I was really nervous before starting university. I think almost everybody is, and if you weren’t / aren’t, then that’s great!
For me, moving to university was going to be the ﬁrst time that I had ever been completely by myself. Throughout my life I’ve always been lucky enough to have my family and friends close by, so I felt like a ﬁsh out of water moving to Leeds and being away from everybody. But do I regret it? Not one bit.
What have you enjoyed?
I’ve enjoyed every last bit. I can’t name a time here at Leeds Beckett that I haven’t enjoyed myself. It’s worth the occasional bit of stress and the lack of money, I promise! Moving to a new city is so exciting, it’s a new place to explore and fall in love with. Leeds is so busy and has so much going on that there is always so much to enjoy. Events, gigs, concerts and nights out are always a great way to enjoy yourself and meet new people.
I’ve enjoyed the night life, social life and just overall university life. I live with my best ﬁends and everyone else is just around the corner. It’s a great city, and a great university. I wouldn’t change my experience at all.
What have you learnt both personally, and in your studies?
Personally, I’ve learnt so much about myself. Living alone, without your parents or any comfort blanket makes you grow up a lot. It means that you get to mature and you almost become a new person. You mix with groups of people that you might have not before, and you meet people from all over the world. This made me learn a lot about myself, and about other people. University sets you up for living alone in the future. It means that it won’t be a huge shock when you come to being by yourself or having to be independent. It’s a great life lesson and without it I’m not sure I would have ventured away from home yet.
In my studies, I’ve learnt a lot about the industry that I want to go into for my career. The university bring in guest speakers from diﬀerent industries which means you can learn a lot about your course and future career. The work you do helps you to achieve your ambitions. I’ve done some work experience recently and I used so much of the knowledge that I had learnt on my course over the past year.
What has been challenging?
Being away from home was the biggest struggle for me. Cooking, cleaning and washing for yourself is a big wake up call. I had to grow up quickly. The one thing that helped with my homesickness was the friends that I made here at university. They became like family very quickly and made Leeds feel a lot more like home. University can be intense and you end up spending a lot of time with your new friends, but it’s great because it quickly begins to feel like you’ve known them years. I am an only child, however I know people that have struggled with being away from their siblings. Just make sure you keep yourself busy if you feel like this. Plan weekends when you, or they, can visit so that you have something to look forward to.
I have one piece of advice for you - don’t wish time away. I know everyone tells you this, but the next few years of your life will ﬂy by and the last thing you want to do is regret not spending enough time with new people. Try not to go home every weekend if you are feeling lonely, instead get yourself out there and meet people. Everyone is in the same boat - everyone is here to succeed, and to make friends for life.
Have you made new friends?
I remember before I joined searching on Facebook for course chats and accommodation chats and being unsuccessful. This worried me because I thought I wouldn’t meet anyone. I was wrong! On the ﬁrst day of university, I walked into my induction, sat next to a girl and immediately started talking to her. We chatted, realised we lived next to each other in halls and instantly became friends. We then started a group chat for the course and recruited some more members to our friendship group. We are now all a big group of friends and I live with them this year.
I really advise you to just get stuck in, and on the ﬁrst day introduce yourself as much as possible. I know it’s daunting but you’ll honestly make friends for life. Societies and events can help you to meet new people too. Make sure you go to the Freshers Fair, sign up to some groups and give absolutely everything a try.
You won’t regret it!
If you find you need additional support settling in to university life, contact the Student Wellbeing Team here.