All the things freshers worry about before Freshers’ Week that you’ll think are absolutely ridiculous in two weeks
By a professional worrier
Packing off to university for the first time is a big change, and while this can be an exciting prospect, if you’re anything like me, your last weeks at home will be filled with an inescapable sense of worry, panic and even dread. Come the end of summer, I was so reluctant to go to university that my family had to practically push me out of the door. A year later, I’ve come to realise that the worries I had about being a fresher were absolutely ridiculous, and here’s why.
The fear of not making any friends
My biggest worry about coming to university was not being able to make any friends. I was convinced that nobody would like me and that I was destined to become that one oddball who never leaves their room. But, of course, that didn’t happen and I’ve made some amazing friends.
However, that’s not to say I met my uni BFFs overnight. You might get lucky, and immediately become best friends with everyone in your flat, but, if like me, you don’t really click with your flatmates, making good friends will probably take a bit more time. Nonetheless, there are so many different and wonderful people at university and so many different and wonderful ways to meet them, that you are bound to find at least one person you get along with. It’s almost impossible not to.
Being stuck with bad flatmates
Everyone’s definition of a ‘bad flatmate’ will be different. For one person it will be someone who leaves mould covered plates festering in the kitchen, and for another it will be the uptight person who leaves the sticky notes demanding that it gets cleaned up. Anyway, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will have at least one terrible flatmate. Dealing with the bad flatmate can be a delicate situation to handle; after all, you don’t want to aggravate someone you have to live with for a year. You could act like a mature adult and quietly accept that everyone has their quirks and learn to live alongside the mess or the passive aggressive notes. Alternatively, you could just bitch about it on the separate group chat that you definitely made after the very first time they riled you up. Think of it as group therapy. Kind of.
Moving your life to a new city will obviously entail stress, anxiety and, of course, forgetfulness. No matter how many times you check and double check, there will always be that one annoying necessity that you forgot. But leaving behind your cutlery or your duvet or even your super cute fairy lights isn’t the end of the world. Lucky for you, you’ve moved to Leeds – a city that has more shops than you could ever possibly need and so a quick trip to the Trinity Centre will soon have you sorted. Or you could just start as you mean to go on and borrow from your flatmates.
Having to fend for yourself
When you move to university, it’s no longer your parents’ responsibility to keep you alive, but your own. That means learning to do the laundry, learning to cook, and finally picking up a vacuum. Fortunately for you, Google exists. Any domestic problem you have can be swiftly solved with a quick look online. Recipes, cleaning tips and even instructions on how to use those tricky Circuit washers are all available at your fingertips. Thanks Google.
Keeping up with the workload
As the start of term draws closer and closer, the course group chat will undoubtedly become inundated with your peers talking about how they’ve read every single book on the reading list and how they’ve written up neatly colour coordinated notes on every single detail of the course. Compared to these keen beans you might start to feel slightly inadequate and frankly unprepared for the academic side of university. Never fear. In reality, these admirably organised people are a falsely rose-tinted reflection of the student body. After your first seminar you will quickly come to realise that you definitely aren’t the only one who barely managed to make it to chapter two of the first book on the reading list.
And more importantly… keeping up with all the partying
The prospect of a week-long booze binge is exciting for many, but terrifying for many others. After all, getting drunk with people you barely know isn’t exactly normal, and so the never-ending fresher’s parties can be understandably daunting. You might not be too keen about getting drunk in a new city surrounded by people you don’t really know, or you might be anxious about being too hungover to make it to your ‘crucially important’ introduction lectures. However, the best advice I can give is to just relax. If you’re able to worry about being too drunk, you’re not drunk enough. Anyway, it’s first year and your only responsibilities are to survive and to pass, so just go wild, party all night, then sleep through your lectures all day. You (probably) won’t regret it.
But if binge drinking and constant clubbing isn’t for you, there is no need to worry about feeling alienated or alone. Maybe suggest getting a takeaway or having a movie night and I’m sure you will be surprised at the number of your friends who want a break from the late nights and killer hangovers.
Being scared about getting lost
Leeds is a big city, and for freshers moving from small home towns and villages, that can be intimidating. Venturing outside of the safety of halls for the first time can be a fun but potentially nerve-wracking experience, especially because it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will get lost. During my first few weeks I certainly found myself doing laps of the Trinity Centre, desperately wondering if I would ever escape. Not to mention the fact that as well as having to navigate the city centre, you have to learn where everything is on campus as well. This may sound easy, but for some reason the buildings on campus seem to have been deliberately designed to cause maximum confusion and chaos.
But I wouldn’t worry; you’ll soon get your bearings. So much so, I bet you will have perfected your ability to walk home half drunk and half asleep within days. And if not, just use Google Maps.
This is inevitable. Just embrace your overdraft and never look back.
Worrying about feeling homesick
It’s completely normal to worry about missing home. The prospect of moving away from your family and friends is scary. But remember that moving away from home is also an important part the university experience. It gives you your independence. While you might miss having your parents around to dote on you when you’re ill, you most certainly won’t miss them when they’re not around to tell you to do this, that and everything in between. You live under your own roof now. Once you’ve settled into your halls and made some friends, university will quickly start to feel like a second home. So much so, you probably won’t ever want to leave.