My name is Amelia, I am a 2nd year diagnostic radiography student at Teesside University. The course I am studying is a health and care course, which means that my university experience is slightly different to most as half of my course is based in hospital placement. Diagnostic Radiography, simply put, is taking x-rays and other medical images (such as ultrasound) to aid in medical diagnosis. In this blog, I will be writing about my experiences and how I dealt with transitioning into student life, including moving away from family, experiences leading up to the move, switching to university style learning, and learning about the universities opportunities for students.
One of my main feelings I had before coming to university was worrying how easily I would transition to student life, making friends, going out, and providing for myself. These worries played on my mind before starting, but with the rush of freshers and the realisation that everybody around me felt the same way made it easier to transition. Societies, clubs and events (and all of the freebies!) was a way of getting to know likeminded people, especially as I am a keen climber and badminton player, these clubs made making new friends easy and quick within the first few weeks. Moving into my university flat was the first true experience of university life for me and decorating to my taste made an empty room more comforting – so one of my main tips for starting is to take some personal things that can make your room feel your own!
In the beginning I found it easiest to make good friends with the people I was sharing my accommodation with, this included the ones I shared the common/kitchen room with but also with the other flats above and below mine. This was the first group of friends I made and so it made it easier to go to university events and parties during the week with a small group which then made it even easier and more comfortable to make more friends at the social events.
The structure of each university course is always different, but one of the main differences between university studying and education before university is the amount of self-studying that needs to be completed in your own time, and the lecture style format and note taking is strange at first, but easy to get a hang of, especially as most lectures are recorded so can be replayed to help with home study.
At first moving away from family was a little difficult, due to having to remember to do everything for yourself, including shopping, cooking, arranging transport, and many other things that we don’t think about when living at home, so one thing that I wish I knew before coming to university was how useful writing lists and plans were for day to day activities as well as incredibly helpful for budgeting – as money can go quickly when having fun so keep an eye on it! Also keeping a planner or calendar, this is very useful for keeping track of assignments and exams, but also for remembering club socials and parties – so get yourself one before you start!
Other things that I wish I knew before starting is that universities offer jobs that even first years can apply for, which is a great way of getting money that will not only make your life easier but also the flexible working hours allow work to fit around your schedule. The university offers advisors for many different areas of student life, so by looking into what the university offers is a very helpful thing to do in freshers’ weeks.
As a second year, I honestly know how you must be feeling leading up to university, and it has been some of my best years so far, and although transitioning seems worrying, within a couple of hours, weeks, months, you will feel at home and start making good friends and experiences. My top tip for university is to get involved with lots of things and most of all have fun!