Sunday, 29 September 2013

Being Homesick..

Helloo - it's an emotional post today on my first week at university - I wrote this article for nu:life magazine and wanted to pop it up on here too..

Moving to university is one of the biggest steps a young person can take in their life, and is also something that many people - including myself - completely underestimate. For months and months, I, along with thousands of other students across the country have redrafted my personal statement more times than I want to remember, anxiously waited for answers from universities and then revised for hours in order to get to the position that I'm in right now, the place I've wanted to be for the last 2yrs. I'm finally at Northumbria University - so why was freshers week one of the hardest, and most testing weeks of my life?

cupcakes from my best friends at home <3
I felt alone. Even with 5 other flatmates, who were absolutely lovely, and thousands of other people that like me, were starting their freshers week, I felt horribly and totally alone. I was putting pressure on myself way too much to go out and get drunk every night even though that doesn't particularly interest me; but what else was I going to do, sit alone in my room all night and be the odd one out? I looked around and saw all these people having an amazing time, laughing and joking, yet I was the opposite - I actually just wanted a hug from my mum and dad! Freshers week is hyped up to be this incredible time where you make all these great friends and have the best nights ever - but in between them are long days to be filled and at times I was just desperate to leave, completely overwhelmed at the entire situation.

Everyone says 'oh you'll be fine once you get there' or 'you are going to absolutely love every minute of university!'..but what if you don't? Does that make you abnormal or weird? My freshers week was a blur of tears, phonecalls home, awkward conversations with strangers(and a hangover or 3) and there were so many times that I wanted to drop out and go home but what good would that do? I couldn't even occupy myself with tasks to stop myself getting upset, because it was almost as if I couldn't let go of the idea of 'home'. The word 'home' for me, comes with connotations of comfort, happiness and familiarity and throughout my first week, I was anything but that in these new surroundings and even with incredible support from my family and friends back at home, I was miserable.

4/5 of my lovely flatmates!

It's not in my character to give up and I was not going to waste weeks of revising for A Levels, plus the sense of achievement of getting good results by dropping out before I'd even given my geography course, and the lovely city of Newcastle a chance. So even though all I wanted to do was sit in my room and cry, I pushed myself to do things that I would usually shy away from, like making conversations with new people and joining societies/groups such as nu:life magazine and with this, not only did I begin to make new friends and build solid relationships with my flatmates, but I feel like I'm beginning to have a sense of purpose in university life, outside of my course.

Freshers week is hard for some people - there's so much time to fill that it becomes overwhelming but surround yourself with people, push yourself to step outside of your comfort zone, phone home lots and from personal experience, I can promise it gets so so much better.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed - I was so excited when I found out it would be published!

Charlotte x

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