Originally posted on Huffington Post. (Ella Robson)
It’s your first week of university, you’re meeting new people, familiarising yourself with your new campus, flat, house, bus route and local watering holes. Your first week you’re winging it, you’re jumping at every opportunity, reading every ‘freshers’ survival guide and you’re moving at rocket speed.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am certainly the prime example of someone who loves a good “top tips” guide, but, I’m getting a little fed up of all the “how to handle freshers” posts. My pessimistic, sensible, inner humbug is itching to remind all new students that ‘freshers’ week is simply one week. Seven days, seven days of a long, challenging university career. Moreover, people who have decided not to move into accommodation, or people who have already realised that it’s more than likely they’ll forget everyone’s names after this first week have figured out that there is so much more, exciting, scary and wonderful stuff ahead!
Whether you’ve moved into halls, into a house share or decided to commute there is no doubt that this is the beginning of a new journey. Things are changing, but things are moving so fast that you don’t have time to get overwhelmed. But remember, there is life after freshers week. It’s okay to feel slightly lost, it’s okay to pause, have a little cry, panic or moment of pride as you take in your new found freedom. After the rush of your first week, and the possibly boring introductory talks you’re obliged to sit through you may start to get a little overwhelmed. Or, no matter how hardcore you are… you may start to feel a little homesick.
Homesickness is not a myth, and we are not made of stone. It’s perfectly acceptable to panic about everything a few days – or weeks – after you’ve finally settled in. Freshers week, welcome week or whatever it is called at your institution is a great way to meet new people. The events are organised with the primary focus of helping ease you through the transition from your previous adventures to your new, exciting, university journey.
We all deal with things in different ways, for me I’m fairly sure I became homesick before my mum had even finished to help me unpack.
On the morning of my ‘freshers fair’ four years ago I passed out in the shower (completely alcohol unrelated).Can you imagine how daunting it is waking up on an unfamiliar bathroom floor, with your new flatmates as the only people there to help? At that time I put it down to stress, looking back now I can’t help but laugh, but I must admit… letting my guard down and speaking to my new friends helped break down a lot of boundaries.
Now, I’m not suggesting you pass out in order to bond with your new flatmates, but I will say that you are all in the same boat (metaphorically). Though you may not show it you may all be feeling a little overwhelmed, and it’s certainly okay to let your new friends know this – you may encourage them to open up, you may even realise that they are feeling the same! And huzzah, that’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship…
If you want to find out more about my awkward experiences and how I deal with homesickness, emotional wellbeing and more check out my blog: Dearest Someone,