When I started uni, to say I was nervous would be an understatement. I didn’t feel like I had bonded with other people as well as the people in my halls and on my course; I wasn’t having this amazing time it felt like everyone else was having.
I called my family and my girlfriend every day and would avoid going out as that would put me even more out of my comfort zone. During the first two weeks my best friend dropped out of her university and that suddenly felt like that must be the path I should take.
I was homesick and I didn’t feel like I was as intelligent as the people on my course. It was horrible and I didn’t really speak to anyone about it. Eventually I spoke to my friends who had dropped out and the people around me and it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The people around me had no idea I felt the way I did and as a result they made sure they spoke to me about it and when they were going out they invited me more persistently and it made so much difference.
For some people they come to uni and they’re settled from day one, but if that’s not you then don’t feel you need to leave. Sticking out those tough first few weeks paid off for me as I am where I am today. My confidence has improved, I have experiences that I couldn’t have gained anywhere else and I have friends that will be with me for life.
If you feel lonely, let someone know. And if you know someone is feeling isolated, make an effort to invite them out, offer them tea if you’re making it. These little things make the difference just like talking to someone about if you’re feeling lonely. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something new. Join a society. I wouldn’t be working in the students union if it wasn’t for joining the LGBT in my first year and then getting involved in the Philosophy society in my third.
I felt lonely because I felt like the people around me weren’t my friends and we were too different. In reality though, we’d only seen each other a few times over a few weeks and that’s really no time at all. Wait it out if you’re feeling homesick. There are so many more people at ARU then just your course and people in your halls. Staying at uni was the best decision I could have possibly made and it’s hard for me to think back and remember that time when I was dead set on dropping out.
Academic Officer 2012-14