Hi everyone! It's Kate here. It's been awhile, can you believe we're now in September? Where did that summer go? I love September as it feels as though you are getting a fresh start. I'm back to tell you more about my experience of living away from home and life at university thus far.
I remember when I got the news that I would be heading to Dublin, I was so excited but soon after the excitement came a huge pang of nerves. I didn’t really have much time to be nervous as that weekend I was being shipped down to Trinity Halls for Freshers Weekend. Students don't talk about the nerves that come with moving away, starting a course that will (apparently) determine what you do for the rest of your life and the struggles that come with being a student (and I'm not even talking about the financials here! - that's for another day).
I didn’t really know what to expect but from social media I thought this is going to be the best week of my life. I thought of the friendships for life I would make, the stories I would have and the freedom of living away from home in my favourite city. I pictured myself strolling down Grafton Street with all my new friends laughing about the craic we had the night before. The reality was so different.
To be brutally honest, I hated Freshers week. Don't panic! It all worked out great in the end, I do have friends. I thought I would write this post as students don't tell you about this part and sometimes it can be isolating. One of the hardest parts about moving to a university where you know nobody is that it looks like your friends that are together are having the time of their life. Which they are. You just need to give yourself TIME. You need to let yourself settle in, get used to your surroundings and new found independence in the beginning.
I moved into Trinity Halls which is undoubtedly one of the best places to live on the planet. I absolutely loved my time there and it is the best place to meet people. However, for me that didn't happen during Freshers Week. It didn't all click together like the perfect puzzle, it took more time. Initially, I was very impatient. I didn't find my best friends at university until around November time, thankfully they were worth the wait (Charlotte and the sock).
I also found it very difficult moving away from my family, I was quite lonely for the first few weeks. I missed having dinner together as a family (not to mention the dinner itself!!) and chats at night but I soon settled in and started to get closer with the girls that I lived with. I remember being so jealous of other apartments in Halls that instantly bonded. It's only now I can look back and laugh at myself. I was never a shy or nervous person but I think those first few weeks at university really brought out the self conscious nervous and shy girl in me.
Advice for any fresher...
- Put yourself out there, introduce yourself to people. It's the only way you'll get to find your friends for life. The more people you meet, the closer you are to finding them.
- Don't be hard on yourself if it doesn't happen immediately, it usually won't.
- Don't make any hasty decisions in the beginning, give yourself time to settle.
- Don't panic and don't forget - you are enough.