Going to university can seem like a pretty daunting idea, but by the time graduation comes around you’ll want to do it all again…
‘What if no one likes me? What I don’t make any friends?’ My nervous thoughts driving to Essex on arrivals day. Moving into your flat can be scary, but arm yourself with tea and biscuits and embrace the awkward hello’s. Everyone is in the same boat (I know you’ve been told this 100 times but it’s true!) You WILL make friends and you WILL have someone to hang out with. Whether you live in a flat of 4, 5, 6 or 16 people like I did, that’s a whole new group of friends you’ve made on the very first day, and that’s just the start! University gives you the chance to meet hundreds of new people from across the world and make lifetime friends. By the time Christmas rolls around (trust me it will come quicker than you think) having to spend a month apart from your new friends will seem impossible, I cried when I had to go home! So don’t worry about whether you’ll make friends, before long your flatmates will feel like family and you’ll be calling your flat home (although this will probably upset your mum).
A new flat brings new independence. Yes, it means you have to cook your own dinner, remember to buy toilet roll and wash your own socks but it’s not all boring. No longer do you have to ask your dad if your friend can come over for dinner, or let your parents know that you’ll be out past 11pm. You might feel like you’re not ready to fly the nest and leave your mums Sunday roast behind, but don’t worry, you’ve got this! Once you have that independence you’ll never want to lose it. Being independent and able to organise your own time feels great, especially when there’s so much on offer…
With over 165 sports clubs & societies at Essex you’re sure to find something you love. This year I joined the Pole Dancing club, something I’d never thought I’d do but I can’t get enough! Being a member of a sports team means you’ll have the chance to compete against our rivals UEA on Derby Day each year. Even non-members can join in on the action and cheer us on! If you’re not the sporty type then don’t worry, there’s plenty of societies to keep you entertained. From Harry Potter to Meditation there’s something for everyone. Can’t find anything to take your fancy? Why not start your own society? There’s always room for something new at Essex.
Being a stereotypical student, I spent 50% of my first year in our on-campus club Subzero. Loads of great acts; such as DJ Fresh, Lethal Bizzle and even the Chuckle Brothers! Come to Essex for really cheap prices. Base Bar host a variety of alternative nights and the SU Bar is always great for a quick drink… or 9! If you’re after something a bit quieter or more relaxed then the Lakeside Theatre is always packed with a range of events, from Comedy Central to Shakespeare.
The SU organised a whole load of events all year round, incorporating hundreds of different cultures (the colour dash and Holi festival are my favourites). Students from over 140 countries study at Essex meaning multicultural music, dancing and foods can regularly be found in squares; which is an exciting way of learning about new cultures.
University makes you a part of a whole new family. It offers the chance for you to grow as an individual and succeed at things you never thought you could. I won’t lie to you, it is a nerve-racking process… but with so many exciting new opportunities and things to love how can you really say no?
By Abby Futter