‘It’s true, time really is a healer’: How I eventually settled into university

22 Aug 2019
By Lara D., Student at University of Aberdeen

Moving away from home for the first time can be daunting. For some, they can’t get away quick enough, and this was definitely how I felt when I got my conditional offer. Although, you never truly know how you’ll feel until you’re there.

Being an extrovert, I assumed I would settle in as well as the next person. But anxious thoughts stopped this. While most people were partying during freshers’ week, I confined myself to my bedroom struggling to adapt to my new surroundings.

Here are five things I wish I had done earlier.

1) Explored my new surroundings

Speaking from experience, there’s nothing worse than not leaving your room, so explore your new university and the rest of the city. Have a look at what events your university is holding during freshers’ week such as food fairs. Alternatively, find out what’s on in your area as there are often free events such as art exhibitions and bars with live music.

2) Tried new hobbies

Join a sports club or society to get to know people with similar interests, even if it’s just giving their taster sessions a go. I convinced myself to go to a cheerleading taster class and I eventually joined the team, where I’ve made friends who are very similar to me. Alongside my studies I also got into fitness, which is a great stress-reliever and an opportunity for amazing personal growth.

Related: ‘It isn’t just about shaking pom-poms’: Why I love the cheerleading squad

3) Got to know my flatmates

Your flatmates are going to be some of the first people you meet and maybe the first friends you make at university. Whether it’s during flat parties, doing the supermarket shop together, or just doing laundry, don’t miss out on the chance to get to know them better. When I started to get to know my flatmates, we went to the university fairs together.

4) Had fewer expectations

I had so many ideas about what uni was going to be like because I was probably too excited. There is no right way to do it, so have an open mind and be yourself as this is the perfect opportunity to broaden your horizons. It’s so easy to give up at the first hurdle and going home seemed like the only option for me. But if university isn’t what you expect, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

5) Gave myself time

It’s true what they say: time really is a healer. Within two weeks I had fully settled into university life. With the help from care packages from home, advice from friends, and my mum telling me to ‘stick it out’, I was able to start enjoying the social aspects of university.

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I’m a 21-year-old English student studying at the University of Aberdeen. I have a keen interest in the arts and I am part of the university cheerleading team. I’d describe myself as funny, confident and honest. I also enjoy fitness.