My first two weeks at University
As we all know, 2020 has been a hectic year with the Coronavirus pandemic affecting each of our lives in one way or another. Add to that starting University and moving to a completely new area for new students who will have some deeply covered-up nerves about fitting in or first impressions. Existing students will also feeling the nerves as they now have to contend with more focused studies amid an ever-changing pandemic. This is a summary of how I have fared in my first two weeks of University life.
I live an hour away from the University of Derby but I have visited a few times before this year’s beginning. Having to book a time was slightly stressful due to the website crashing multiple times as a result of so many people being on the same server at once. I eventually finished and managed to book a morning slot for Saturday the 19th.
Flatmates moving on different or the same days worked to build anticipation. You discuss what you think they will be like in person along with so many other topics. I will discuss this tip further below but finding some way to know your future flatmates on social media is very helpful. If you aren’t able to find everyone or anyone at all, it is not the end of the world. Just bring yourself and have the confidence to assure yourself that you will find a way to have a great time.
A Preview into Online Learning
The induction process took place online this year for obvious reasons. It may have been just an induction week, but it served as a preview for what most of the run-in to Christmas time will look like if Coronavirus is still around. I was able to meet my tutors and experience a calm atmosphere at our sessions. Communication was top-notch on the sides of both the lecturers and the students. Most online sessions had a cut-off time of 4:00/4:30 in the afternoon, meaning we could still build a connection with our flatmates after the sessions.
I arrive at University from college, where my final project involved mostly updating my media blog with research and planning as the pandemic forced most places of education to transition online. It was tough at first as you have to determine yourself when you’re finished and are able to move onto the next task. Regardless of the course you are or intend to study, online sessions will work to your benefit as the student resources will be tailored around you working independently and in your own time.
The Freedom you have and the Increased Responsibility
Now for the fun part! I am about to quote one of the Spiderman series’ most memorable lines so hear me out. ‘With great power comes great responsibility‘ really applies to Uni life. You are your own person at Uni and so many opportunities are open for you. If you can sort a consistent budget for the things you do need like food, water and living items like washing-up liquid and toilet paper, then you are free to have a night of fun. Derby benefits from having everything in such a close proximity in terms of both general shops and the local pubs and restaurants, allowing for fun nights out without the hassle of a long trip to get to your location.
However, if you don’t get out of bed on time or decide not to communicate with someone from a society you are interested in joining, that door will be shut in the future. Misjudge how much you can do and you will end up in difficult situations like staying up late doing work that needs to be handed in, not getting into pubs or having lulls of depression or anxiety. Misjudging your power occurs if you, for instance, put off doing work or decide to not go shopping for the day.
To Wrap up…
Being at University means you have to grow up, and quickly. You can still have fun and games, and go crazy in doing so, but making the time for work and shopping will make you an all-round successful student. I realised pretty early that if I wanted to do a particular task, like buy more cereal or wash my clothes, I have to sort it out myself and though your parents can help, they can only do so much in the instructions menu before you are left with the controller.