Our first guest blogger this year is one of our Digital Media and Communications BA students – Teodora. Read her inspiring story about her first year at the University of Westminster and why it’s been the best year of her life so far!
Getting on the plane to leave your parents, friends, country – basically, your whole life up to that point – must be the most emotional moment in every student’s recent memory, but it is also what makes university such a completely dazzling experience.
Approaching the end of what has undoubtedly been the most demanding, yet enjoyable year of my life, I already find myself looking back with happiness, gratitude and a touch of nostalgia.
The first third of university is something that surely stays with us for long after it is finished; this probably comes as a result of all of the experiences that one is bound to accumulate in this period. The uncertainty and mild stress at the beginning is strangely and quickly followed by forming strong friendships, learning to cope by yourself and enjoying all that this newfound freedom has to offer.
The second semester is quite different from the first one, as the shine wears off a bit – coming back on campus after Winter Break is strange, as one gets a sense of not really belonging at home or at university either. After a while, however, the sensation disappears and one begins to slowly get used to their new life – gradually, though.
You really need to be patient and allow yourself to feel uncomfortable, as it is quite normal to feel out of place for a while. After the initial reaction goes away, however, one seems to re-adapt to life at university and become even more comfortable with this relatively new lifestyle. This is the moment when life away from home really settles in and becomes normal.
The second semester is surely a time for us to return to our normal selves; now that you pretty much have your circle of friends settled (although you are bound to meet even more new people as time goes by) and you know how to get around London, how to live on your own and manage university work with it all, it is much easier to go about your day to day activities.
As the year comes to a close, though, one finds themselves reminiscing how the beginning was, how everything was new and strange and now it just seems normal. The first year of university is bound to change you (for the better of course!). Personally, I find that I have become much more open to meeting new people, much more receptive to my own and other’s needs, as well as learned quite a lot both about growing into my own and the world around me.
I don’t know what makes this time of year such a nostalgic one, but I find myself looking back quite a lot. I now appreciate the start and all that I went through, as I now see how it helped me have a great university experience.
The one thing that I praise more than anything is meeting the people with whom I have now developed such strong bonds with – more than studying and learning everything that was related to my subject this first year, I think that personal development is why everyone’s experience at university is considered so important.
All in all, this year has certainly been one of the best years of my life, if not the very best. My advice for those who are going to be starting their first year of university next year is simply to appreciate it. The stress, the anxiety, the struggle of staying on top of everything and coping with living alone, it all builds up to give you a truly amazing experience. Although it may seem scary, once you settle in and are open to the endless intake of new and dazzling things into your life, you will be excited to make the most of it. As Jim Morrison famously said, “Get here and we’ll do the rest!“