Going to university is scary but it is also exciting and fun and full of new adventures. Many people look back at university as some of the best times of their lives. But all these people will have started off with the same fears as you and worried about the same things as you.
1) Leaving home
This is probably the most common fear that students have. It encompasses a wide variety of things such as leaving your home town, leaving your pet, not having a home cooked meal at night or there not being anyone to look after you when you’re sick.
Whilst there is no hard and fast way to deal with this, I promise you will get used to it eventually. Every student will suffer with homesickness and sometimes the best way to deal with it is to wrap up in a blanket and Skype home. Or alternatively, distract yourself, focus on some University work or go and have a laugh with your flatmates.
This is just a part of growing up. I promise that once you’ve been away for a few months it will feel weird going back home. But maybe take a few pictures of your dog before you leave!
Most students before coming to university have spent their lives living with their parents and siblings. So, it makes sense that a common fear is living with strangers in a flat or a block. Again, there’s not much to do about this. But remember, everyone will be feeling the same.
When I first started at university, I was the first one to arrive (meaning I got first pick of the cupboards) but I left my door open and played some music. When my flatmates did arrive, they all came and said hello and once the parents had gone, we all met in the kitchen and had a chat and a drink. The important thing is to break the ice and just be nice and welcoming.
Pro Tip: with social media now, it is very easy to find flatmates before university and start conversations then so there’s already some common ground.
3) Domestic chores
Cleaning a toilet, unblocking a drain, even taking out the kitchen bin!! Some of these tasks create fear for students. Moving out means you are responsible for the cleaning. This can be a bit of shock to some students who perhaps have never done some of the cleaning before. However, unless you’re planning on hiring a butler, the best way is to deal with this is just to get on with it.
If you make a mess, it is your job to clean it up. Being helpful and ready to clean will also help improve your relationship with your flatmates. However, try not to be the person that cleans all the time. Relax and make sure other people do their fair share.
4) Coping with university work
Obviously actually getting that degree is a crucial part of going to university and this can only be done with hard work. I won’t lie and say that university is easy but from my experience it is not all that different to A-levels. The hardest part was managing my time as I also had food shopping and cleaning to factor in at university.
Your first week may feel a little overwhelming. This can be resolved by sitting down and writing down the tasks you must do and then getting on with them. The longer you leave it, the more overwhelming university will feel.
However, if you are constantly finding the work too much or you don’t have enough time, re-evaluate where you are. Maybe you are trying to do too much as well as university, or maybe you require some additional support. Speaking to your tutor should be your first port of call if you feel like you are struggling. They will be able to offer you the best advice. Again, it is fairly normal to feel overwhelmed at some points of university. The workload can be heavy and, around exam time, students do feel stressed.
5) Getting the right experience
A lot of students go to university with a specific ideal in their mind about what it will be like. This is wrong. There is no one way to do university. Ultimately it is what you make of it and by imaging you are missing out on something will only add unnecessary pressure to what is already stressful. Don’t let fears that you are missing out detract from your overall experience.
When you first arrive, just be yourself. Be prepared to try new things but don’t worry if they are not for you. Not everyone plays a sport or is part of a club. Be proud that you are at university because that in itself is an experience.
Obviously there are other fears and concerns that students will have but again most of these will shared by someone else. If you have any worries at all, do reach out. There are chatrooms on places like the student room where you can check up on others’ university fears, or speak to older students who are already there. Don’t let your fears stop you from having an amazing time.
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