Moving to university, away from your family and friends and what you are used to, is quite frankly one of the most daunting experiences of your life. Will you fit in? Will you make friends on your course? What will you do if you don’t? These all seem to be questions that everyone asks before moving out and venturing into the world that is student life! I asked myself exactly these things and now at the beginning of my final year it just seems a bit crazy that I fixated on them so much!
I am in no way the stereotypical student: going out 24/7, turning up to seminars hungover or a lover of the all-nighter in the library. I am organised, I like to go out but I also like to actually turn up to seminars fully conscious but this doesn’t mean I don’t fit in. The point is we all come to university as individuals, with our own likes and dislikes, but we don’t have to morph into someone we are not to fit in. The University of Sheffield has over 25,000 students, all individuals but all a collective at the same time, and so when you put it into perspective it seems silly to even suggest the notion of not fitting in. Yes, it does happen, as a fresher it can be hard to meet like-minded people or you may, like me, struggle with your flatmates, however in a city with such a large student population you will meet people who are just like you.
This notion of a stereotypical student seems to shape who we are to the wider world. But I am in no means one and I think the concept stops us from being individuals. It stops us from shaping our own university experience and making it the best possible few years for us. I am not a typical politics student: I don’t want to go into politics after my degree, I don’t spend my life discussing political issues and I don’t constantly spout political jargon at people in conversations. But when someone asks me what I study automatically I am labelled and nine times out of ten get asked whether I want to become the next Prime Minister.
Students are not all the same and we shouldn’t think we need to be! But then again hindsight is a wonderful thing and if I look back to my first days, weeks and months in Sheffield, I was worried I would have to be. What I wish is that the world doesn’t assume that students fit into a category and we can all be ourselves. And to all new students out there who haven’t found their ‘group’, you will! Be proud to be here and enjoy every moment. I wish I could be a student forever!