Those of you that follow my blog may already know that I am currently in my first year of University in London. I recently came across a blog post about another blogger’s first day of university (which you can read by clicking here), which inspired me to write about my own. As can be expected, the first day of university is extremely nerve-racking, (especially if you’re going to a new place), so, in true blogger fashion, I thought I’d write about it and share it here on my blog. Here goes!
I was born and brought up in Manchester, so going to university in London was a big step for me as I didn’t know a single person that was studying or that was going to be studying at my university. On my first day (21st September 2015), I woke up early so I had enough time to get ready and find my way there. Once I was ready, I headed out to the tube station, ready to get on the tube for the second time in my life. Needless to say, I wasn’t very experienced in taking the tube, however my Dad had told me which tube to get on and when to swap. Simple, right?
I had visited my uni once before so once I was off the tube and out of the station, I knew where I had to go. Once my university was in sight, I began to worry. The reason for that was because there was a bunch of people gathered outside. Older people (not old, just older than me – around 30/40). Okay, I thought to myself, why are there so many people outside? Nonetheless, I carried on walking, went through the doors, and was then stopped by one of the construction workers who told me that I couldn’t come inside and had to wait outside as the fire alarm was going off. Fine, I thought, it isn’t that cold outside. Once I’d gone back outside we were all then told to go around the corner as there was so many of us. Ok, fair enough, I’ll just talk to other first years, no big deal. So I looked for other first years.
This is when my nerves went into overdrive – not because I was too shy to talk to anyone – but because there was not one person there that was my age. What? How could this be? I knew there might’ve been some mature students, but surely not this many? And it got worse. Everyone knew each other. They were all in their groups chattering on like they’d known each other for ages. Now I panicked, and when I panic, I panic. After looking around and confirming that there was not another 18 year old or even anyone remotely close to my age in sight, along with confirming the fact that I was the only one that didn’t know a single soul, what did I do? I rang my Mum, of course.
“There’s no-one my age here, I can’t calm down, I’m changing university, everyone knows each other, I’m the only one on my own, what do I do?” I briefly remember the conversation being along those lines. I think it’s fair to say I was anxious, worried and terrified all at the same time.
The fire alarm stopped after about 20 minutes and we were allowed to go back inside, so I told my Mum I’d talk to her later. I mean, things had to get better once I was in the actual building, right? Correct! Lots and lots and lots of first years entered the building with me and then I was content. The panic suddenly vanished and the only feeling I had left was that of embarrassment. Why, I hear you ask? Because…okay, I’ll just come right out and say it. The “older students that all knew each other” were, in fact, teachers and lecturers. Yes, yes, I might have panicked a little too much (okay, a lot) but it just goes to show how scary it actually is when you’re entering unknown territory, all by yourself, for the first time.
Fortunately, the day only got better from there alhamdulillah. I spoke to a lot of first years, some who were doing the same course as me (English Literature) and others that were on other courses. Everyone was so nice and the fact that I had a “Northern accent” was a great topic of conversation.
I remember going to my assigned classroom, taking a seat and just enjoying the rest of that day. I couldn’t stop thinking “Wow, I’m in London. I’m actually studying for a degree in London” and for the rest of the day I found it hard to keep the smile off my face (excuse the cringe!).
Since my first day, I haven’t mistaken any more teachers for students (luckily) and have made great friends, along with enjoying every bit of my university experience. It’s going pretty well so far!
I learnt a few things that day:
#1 How to not get lost using tubes and trains in London
#2 That university was going to be amazing
#3 To be sure to stay calm and assess the situation correctly before panicking
#4 And of course, don’t turn up to university an hour early on the first day, because not one other student will be there!
Thanks for reading! Did I completely overreact or were my thoughts and actions justified as it was my first day of university? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram or Twitter @ 1weekmary.
1 Week Mary x