For the past two weeks I’ve been settling into my new student home here in Sheffield but, despite the fact I’m entering into my second year now, it still feels as though I have a lot of catching up to do. Last year I was a commuter student, travelling to and from my hometown of Rotherham, which is about ten miles north of Sheffield (for those of you who followed me as I experimented with various types of transport in an effort to figure out the most suitable, cost and time effective form of travel, I finally grasped how to use trams, which was ironic as they stopped working immediately after my breakthrough for ‘improvements’. Parking never worked out, and buses turned out to be incredibly unreliable. So, in the end I just stuck to using trains.). As you can probably imagine, then, it’s been quite a big change for me. What I’ve come to recognise, though, is that university life is profoundly multifaceted: it is as much about developing yourself as it is about deepening your understanding of a subject you love.
As much as I’ve been ready to move out and embark on what feels like a new chapter of my life, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been experiencing bouts of homesickness. I know home is only half an hour away, but that is really not the point. I could be living three hours away and I’d still feel the same; I suppose it has more to do with the fact that I am on my own. I mean, I’ve always led a very independent lifestyle; embracing all the new responsibilities I now have (i.e. food shopping, doing my own washing etc.) hasn’t been difficult. What has been strange is adjusting to living with people my own age. (That and accepting I can’t just text mum to make me a cup of tea – I have to actually make it myself…) If I didn’t move out at this stage in my life, though, I think it would have been much harder later, so I’m glad I have. It will get easier, I know it will. Things just take time and change, as awful as it may seem, can be overwhelming, but a bit of perseverance does the job. For any of you lovely new freshers (or anyone, really) who have just moved here and are feeling rather homesick, too, you’re definitely not alone. Stick at it; it gets better.
In terms of how I’m getting on, everything seems to be going ok! I’ve discovered a nice little fruit and vegetable store about fifteen minutes away from where I live, and I the university gym is only down the road, so I suppose I don’t have much of an excuse not to stay healthy whilst I’m here. I will let you know how things go soon.
#YouAreNotAlone – A Mental Health Matters campaign recognising that everyone experiences freshers differently.