What I was surprised by when starting university

Jamie Smith

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Life Sciences
Course: BSc (Hons) Forensic Science
Category: Student Blogs

10 February 2019

When you first start university you come with a lot of expectations, some good and some bad but overall a sense of apprehension of the unknown.

When I started, like most students (I think), I was surprised by lots of things. Honestly, mostly I was surprised by how right my friends who had already gone to uni where about my first few days:


“Everyone’s in the same boat”

“You’ll be surprised by how quickly you meet people”

“You will not need more than two plates because you won’t wash up any more than that!”

“No, you cannot live on instant noodles”


And seriously, all of these were so accurate!


But there were some surprises that are maybe a little more personal to me – well until now…


Everyone builds university up to be some life changing, social butterfly moment where it’s all glitter and unicorns and lovely things. My biggest surprise was that for me, it wasn’t – and at this point it’s worth noting, that that was absolutely okay with me because that wasn’t the experience I wanted. Everyone’s experience is so personal and it’s important to note that your version of university is totally okay – as long as you’re happy.


I was also completely surprised by how easy it was to rock up to an event alone and meet people. Just because you don’t know anyone yet – doesn’t mean you won’t find your people if you go to an event alone. There is no shame in going to try out a club or society alone – you’ll meet so many like-minded people there!


Finally, my last surprise was how quickly I adapted to student life. There’s nothing you can’t learn if you’re willing to ask (and what everyone else doesn’t know – that’s what Google is for right?)


If you’re reading this and you’re thinking you’re not sure how you’ll cope. There is such a huge array of support systems in place. Please go seek them out. The university website is full of help and support.


You are not the first and will not be the last student that needed help at ARU. No one will be judging you. I hope you have the best time.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.