So here it is, starting University as a foreign student, having English my second language and terrified what university is going to be like.
When I have arrived for my audition, I was late. It happens, people who have never been to Chichester University do not know there is another campus, where you need to commute (at least I didn’t know), so I was late and I automatically thought it means a bad luck. And here I was, few months later, standing in front of a music building, holding my timetable for the first week and so excited for the three years that were ahead of me.
Fresher’s week was something I had no idea about. I have never done university in my life and I didn’t have many friends who had the experienced ab English university, so I was excited to see something new. I just had no idea it would be this popular.
I remember my first day of University; it was super exciting. I picked the perfect outfit, did couple of pictures and decided to frame one, as a memory on my first day of school, together with a picture from my graduation, as a memory of the last day at school. I arrived enough time in advance, met all the music department fresher’s in this huge building and shout loudly when they announce my academic advisor. You don’t know that time who is going to be your friend, you don’t even know if you like these people but you need to stay open minded. Then you are just moving forward, walking with people who tell you what to do and listen all this information’s that you forget in couple of minutes because it is just way too much. I also had to pick some of my modules for the semester and that was so hard, but also the most exciting thing to do, pick if I want to do British or American musical theatre module. It was like a dream.
You usually have two timetables the first week, you get folder on the first meeting, one is for the university stuff and one for the social life. If you are music geek like me, you will definitely appreciate ‘Open Microphone Night’ where you can just stand out and perform, but let’s start from the beginning.
One of my advices for trying to get most out of it, would be – try everything. I know it sounds cliché but don’t worry if you are going to make yourself to look crazy in front of people, do it properly.
There is society fair, where I signed up for everything last year, and I would do it again. I didn’t even have time later on to do some of them, or you simply don’t like them anymore because you are lazy, but go for everything you like! One of the biggest societies is a Musical Theatre society. So if you are just a little fan of performing, go for it. It will give you endless opportunities to perform. Do you want to do Harry Potter society? Go for it! Do you like to play football? There is a football society too! With lots of societies you will also have plenty of socials, that will just make you have friends, which is great. And probably teach how to drink – if you don’t know how yet. You will meet some people you would probably never meet, as they study something different, but they like things that you do. Most of the societies cost around £1, Cheerleading and sports societies were bit more, but it all depends on specific one, they will tell you all the information’s on the day anyway and even if you sign up, you never have to show up again, but it’s good if you do.
There was another fair, where we’ve just got lots of free stuff, voucher for pizza (because who doesn’t like pizza, right?), coffee, lots of information about places where they hiring in case you are looking for a job etc. That was also really helpful, as you can just discover new options.
They’ve really tried to do something every day, which was great. Nights out were planned too, they were split between Chichester and Bognor so depending on where you live – or where you want to go, you can choose one and go. There are shuffle buses that will take you home, and you don’t have to worry about travelling. Again, you’ll meet lots of people. Money wise it’s so great, but if you are not getting way to crazy it should be fine. But don’t go into your overdraft already.
One of the things that I have learned, it’s that it’s better to don’t rely on money that are not yours. I know Santander has amazing benefits and it is important to enjoy the first weeks, but do you really want to owe money already after first couple of weeks? I like to drink, but I don’t like to wake up next morning feeling guilty that I haven’t been responsible enough and that I have to ask my parents for money because I have spent my weekly pocket money on one night out. University will teach you how to be an adult, you will have to cook, you will have to hand in essays on time, because if you don’t, you are just getting into more and more troubles and who would want that?
Learn to clean after yourself, it will save you unnecessary arguments with your flatmates. Be open to everything and everyone, don’t be scared, because everyone at the University was once a fresher and everyone loved it but was scared just as you might be. If you feel homesick, don’t be scared to tell someone. You don’t have to cry in the corner of your room. Chichester has plenty on to offer, discover it. Don’t spend all days watching Netflix, do things, meet people, discover places, your opportunities, do extra stuff to build up your portfolio and work hard, because after University you will need to head up to bigger challenge such as Life. If you are unhappy, don’t let it be and do something. This is your life, and you deserve the best.
When I moved to Chichester, the first couple of days were not exactly how I wanted them, so I changed it for better - living with 4 boys wasn’t for me, so I have moved away from them and it was the best decision and I had a great first year. Even though not everything had worked the way I wanted and it probably never will, it worked well enough. I have learned that language is not everything and that you always need to put yourself on the first place. So even though I didn’t feel secure and confident at first, I am positive now, and you should be too.
It is hard first days, it is lots of information’s and moving away from home is something completely new and different, but you can do it. It might seem just like a university for some people, but it could be greatest three years of your life. It could the best education you can get. You might meet people you never want to see again, but you could also meet your lifetime friends or people who will inspire you for the rest of your life. Be ready for everything and heads up, people, Fresher’s week is coming soon and everyone in Chichester is ready to welcome you!