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By Rebecca White

2nd year BU Student, BSc (Hons) Archaeology

It’s hard at the beginning. You’re probably miles from home, you may have never spent more than a week away from your parents, and suddenly you have to make friends, cook your own food, and clean your own room all at once. I was scared. I was away from my best friends, my boyfriend was more than fifty miles away, and I was living with people I’d never met. What was I going to do?

First, talk to people. Don’t be shy. Everyone feels the same! Get to know people, because the odds are you have something in common with whoever is standing beside you. Don’t be scared to get upset: it’s natural! So what if you burned your pasta? You won’t be the first! Try again. Yes, you may have set off the unbelievably loud smoke alarms all over the house, but hey: it wasn’t an actual fire. It could be worse.

Suddenly you’re in a big room where  “Professor Someone” is talking nineteen to the dozen at you about something you think you recognise but you aren’t sure, and there’s about a thousand panicky thoughts drowning out whatever they just said about a virtual learning environment… Oh no , was I supposed to cover the whole reading list before I got here? I thought that was just for reference! Should I be writing this down? The person next to me is writing it down…but how do you even spell that? Am I on the wrong course? It’s okay, the first year is about getting everyone to the same standard – just try to keep up, and make notes. And don’t just copy down the powerpoint! That’ll all be online. Focus on what they’re saying and learning from them!

After a month or two, most people find they’re completely settled in, with your fears behind you, and first assignments done. Before you know it, your first year is over. You have to leave your new best friends and go home, and adjust to someone else cooking actual vegetables for you – when was the last time you saw a carrot? You probably can’t wait to go back.

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