often resulting in a wave of unfamiliarity and feelings of nervousness.
However, any feelings of anxiety were quickly replaced by the excitement of this new adventure and opportunities for personal development; something I may not have discovered had I not moved away.
Here’s why this was the best decision for me, despite, and perhaps because of, its challenges.
Lastings friendships don’t come immediately
Starting a new journey is exciting and expectations are often set high, especially when it comes to making friends.
But from my experience, there is a common belief that one will reach the height of their social peak the minute they move out for uni. And when this doesn’t happen, one can be left wondering what they’ve done wrong.
This belief will set you back, and it's important to not lose hope if you don’t immediately connect with anyone. As long as you are putting yourself out there – that means attending social events (even virtual ones), interacting with your roommates, joining facebook social pages and making time to learn about other people’s interests as well as share your own - building those lasting friendships will come in time.
Everyone sees you differently, so don’t waste time trying to fit in
When you move out it’s likely you are going to be exposed to many new faces (albeit possibly through masks - soz, Covid times), of people not only on your course but also in your accommodation.
While the thought of all these interactions was unsettling, it taught me a valuable life lesson - people are going to perceive you in different ways regardless of what you do. Therefore, if you are constantly trying to ‘fit in,’ you’re going to find yourself continuously disappointed.
So, don’t be afraid to express your true, authentic self — whether that means wearing those obnoxious, sparkly trousers or joining the ‘I love Harry Styles’ society.
Being scared is a mutual feeling
The world evidently doesn’t stop moving, which can leave you wanting to curl up in bed and seek comfort through Netflix, paired with unhealthy snacks. If this sounds like you, don’t fret. I can comfortably say that internal fear is a feeling that is shared by everyone.
So, if you are feeling overwhelmed about living away from home, adjusting to your new roommates and university life—that’s normal. You’re not alone.
Asking for help is inevitable, and allows you to grow
Having a new and profound sense of freedom, you will be confronted with lots more decision-making. And with the urge to show everyone how independent you are, you may be hesitant to ask for help from people around you.
Whether it’s asking how to use the oven (or in my case, how not to do laundry), or seeking support because you’re finding the transition from home to uni life tough - ask away, as that will only heighten your sense of freedom.
All in all, moving out for uni gave me a much-needed push out of my comfort zone, and I gained an undefeatable sense of self-confidence that has allowed me to take on even more challenges.
So, if you are hesitant about moving away for uni, I encourage you to take that leap of faith. Because as cringey as it sounds, everything falls into place in the end.