First year of University is a lot like riding the Super Tram. At first you don’t really know how to navigate your way around those coloured lines on the map. You can only remember some of the stops as the trams speed around the city and you hop on and off, letting it take you to new and exciting places.
University life is a lot like this; you are given an outline of how your first year should be, you are offered all these thrilling experiences, but, in reality the amalgamation of course deadlines, term dates, lecture times and society meet times, it’s impossible to remember everything going on. In my first few weeks at University, I felt a bit lost. I was struggling to remember when and where I was meant to be.
By the third week of the semester I was definitely overwhelmed. I had missed all of my first society meetings and felt nervous about turning up a week late to them. I would have given up joining a society all together if it wasn’t for a friend in my flat who wanted to go along to the Women’s Committee. So, due to my commitment to a friend, I decided last minute to attend the WomCom.
Because I had missed the first meeting I felt anxious about walking in alone. I stood outside the building, checking my phone obsessively, panicking about what awaited me. I allowed my mind to race ahead of me, imagining the worst possible scenario. I considered a public naming and shaming for being unorganised, not turning up to the first meeting. I thought I could possibly be told off for not caring enough about feminism. I assumed everyone would already be friends and know a lot more about the campaigns and workings of WomCom than I did. But, this couldn’t have been further from the truth.
After 10 minutes of waiting for a friend I decided I had to be brave and walk in alone. Entering the room, the meeting had already begun and I braced myself for hostility. However, I was greeted with a friendly smile and the chair of the committee saying “ooh another person! Let’s all shuffle along to fit you in, what’s your name?”
I already felt included and my confidence grew. The panic I originally had subsided and I found I actually was enjoying myself, even to the point where I ran for the LGBT+ officer that meeting and got the role. No one told me I couldn’t do it because I hadn’t turned up for every session, in fact, I was encouraged by most of the other members there to go for it! Now I am an integral part of this committee and it built my confidence to give any new experience a go which comes my way! Like how I feel about the tram service, though University life is racing around me in a second, I know what stops I am getting on and off at now.