Written by Daniel Wyatt
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of St Nic’s.
First year of uni, it’s finished! What a year it has been. It is great to have a whole year where your main aim is making somewhere home and finding the people that do that for and with you. On my train journey home at the start of the summer in my first year, I wrote a letter to one year younger self. (Note: this letter was written a year ago, Daniel is now heading into his third year placement.)
It’s going to be OK!
Nobody is going to make you do anything you don’t want to and you are not going to have to pretend to fit in. That’s the great thing about uni: it’s so big that there will always be people like you. You are going to love first year, make use of every opportunity to play sport, try new things and make long lasting friendships.
You are incredibly lucky that you are going to Nottingham; the Christian scene is unbelievable. There are so many self-confident, exciting Christians who are going to impact your life this year. Get stuck in ASAP. Don’t faff about, just go to St Nic’s, that’s where you want to be. You are going to be given a lot of options in terms of where to invest your time e.g. CU, church, JustLove. Pick your priorities wisely but don’t worry if it changes, that’s OK.
The first couple of months are important, the academic workload is less, so put your efforts in to other things too. A good rule of thumb is that if you go to all your lectures and contact hours, you are probably going to be fine. There will be times where you will work hard but keep the perspective that other things are important like finding good friends and setting the foundations for keeping a steady faith. The weekly CU hall groups are a perfect way to spend time with Christians in your halls. Make sure you find a good quiet time to read your bible too as routine is important at uni. It can be easy to slip into going to bed late, waking up late and not doing much which is fine sometimes, but it doesn’t really make the most of your year.
The tough bits of being at university may be obvious but they are still challenging. You will probably spend more time on your own than you ever have before, even though there are so many people around. The mental health of yourself and the people around you should be a top priority. Everyone is still working out who they are and who they want to be, so it can be a difficult time when home seems far away. If you haven’t seen a friend for a while, send them a message, go out for lunch or plan a trip to the cinema (the Savoy student prices are the best thing since sliced bread!). And swallow your pride if you are the one feeling down and ask for a chat or some time with a mate. It makes all the difference.
The most important thing I can tell you is not to worry, let any anxieties go. You are going to be surrounded be lovely, considerate, brilliant people everywhere you go this year and you are going to smash it.
Your Future Self