I was reluctant to come here. After the first weekend of fresher’s activities I didn’t want to go to the first introductory lecture. It was all too complicated – too different from where I had been and everything that had gone before.
But I went. And all was OK – no big scary beast was coming to eat me up, although at some point in the week I fell off my bike (again).
Starting a new university is an unusual experience – but I feel it was more difficult as a graduate. When I was a fresh faced 18 year old moving to university to study a course I didn’t really want to, the thought of meeting people and making friends never even bothered me, let alone studying. It would just be something I would ‘do’, as I believed students did. The integration period was easier because of Jo – a friend from college. In reality this was my downfall, as we drifted apart since she was studying medicine and I wasn’t.
This time around and I’m not sure if the absence of a friend from home is a good thing or not. I feel I’ve found it difficult to make friends here because of my slightly outlandish and loud Northern personality. Maybe I’ve become spoilt by a forgiving group of friends at my old university who I don’t have to impress. Maybe I’m just trying too hard to impress….
The diversity of people here alarms me slightly, yet interests me at the same time. I was expecting to feel ‘old’ in comparison to the rest of my peers, yet oddly I don’t anymore. I feel a little more sensible than the 18 and 19 year old school leavers, but not boring. I also promised myself I wouldn’t cloister myself away with the other graduates – which I’ve pretty much managed to succeed at. I have friends 4 years younger than me and I don’t think I mind.
Speaking of people on the course, there are some people who I can already see myself clashing with on a personality level. Maybe I’m more used to basic lecture etiquette and behaviour, but making enough noise so that other people can’t hear isn’t just rude, it’s ignorant. There is a huge potential here to become ostracised by the vast amount of cliques and clans. A week in and there are some very strong allegiances being made by different groups of people – yet I feel I don’t really fit into any of them.
In all, the experience so far has been enlightening and allowed me to re-evaluate my UCAS decision. I don't feel any regrets so far, just a whole lot of confusion.