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My biggest fear about university vs the reality

Our students talk about the worries they had before coming to university – and what it was actually like when they got here.

My fear: ‘Not knowing what I was doing’

Leah Jebson, marketing student

Leah Jebson, marketing student

‘I was worried I’d get here and have no idea what was happening.’

The reality

‘When I got here, everything was really clear. You get loads of support, you have a set timetable for your first week, and you know exactly what you're doing.’

My fear: ‘Having a horror flatmate’

Cameron Rigg, food and nutrition student
Cameron Rigg, food and nutrition student

‘I was worried I wouldn’t get on with my flatmates.’

The reality

‘You turn up and everyone’s in the same boat and you just get on with it. Me and my housemates all bonded really quickly.’

My fear: ‘Not making friends’

Ameena Naushahi, fine art student

Ameena Naushahi, fine art student

‘I was worried it would be hard to meet people with the same interests as me.’

The reality

‘I met some really cool people by joining societies. Find a common interest with other people and you will make friends quickly.’

My fear: ‘Starting student life in a new country’

Maria Pieri, public health and nutrition student
Maria Pieri, public health and nutrition student

‘I come from Cyprus, so my first day at Hallam was also my first day in a new country. Obviously I was nervous.’

The reality

‘As soon as I got here everyone was really supportive and I had lots of chances to meet people in Welcome Week. Local people are really friendly as well. When you see people smiling in the shops it makes a big difference.’

My fear: 'Being homesick'

Simy Choudhary

Simy Choudhary, business student

'I've never lived away from home before so I was worried I'd be really homesick.'

The reality

'I was a bit homesick at first, but once you're settled in you don't think about it. My advice is: don't go home for the first month, even if you really want to. If you go home, when you come back you lose the momentum of where you were before. Stay here and get involved.'

My fear: 'The work being too hard'

Natalie Sheen

Natalie Sheen, business student

'I was worried I wouldn't like the course. I thought it might be really hard and different to what I was used to.'

The reality

'I needn't have worried. As soon as I got here, I realised it was the best thing I'd ever done. It was brilliant.'

My fear: 'Not making friends'

Rachel Measures

Rachel Measures, media student

'I was nervous about making friends.'

The reality

'Everybody's in the same boat and you just have to push yourself to talk to people! After the first couple of days you're fine. You start to meet people and find your little group of likeminded friends.'

My fear: 'Adapting to a new country'

Xingyue Zhao

Xingyue Zhao, business student

'When I first came here I had no idea if I could adapt to British life – everything was totally new for me. The first time I did some group work with four UK students, I was worried they wouldn't want to talk to me.'

The reality

'I told them this and they all said not to worry and were really welcoming.'

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