My first year experience wasn’t like most freshers’. This was my second attempt at being a fresher, but was it any better? Keep reading to find out what happened.
So, you might know (or you might not) that I changed courses after completing one year of university.I felt like my course was driving me further into a negative mental space, and it was not something I was coping well with. I decided I wanted a change and wanted to do what brought me a little happiness (so I thought). I now study Business Management at the University of Liverpool.
And I don’t regret it. But …
I feel like I don’t fit in. I’m a muslim, I don’t drink, I don’t wear revealing clothes, parties aren’t my thing, I get major anxiety and half of the year I didn’t even attend my lectures.
Looking around the lecture theatre people seem well put together, having a laugh and enjoying themselves. Then there are the odd bunch of us looking miserable as ever. And me in my PJs trying so hard to stay awake at the front of the theatre.
University brings this social expectation that you’re only a student if you get pissed every night, but what about us that don’t? Where do we fit in?
It’s not even about friends that much for me, I have my best friend by my side (who studies in the same University as me and who I live with) and have made a few friends along the way, it’s more about feeling left out.
This is where societies come in. Societies that are based on religion feel too religious, societies based on ethnicity seem too out of tune, and societies based on hobbies look boring. There’s no winning!
Here’s where I went wrong
I didn’t give anyone or anything a chance to progress. I didn’t take part in societies enough to feel like I belong. I didn’t turn up to my lectures enough to feel comfortable. I didn’t try and meet up with people because I chickened out. I didn’t have the courage. And that’s okay, but it’s not okay.
I understand that (in my opinion) putting yourself out there, and attempting to break free of your protective bubble is scary, but it’s also necessary. I know for a fact there are so many opportunities to grab, so much fun to have and great people to meet. It’s the want to do all that which should push us to crack the bubble. It’s easier said than done.
Well what am I going to do differently
My aim is to try. I know for a fact I am not going to do something that will make me feel uncomfortable, nor should anyone ever! But I am going to try and meet people on good days, go for a walk on campus, try and attend society meet ups. Try a little, but for me (and maybe you) a little will go a long way for improving mental health and enjoying university more.
After all, University isn’t just about studying. It’s about the experience and the knowledge (not just academic) that you gain! Do you agree?
Lot’s of love