Dear Freshers

Dear Freshers,

This whole experience is one hell of a ride, but trust me, you'll be just fine. Be excited, but equally don't feel bad for being nervous, or scared or worried. I was incredibly anxious for weeks leading up to moving in, and I thought of every possible problem and any awful scenario my brain could conjure up. Yet, instead of considering all of the bad 'what ifs', I wish I had actually thought about the good ones - 'what if I adore the city', 'what if my flatmates are lovely', 'what if I really enjoy my course'. Although, even doing this would have made me nervous because in a way the hardest thing about going off to University is the expectations... Your parents, your siblings, your friends, your neighbours (seemingly everyone and anyone!) tells you 'Oh it's going to be the BEST days of your life, you'll LOVE it!'. There's so much pressure to have the best time ever and make sure it lives up to this vision of your life beginning when you put up some fairy lights and then head to Gravity. But no, the truth is that 'the time of your life' certainly will not begin during freshers week so don't be fooled, it’ll take time to feel like that. Go into this with no expectations, it will be what you make it, so you may as well sit back and be kind to yourself whilst you adjust to the changes.

Freshers week will most likely be great for you - but it's not easy. Yet everybody will be trying way too hard to have a good time to truly admit this. Okay, maybe (only maybe) if you came to University with all of your favourite friends from home or your family live around the corner, it could be perfect rather than slightly stressful. But if not, nobody tells you how lonely it can be in those first few days - especially if you're from a northern town and you don't know a single person within 50 miles of Bristol. So, again, don't put pressure on yourself to love every minute! And please don't feel like you're alone for missing home or wanting to see someone familiar who knows you without you having to respond with what you study and where you're from (...and then having to explain that Bolton is near Manchester but you probably won't know it).

A top tip for when meeting new people is: Add people you actually like on Instagram or Snapchat to remember their names (if you like them and think you'll see them again) and in their name write down their course/accomodation! As, let’s be real, you'll forget their last name and what the heck they said they were studying. Was it law? Surely not, she doesn’t look like she would study law. Oh, never mind – Louisa’s wasted on law then! You'll meet so many people but don't lose track of who you are, and try to spend time with yourself too because it can be exhausting e.g. exploring a different part of the city or taking yourself out for a coffee.

You're going to laugh and cry and do silly things but it'll get easier, trust me. It will be wonderful but give it time to blossom, nothing good ever came easy... or happened overnight! And eventually, whether it's a few weeks or months down the line, you'll realise that when you thought of 'home' you thought of Bristol. And the things and people that were once so new, are all familiar.

Go easy on yourself and be patient.

Love, Yasmin


P.S. Set up a bin rota for your flat, you'll thank me later. 


computer hands writing in journal on table Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash


This article is part of a themed content week exploring ways to embrace new beginnings at the start of the new academic year.