My university experience: using support networks

You can’t plan your university experience

However hard you try, you can’t plan how your university experience will go. I came to York questioning whether I would actually make friends. I didn’t anticipate three years down the line proudly viewing some of them as family members!

Build your networks to help you through university life

Coping with homesickness

My first few days were undeniably tough, feeling homesick and trying to work out whether university was the right place for me. I brought this to the attention of my College Tutor, who immediately responded by arranging a meeting with me. Loneliness and anxiety are common amongst freshers. So, I wasn’t alone in these feelings. From here, we planned a few more meetings and a crucial recommendation she gave to me was to talk to my housemates about it. I have to say, this was one of the best pieces of advice I’d received. My housemates and I bonded through these tough times and ultimately made us closer. I now looked forward to coming home after lectures as I felt I had genuine friends who cared about me.

Dealing with change

For me, the biggest adaptation was the leap from first year to second year. My course content became more heavy and specialised terms being more complex to understand. Again, I felt feelings of loneliness as I believed I wasn’t smart enough to be at university. These feelings soon went away after I had my first degree Personal Advisor meeting. My advisor reassured me that there are plenty of opportunities to speak to lecturers and really gain an understanding of the complexities of my course.

Use the University’s support networks

One of the biggest things I have realised throughout my time at university is that there is always support and guidance available. It doesn’t matter what the issue is or how insignificant you feel it is. I can proudly say my confidence has hugely increased since actively wanting to improve my degree and career prospects. This wouldn’t have been manageable without the excellent support I receive from staff, ranging from my degree Personal Advisor to my College Tutor. I feel your time at university is what you make of it. If you were to take one piece of advice from this blog it’s this: reach out for help if you are struggling because you never know what you could learn from other people’s insights.

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I am currently a third year Law student and lived in Langwith in my first year, with my final two years off-campus.