Nine fears every fresher has… and why you shouldn’t worry

We’ve nearly made it to September and freshers’ week is less than a month away.

If you’re one of those who are just about to start university you’ll be getting a worrying feeling in your gut about a whole load of things.

To help put your mind at rest, Unifresher has put together this list of common pre-uni fears which should show your panicky state is absolutely normal…

1. Money

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Finally being cut off from the bank of mum and dad, at least in terms of providing free sustenance every night in the form of a home-cooked meal, can be a worrying prospect. Everybody is worried about the hole they’ll be burning in their wallet throughout freshers’ week, and during those first few heady nights of clubbing you may well be splashing the cash in an effort to get drunk as quickly as possible. But everyone struggles with this – your student loan will help you out more than you think, communal meals will help you eat for cheap, and you’ll quickly find the most budget, paint-stripper-tasting alcohol around to ensure that you’re getting better bang for your buck.

2. Independent living

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Perhaps the most daunting aspect of the whole university transition stage is the fact you will now be living independently, out on your own in the big, scary world. It can be very weird not having any parents or guardians to report to or be home for most nights, but you’ll quickly find it’s liberating being in charge of your own affairs for the first real time. Deciding when to go to bed and when to eventually wake up can be a decision easily abused during first term (i.e. late, and late), but when you’ve got your morning routine down and can stroll to lectures on time to learn about things that (hopefully) interest you, it can be a very fulfilling feeling to do it all on your own.

3. Making friends

This is by far the most common worry we hear about in prospective undergraduates, the fear you’ll turn up to university and not find anyone you get along with or who likes you. While this is definitely an understandable anxiety to have when you’re driving up into a new city and leaving everything you know behind, it’s also an incredibly silly one in reality. Everybody is worried about exactly the same thing when they arrive at uni, and everybody is also incredibly keen to meet new people and generally eliminate this fear from their very first minute of arriving. Just relax, make sure you don’t shut yourself away in your room, and go and meet the people on your floor, and you’re guaranteed to make friends in no time at all.

4.. The work

Another fear we frequently hear is being overwhelmed by the increase in workload compared to secondary school or college. University is definitely a step up from secondary school, and you may well find the initial barrage of work you’re tasked with quite overwhelming. What makes this bearable, however, is the fact that everyone will be in the same boat. There’s no secret trick for added challenge, so you can rest assured that if you’re finding you have a lot more reading to do than you’re used to, everyone else is too.

5. Where to sit in lectures

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This is another unnecessary fear that lots of people have before they actually get to university and see it was unfounded. Many prospective freshers are concerned about not having anyone to sit with in lectures and seminars, but it’s totally fine and normal to just go and make new friends by sitting wherever you please. People need to chill out about coming across as weird in the first few weeks of uni – it would be weirder to just end up sitting on your own because of a silly worry about approaching people.

6. Bad hallmates

Dwelling on the thought of moving into a hall or flat with randomly allocated students, and ending up hating them, is justifiable. Sadly, you’re almost guaranteed not to like everyone you’re forced to spend your first year with. Happily, though, the weirdos, douchebags and flat-out inconsiderate people you’ll be forced to take out bins, cook and share a bathroom with will provide a fun common enemy that’ll only strengthen your friendships with the excellent people you are guaranteed to meet.

7. Missing family/friends

Moving to university can be the first time that many people are away from their friends, family or home for an extended period of time. As such, homesickness sets in for a lot of people. Again, though, this is a very normal occurrence in first term, and there will be a lot of people who are all sad about this very same thing. A good counter to this is just throwing yourself into the university experience as much as possible – it’s easy to forget your independence blues when you’re having a great time with new friends in
a new place. You can also make the odd trip home, or your family and friends can come and visit you – it’s not like you’ve moved to prison!

8. Cooking

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Cooking for yourself can be an amusingly daunting challenge for many people in their first term at university. It’s a sure-fire way to tell who’s been living more sheltered lives before venturing out into the great unknown, and who has some of the more basic life skills already sorted. We’ve heard people ask how to scramble eggs, how to cook pasta (some people were unaware that this required water) and, perplexingly, how to operate a kettle in our time in halls, so unless you’re lucky enough to be self-catered, don’t expect everyone to have any culinary mastery – or even any know-how. For those of you who don’t fancy yourself to be a chef extraordinaire, there’s no better time to learn to cobble together meals for yourselves than the dietary laboratory that is a university hall’s kitchen.

9. Being in a new city

A lot of you will be moving to a new city when you start university, and that can be a pretty scary combination of new factors to contend with at once. Common fears involve getting lost on nights out, struggling to find your way around to get to your lectures, and trying to adapt to not only quite a big lifestyle change but also a geographical one. But moving to a new city is something you should embrace – it’s not often you get a whole new place to explore and so many like-minded people to do it with, so get out there and make the most of your new area. Try to experience as much of the local scene as possible, and make sure you find some new favourite pubs and restaurants to take your friends to when they visit!

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