‘You're starting university in January?’ I was bombarded with that question a lot before I came to ARU. Starting in January may seem unusual. However, for me it was the perfect option.
I had been abroad for a while and consequently I was unable to get my student finance sorted in time for a 2018 September start, which was my plan. That meant I had to re-think my options.
I researched courses starting in the New Year and – what do you know? – one of my university choices on UCAS did a January start! I saw hope when I was going through a tough phase in my life.
I did some more research and got everything in place with my college tutor, but then I couldn’t gather the courage to confirm everything with the university (which was ARU, of course). I was so scared. What if they stopped doing January start options?
However, I had no reason to be afraid. I met the requirements and I got my place confirmed at ARU. I moved my whole life from Surrey to Cambridge. It was a new year, new place and new opportunities – it felt like a completely new life and I was excited for what was to come.
After waiting almost a year and half, I made it to my first choice here at ARU. I strongly believe that starting in January brought me luck and gave me the push I needed. I was starting to think my whole life was stuck and had been experiencing anxiety. But the New Year brought some beautiful changes!
As my course continues, I feel my confidence growing every day. We have intimate, smaller classes as well as larger lectures which means my module tutors and lecturers get to know me by name. Initially this helped me learn how to speak in front of a small group of people, which having lost confidence while I was suffering from anxiety, was such a big step.
Now, I am used to it all and I do not mind speaking because my confidence has built up bit by bit. I can speak up after lectures when it is question time, I can attend seminars doing mock court-room arguments, and I can do presentations and discuss cases during tutorials. Every step has helped towards my public speaking abilities, which I think wouldn’t have been possible if I had been overwhelmed in September – starting before I was ready.
For me January start gave me a kick-start and boost of energy. Preparing to start a new chapter in my life in a New Year meant it was the best one yet!
But ultimately, it does not matter whether you start in January or September. If you know what you are prepared and you're comfortable with it, just remember to be easy on yourself and enjoy the ride.
Like Syeda, there are lots of reasons why starting a course in January could make sense for you. Here are ten of them.