A Fresher’s diary: Starting life at King’s

I’m not the only girl who is trying to come to terms with moving from a small town

The final week before I moved to university, now known as the panic week, was full of life lectures from my parents about staying safe in a big city.

They didn’t expect their first born child to move so far away from home. Very few girls from my background and my hometown decide to move out of their parents’ house for university. Bradford has a strong Pakistani population and in my experience, the majority of Bradfordian Pakistani girls opt to study at universities closer to home.

I’m one of the females of this cultural group to make the less popular decision of moving out to a whole different part of the country.

At the time I felt as if I was making ground breaking changes, but once I arrived in my halls I realised I was not the only girl making these changes.

London truly is a multicultural city, and King’s itself is host to some of the world’s most interesting cultures. My West Yorkshire background is somewhere on the less interesting side of the scale, but here I have met so many new people with stories so different and yet similar to my own.

I’m not the only girl who is trying to come to terms with moving from a small town.

In just one week at uni, I’ve done things I’ve never done before: I had dinner with six people who were more or less strangers, but I felt completely myself. When it was time to say our goodbyes, I felt the same anxiety that I feel when my closest friends are walking home in the dark – I want to make sure that they’ll be safe.

Don’t underestimate your ability to form attachments to people you’ve just met.

Once you’ve handed your phone around the table at dinner, and exchanged numbers or sent Facebook requests you can give yourself a pat on the back for socialising. For me, that pat on the back is necessary every once in a while, since I’m not a huge fan of nightclubs, nor do I drink alcohol. The excitement of going out in a big city didn’t really reach me, but I have still socialised without the presence of alcohol.

Expect yourself to make mistakes and overcome your reluctance to share stories about your background if you’re anything like me.

I’ve realised that London is welcoming to all stories, and groups, even those of us who come from the lesser known parts of the country.