So it’s coming up to the time of year where so many of us will be filled with different emotions about starting, or going back, to university.
Because of this I want to talk to you guys about my experience starting university two years ago.
My start to uni was very different from any of my friends. Having previously dropped out of 6th form due to mental health issues, I was doing my AS year for the second time.
When I came back to sixth form, all of the people originally in my year were in the year above me and getting ready to do uni applications. I have to admit, I got incredibly jealous. I got the all too well known ‘fear of missing out’. So, naturally, I applied for university without even having achieved my AS Levels yet. Have you noticed I’m quite a spontaneous person?
So the months go by, and I completely forget about my university applications. Until I am relaxing on holiday in France and suddenly get an email saying “Congratulations – you have been accepted to UCB!”
As you can imagine, I was shocked – and also found the situation hilarious. Then came the decision as to whether to actually go. I spent hours talking to my friends and family trying to figure out what would be the best option for me, until finally I decided to just go for it. While I was deciding, my mom told me “Jade, things like this don’t just happen to people. There’s a reason behind it.” And I still think she’s absolutely right. I’m a strong believer in the phrase “everything happens for a reason.”
The next few weeks were a whirlwind of organising, student finance, accommodation applications, shopping and packing.
Having already seen some of my friend’s student accommodation, I wasn’t looking forward to finding my own. But when I finally arrived at the Maltings with a car full of stuff, not knowing what to expect at all, I was very pleasantly surprised.
I absolutely loved living at the Maltings. I shared a flat with 7 other girls and we had a great time. Having my own little ensuite bedroom in the flat was lovely. I almost hated coming home and having to share a bathroom with my family during the holidays!
I moved out of the Maltings in my second year and moved to Selly Oak with some friends from University of Birmingham. However, looking back on it now it would have been more wise to try and apply for accommodation more central. Even though it only took 10 minutes by train to get to New Street station, I missed living in the middle of the city. But living in Selly Oak was still a great experience and it was a brilliant opportunity to make friends at our partnering university.
Living away from my family really helped me learn how to ‘adult’. Having to be in charge of everything yourself helps you grow so much. I feel like I have learned so much more about myself throughout the past two years.
While it can be scary at first, after attending a few lectures you soon feel comfortable as you realise everyone is in exactly the same boat. I have made some incredible friends. I was pleased to find out that UCB lecturers are very welcoming and happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have any problems at all, they are there to help you. This is different to what I have heard of other universities, where you are pretty much left to deal with everything alone.
I think for me personally, UCB was the perfect choice as a university as I needed that extra support. Having a great university experience is all about choosing the right university for you. One tip for anyone looking at universities right now is to make sure you always take location into account. One of the many reasons I love UCB is that it is situated right in the middle of Birmingham. This means I never have to worry about transport, and that there is always something to do.
If I could give one piece of advice to someone about to start university, it would be to dive straight in. Throw yourself into everything. Join societies and make as many friends as you can. Trust me, you won’t regret it.