Before I started my time at University, I dreaded this week the most. As I've mentioned, I'm someone who likes to get into the swing of a routine. So to start University with a week designed to be so un-like routine and unstructured with different events, venues, people EVERY NIGHT.... the anxiety kicked in.
For some people this is the best week of the year. And that's great! If you like partying, socialising with new people, getting smashed out your face, then trust me, you'll have a blast. I appreciate not everyone is like this. And not everyone is like me.
My first week has been full of roll coaster of emotions, not only meeting people that I get along with well but people that I'd would never normally associate myself with are the nicest people I've met💛. To be really honest, I was mostly nervous about making friends. I mean, yes, we have all had to do it at some point during our lives but using the same method when I was 5 years old to now... I think I would have people running away from me than having friends. I guess there is no better advice than apart from... BE YOURSELF! It's a lame piece of advice however it really does work. By introducing yourself to as many people as possible was the best way for me to narrow down people who are merely acquaintances and other that you have more in common with etc.
I knew before I went to Uni I had three opportunities to make friends
House- If you're living in accommodation this gives you automatically a bunch of people to get to know and become friendly with, AND THATS BEFORE YOU EVEN LEAVE THE DOOR!!! I've been really lucky that the people I live with (If you're reading this.. HEY!) They're all so lovely and genuinely great people! It gives me a change to talk to people from different courses- someone from my flat does music- there would be no way I would have met him if I didn't live with him. And therefore I can meet more from association to my flatmates friends and the process grows and grows.
Course- Again, this gives you automatically something in common with a whole host of people. I CAN GUARANTEE THERE WILL BE SOMEONE WHO YOU GET ALONG WITH!!!!! You have all taken the same course for probably similar reasons, therefore utilise this chance to speak to everyone.... behind you, in front of you, next to you (even shout to the person across the hall!) just speak to everyone.
Societies- This is another great way to chat to another set of people that you might not live with or having lectures with but is a more relaxed setting to meet people in. Even if the society you choose to join is something you have never tried or only have a small passion for. Because your similarities with someone could stream further than the reasons for joining the society in the first place.
It's okay to admit you're missing home.
Honestly to feel a little down is okay too.
Undergoing the biggest change you will ever go through (probably) in such a quick transition. One day you're living at home with your normal postcode, annoying dog next door, home cooking, the next day, new bed, new sounds, new faces.... and no annoying dog barking?!?!? WHAT IS THIS!!
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still missing home and I'm now coming towards the end of week 4 (I've not been counting at all..😉) What really helps me is still working around the same time clock as I had when I was back home. My mom and I have the same 4 o'clock conversation slot we have now the same as when I was home. Keeping in a small routine (even if you have to set a new one) to keep in contact with parents or significant others has helped me to not focus on missing home so much, but as a chance to look forward to our conversations. Because I've given myself a time (limit? zone?choice? whatever you want to call it) to think about home i.e. 4 o'clock (Mom finishes work) It's psychologically given me a window of letting me think about home. Therefore once I've caught up on all the gossip at home (so much drama in Wheaton Aston.. I love it😏🙌) That gives me a chance to off-load and let myself (and mom) catch up. Once we have ended the call my feelings of missing home are no more (or are a little less). Both mom and I never feel guilty if we can't talk or have something else on (this is a good thing... explanation to follow!) because honestly if I was too hung up on chatting to mom at the exact same time, although yes, that would be okay to some extent, but overall I've moved to University to create a new life on my own- therefore I have to really live that!!!! As much as I love my mom (I mean I haven't mentioned it enough in this blog right?) it's okay if I send her a text instead of a full blown conversation or if mom doesn't pick up the phone. Life goes on.
Staying true to yourself or falling back into old habits?
So I'm a sucker when it comes to falling back into the same rut of a routine. Something that once worked for me, yet has made me resent it because it's made me get complacent and lowers my mood. I've always said this about myself- I am not a party animal. Never have been, and seriously It's just not my thing. At university to keep this idea is quite hard, especially if you want to make friends and be seen as social. Finding the right balance (my fave mentality💖) between being social and trying new things (because it is university a chance to push yourself and take a new opportunity as it presents ones self) but also knowing who you are and staying true to yourself. Ahhhhh.. a predicament I've come across many a time during my weeks here at uni. I guess you have to ask yourself 'Is it really my kind of thing?' and even if the answer is NO- ask yourself why? Have you done something like this before? A bad experience? There could be a whole host of reasons not to go (believe me I find finding those reasons easier than finding the reasons to go!) but I then have to really push myself and think, actually this could be fun if I put some effort into this (It could even lead to more opportunities after!). Different opportunities will of course make you question yourself more than other. And it's totally okay to say 'no' straight away to something if you know you won't either; gain enjoyment or learn something from it.
Some people go to university with the idea of trying to re-event yourself, which to be honest, there is no better time to do this because university is all about fresh starts. So I am completely for people making a new 'name' for themselves however... you can't outrun your 'true' self. I have learnt this. If you're a loud bubbly personality who tries to become a softly spoken soul eventually your big personality will catch up with you- the same if your a shy, timid character who wants to become the life and soul of the room. Is that really the person you want to portray? I mean, can you even keep up with this new persona of yours? Realistically... Be yourself, you've made friends that way before- therefore doing it that way again have a proven track record of 100% (and that's something the facts can't lie about!😉😌)
At the end of the day, the choice is simple (as for most things in life often are we just tend to over complicate them to the nth degree, because well as humans we are seemingly quite good at this!😉) pick how you want your Freshers Week to go. I know for some people, they may want to re-invent themselves to being the wild child of the night and others a simple night at the SU playing board games. There really is not 'right' or 'wrong' way to do it.
I don't want this week to have as much pressure put on it as there always seems to be. The idea that every night you need to go out, get wasted, meet every single person at uni, act as if it's the best time ever. Don't feel like a failure or you're doing uni 'wrong', Simply enjoy what you do even if's only going as far as to the people next door of your block. Remember the amount of fun (or not so much) doesn't dictate how much you'll enjoy the rest of your time at university.
It'll be okay🌞
Until the next one,
Don't be fooled.. This was the first and only time I went 'out, out' during Freshers (and I ended up leaving early #grandmalife)