BLOG: Surviving the first few weeks at University: Charlotte Lem

Charlotte Lem, 21, a third year Multimedia Journalism student, blogs about her experiences and gives advice about what to expect when starting university.

 “The concept of university undeniably daunted me at first. I was nervous about the workload included over the next three years but excited about the experiences ahead of me.

As a commuting student, I was always fearful that I would regret not getting the full university experience. Although initial social media interaction from friends who had opted to move away made me feel isolated at first, living at home meant I could study without the stress of financial troubles and pressure of becoming suddenly independent.

I had such high expectations for my first month at university and going in with such a positive attitude allowed me to get the most out of the experience. Although I was experiencing something completely different, I benefited from making early mistakes like errors in referencing, forgetting to back work up and leaving everything until the night before. I also ensured I asked lecturers questions about anything I was unsure on, some advice I would give to all new students.

When I began my course, I was unaware of how heavy the practical element would be in contrast to the theoretical side and this is something I was initially unprepared for. Although, the intensity of the course somewhat prepared me for any future work experience placements, academic study does not always educate students on the pressures of a working environment. Therefore I would suggest that all new students should get some real-life experience in order to help them decide on the career they may wish to pursue.

Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles about starting university was making friends. I joined a Fresher’s Facebook group where I formed a friendship with another girl on my course which made the whole experience easier. Meeting new people from different parts of the UK and the world was a highlight of the first few weeks and appreciating it is definitely something I recommend.

Although it is normal to feel nervous about the transition, I believe it is important to embrace the first few weeks at university as it is fundamental in shaping your entire experience in higher education. Take every opportunity with both hands and learn to love the new period of your life that is both challenging and rewarding but most importantly, the best experience of your life.”

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