I’m the first person in my family to go to university. None of us really knew what to expect from this whole experience, or how to deal with everything that was thrown at us.
It was terrifying at times but we got through it together and, now that things have calmed down, I can safely say it’s all worked out.
Looking back, these are the three life lessons I learned from it all.
When things start to build up and you feel tense and stressed, try to see this as a natural part of any new experience. You might feel lonely at times (I know I do), but that’s only because everything is so different to what you’ve known before.
There will be ups and downs, as there always are, but your family can help you through. I learned that talking to them, and to my friends, about how I was feeling was a really good way to deal with the stress.
There were times I wished someone else in my family had gone through this before, just so I’d known what to expect. I didn’t have much information about it all, and that left me feeling lonelier and more stressed than I needed to be.
Finding all the right websites I needed, trying to get accustomed to my accommodation, getting used to my new flatmates - all these things worried me before and after I moved.
But, from the logistics of moving to making me feel less lonely over Skype or Facetime, my family have been so supportive. My friends have too. If you’ve got older friends who are already at uni, ask them for advice - mine were really happy to give it.
Leaving my family was difficult, and more than a few tears have been shed. If you’ve moved to another country to study, I can imagine it was even tougher for you.
All in all, this is a huge change and everyone deals with it in different ways. But being the first in your family to go to university is a massive achievement - one that you and your family should be proud of.
It might sting a bit when you’re in your new bed for the first night, knowing you’re there, and they’re back home. But stay in regular contact, let them help, try your best to power through, and it’ll all be worth it.