Student’s Guide to “First Day Fears”

Hey hi my lovelies! My name is Tanya Hooper and would like to welcome you to TanyaTale. I post here every Friday at 7PM so if you are new welcome! Please be sure to click the subscribe buttons for updates every time I post. If you are returning to the blog welcome back.

This is the first chit-chatty type blog post about my experience at University! I thought my sharing of my experiences might be interesting. If you are soon to start university I guess you could use this as a sort of guide, or perhaps it could be comforting to you to be able to read about other people going through it. If you are not a student then I hope you find this a fun little insight into the life of a student.

So, I am an English Literature or Creative Writing student in my first year. I decided instantly that i wanted to stay in halls. You see, I’ve never been great at making friends or talking to people so i figured that staying in halls would put me into a position where i would have to talk to people … it worked.

On my first day i was nervous. Obviously. You are literally leaving home, leaving your parents and siblings behind and setting out “alone”.

*First lesson … you aren’t alone. There are not only hundreds of other students in the same situation as you but the accommodation offices literally act as your parents. If you have an issue, they’re there to help. If you don’t tidy your room, they tell you off. You’re never alone.” 

I got my keys and headed into my accommodation and boy was carrying all my stuff up a flight of stairs a bitch. One thing i will admit is I’m not a fan of living in a flat, but that’s just a personal thing. Luckily I only live on the first floor, one of my friends lives on the fourth and man is that a lot of exercise lol.

The first thing I saw when i got to my flat was a girl crying in the doorway saying goodbye to her mum. As much as its probably horrible to say, i was relieved. I wasn’t the only one nervous and that was great to know.

After that I unpacked all of my stuff. Now being a nervous person I held back on heading into the kitchen and unpacking my pots, pans and crockery. I’m glad i did because if i skip forward for a second, when it came to meeting my flatmates unpacking my pots and pans gave me a something to do while hovering in the kitchen. It felt less weird and more natural.

Anyway, something which had been a great comfort to me was that my mum was staying in the area over night.

*Tip for if you’re staying far from home, ask a parent to stay overnight. It really is reassuring to have someone familiar nearby.*

My mum found a cheap B&B down the road which meant that if i needed her she was only one call away.

So, weirdly, i was the first person in the kitchen. That doesn’t disguise the fact that i had spent ten minutes before this standing in my room watching the hallway from my peephole to see if anyone else was about… yes it was weird and yes it was awkward but what ever calms your nerves. Right?

Anyho, I’m usually the shy one who waits until there are a few socialising people before awkwardly slipping into their conversation but it was my fresh start. It was a chance to be confident so i went into the kitchen and started unpacking my stuff. One item at a time.

A few minutes later, someone else came into the room. Of course there was an awkward silence but that’s to be expected when your meeting someone you don’t know but have to live with for a year.

* I thought now would be as good a time as any to give you some great conversation starters: “how do you attach to the WIFI?”; “So where do you come from?”; “What are you studying?”; What’s your name?” and (my favourite) “Do you want a sweet?”*

*Tip 3 – Take a box of sweets, offering them out is a great way to meet people*

Not too long after that we were all in the kitchen having a chat. Getting to know the people we were going to live with for the next year. I only met three of the seven other people i was going to be living with on the first day. It was quiet nice as it meant that i didn’t have 1000 names to remember straight away!

Not too long after meeting them we decided to go and explore the university grounds. Mainly the accommodation blocks but still it was something to do.

*Tip 4 – go explore with the people you meet straight away. that way you get a sense of where you are and you get to bond with the people you are living with.” 

When we got back we were all sat in the Kitchen and luckily for me our kitchen faces another flats kitchen. Straight away this became a positive. The flat opposite posted a note in their window inviting us over for shots and to watch Shrek… yes you read that right. Shrek. As in the ogre.

*Tip 5 – it’s freshers. DON’T turn down a party. It’s a great way to meet other people who might be on you’re course.*

That evening i went to dinner with my mum and a friend from back home before finishing the meal and heading back to the university. I went straight across to the Shrek party and i actually had a great time. I met a girl who was on my course and the fact that i still talk to her now … after randomly meeting her on the first night, is really cool.

Now, onto the bit about drinking. I do drink. That doesn’t mean anyone reading this is pressured to drink themselves. I personally, when I don’t know / feel comfortable around people, don’t drink much. So on the first night I stayed pretty sober. Which was great because when it was time to go there were two of us sober enough to help the third … VERY DRUNK flatmate home.

*Tip 6 – something which really helped me was ‘pretending’ to be confident. It sounds dumb i know. But pretending to be confident meant that i was able to talk to people a lot easier. No one knew I was shy which made it so much easier. FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT!* 

So I guess there is my story of the first night at Uni. I hope you enjoyed that or that you found it comforting. I like doing these chit chatty blogs so keep an eye out for more in the future.

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