Label volunteer Grace Vinzia shares her experience of her first few months at university

Seeing my parents drive away from my accommodation was always going to be the most daunting part of coming to University. Heading back to my newly decorated room and sitting alone on my bed in complete silence for the first time in 18 years, brought me emotions difficult to express in words. My chest tightened, remembering that I wouldn’t be able to see my parents every day. But, my mind bubbled with excitement at the thought of what the University experience had in store for me.

*Cue the feeling of guilt, and trying not to cry yourself to sleep every night for the next month*

Part of growing up is spent fantasising about what it would be like to be an adult, living alone, and making our own choices. What it would feel like to ‘leave the nest’ for the first time. Truth be told, having the freedom to make every decision is both an overwhelming and exciting feeling. Suddenly, we don’t have our parents keeping an eye out for us, complete independence- but it’s not as blissful as you’d imagine. Moving to University meant living 5716.6 miles away from my family. Still, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make once I started getting a taste of adulthood. Consequently, though the excitement of starting a new chapter in my life was present, the pangs of sadness of leaving them behind did not get any easier for me.

Nonetheless, the silver lining is that University allows us to grow into our independence in a way living back home cannot allow. Making mistakes in your first week of University or even in your third year is part of the growing process towards becoming a mature adult. The learning experience that University offers students is unmatched. In many countries, such as the UK, moving out to pursue higher education holds a symbolic and cultural meaning. The ability to learn to manage food, money and studies at the ripe age of 18-19 changes you for the better. Hence why certain pros of studying away from home are often overlooked. Socialisation is often neglected to benefit from the fact that we grow through experience.

However, humans are infamously social creatures. We require constant conversation to form connections with others. University is not necessarily lonely; you can make friends, close friends that you can cherish, love and make memories with. Nonetheless, the hardest thing for me was realising I had no one to whom I could spill all of my silly little thoughts and rants. I can no longer spill drama to my mum or sit and profile all of the Star Wars characters, in detail, to my dad.

So maybe University can be lonely at times. It cannot always be shopping days and coffee dates. There will be times when you are sitting by yourself at your desk in your room, eating alone. But it doesn’t change that being in University and stepping into the ‘grown-up’ world for the first time is probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Edited by: Caitlin Phillips – Lifestyle editor

Header designed by: Will Agar – Design Volunteer


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