Living very close to Leeds meant that I did not move into student accommodation but instead had the experience of commuting to university everyday which was easy as I am aware of the area. However, for students new to the city, it is not difficult to find your way around at all and there are many affordable public transport options to help you get from A to B. The area is amazing and there are so many things to do and enjoy that will be within your student budget.
Before I arrived
Starting university can be very daunting and the day before I started, my emotions were all over the place. I was scared about not making any friends but was excited about the new independence that I would gain. I was more at ease knowing that I wasn’t moving away from home, and I also knew how welcoming the university staff would be, so that made me feel more relaxed.
Arriving at university
When I arrived at university on my first day, I was nervous, I can’t lie. I was scared that I was going to get lost and miss the induction, so I arrived a bit early and with the help from staff and signs around the building and campus, I was navigated towards the correct room. Once I knew that I was in the correct room and on time, I felt like the pressure was lifted off my shoulders, and I was relieved and more relaxed.
Adjusting to the new environment and making friends
I still remember my first week vividly. It was very interesting being in a new environment, surrounded by people I had never met before. In the welcome week we played different games to get to know each other better. It was a great way to make everyone feel more relaxed and it was a lot of fun. The first few weeks were full of ice breaker opportunities, which were very useful. It is important to remember that everyone is in the same situation experiencing this new chapter of life and hoping to make friends along the way.
In those first few days, I met some amazing people who I have enjoyed sharing my journey with and have started making good memories with. I think due to my bubbly personality and the fact that I have a little bit of confidence, I was able to engage with other students quite easily. I would say that this is how I made friends as I showed respect to others and in return, they respected me. I found that finding people who had something in common with me was a good start to building on a friendship. It’s important to have a good social life at university as it gives your life balance alongside your studies. Having friends at university is great because you can support each other as well as have fun too.
My commuting experience and travelling around Leeds
I found my commuting journey quite easy and as I am good with directions, it was straight forward and easy to get to the university. One thing to keep in mind when commuting is that with public transport it can get quite busy during rush hour and the journey can be a bit longer than usual but other than that it’s very easy to access and get around Leeds. A positive aspect is that the train station is situated quite close to the university and there are many bus stops near campus that are accessible to students from different areas.
New way of working
It wasn’t a huge change coming to university as I was familiar with the area. The main difference for me from college to university was the new way of teaching and learning. The lectures and seminars were a new learning environment for me, but the process was easy to get used to and I adapted quickly. I was also not used to having to navigate around so many buildings and facilities, but I found it easy to find places within the university and was fascinated with the library and all the different equipment available to borrow to help me and my studies. If you’re looking to find out more about the transition from college learning to university independent study, Caitlin has written a blog all about this topic here.
My experience in my first few weeks at university was great, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my first year and I hope you do too!