No matter the amount of lists you make, websites you read or random utensils you buy, you will still have to deal with the shock of leaving home. Some find it easier than others and some will just hide the fear better, but you can be reassured by a simple fact… everyone is in the same boat.
Leaving home for the first time is a challenge for anyone and it will hit you at different times. For me, it was when I walked my family back to the car after they moved me into my halls. It was then that I realised I was totally on my own and, like most people, I didn’t have any of my friends from Sixth Form there to reassure me and provide a bit of normality. At that point, I felt pretty lost and isolated. After all, I’d just moved three hours away from my family, to a location that I was not familiar with and had only visited on open days. It was not an easy transition.
Once I had walked my family back to the car, I had to make it back to my room without falling to pieces. I had nothing to distract me from the fact that I was alone in a new area without my family for the first time in my life. I must admit, I did shed a tear or two. After all, it is a scary alteration to your life. However, I did realise eventually that this was something I had been looking forward to all summer. As soon as my A-Level exams were over, going to university was the only thought on my mind. It was exciting to properly unpack and organise the room I was going to stay in for the first year of university life. I found pictures of my friends and family really helped me to feel more at home and reminded me that I could talk to them at any time over the phone. Technology is a marvellous thing to have at university!
Once my room was sorted, I decided to have a look around. Wandering around campus really helped me get used to my surroundings and reminded me of the reasons I chose Writtle. The gardens and surrounding fields provided a comfort to me as it reminded me of home. The community-feel of the campus reminded me I wasn’t alone and there were a wide range of new people to meet. Proof of this came soon after when I made friends with my neighbours in halls. They encouraged me to meet even more people and, even as a shy introvert, I found myself feeling more and more at home. Even though I was anxious about the challenge’s university would throw at me, I was beginning to feel more confident that I could cope with moving away from home.
Writtle is a wonderful place to begin this new adventure in your life. I can understand it may feel overwhelming for some, but this campus and the people in it will do their best to make you feel at home. There is always someone there to help if you are feeling daunted or homesick. Between the fun filled events of fresher’s week, going to lectures and talking to your new neighbours, you will make new friends easily. This will help you settle in even faster. Try to view this change as an exciting new adventure rather than an impossible challenge and remember that you’re not leaving home forever. It will amaze you how much you are going to learn over your first year of university. Between learning something new and hanging out with new friends, you will see this year as exciting not scary. Soon you may even see university as a home away from home and you won’t remember what made you so nervous in the first place.
Welcome to Writtle! Have fun!
Written by Emily Toogood
2nd Year Veterinary Physiotherapy Student