With hindsight I can see that I had little to worry about regarding Fresher's Week and adapting to university style learning. But as a sixth form student with no family who had been to university, my fears surrounding how I would fit in grew considerably. If you happen to be in a similar situation, I hope that this article goes at least a small way to minimising your concerns.
And that's all well and good, until you realise you're already in the adult world. You're officially a grown up now. It's a whole different world at university, compared to the pampered world of home life. University is meant to teach you many things, but this is five of many things it has already taught me in my first weeks.
So you've decided to move down South - or should I say 'Saaaath'. Congratulations. You are stepping out of your comfort zone and about to embark upon far away lands with tropical climates, you can even take your July to August wardrobe with you in March. Be careful though, you are saying goodbye to anything battered.
Much was exactly the same for a Fresher in Cambridge then, as it is now. Pigeon holes, hand-written names above doors, queues for the showers, toast-related gyp room fire alarms, occasional vomiting in the Scholar's Garden, pub crawls, and total confusion about how to cross from Pembroke St into Mill Lane without getting killed by a cheese delivery lorry.
Your first few weeks are going to be tough no matter how much you prepare for them. But as time goes on it will all become much much easier. As soon as classes start and routine becomes a thing everything will simply fall into place. So try not to over think things and as hard it is just go with flow as everything will turn out okay in the end, I promise!
Imagine the atmosphere in your home, the place you're supposed to feel safest, becoming so unbearable you simply can't stay? This is the reality for far too many young people, and even more are on the brink of disaster. You don't see that moment of crisis coming. You're left not knowing what to do or where to go next.
These projects have definitely raised awareness of the fact that firstly, lad culture and rape culture exist, and secondly that they are an important issue and people deserve to feel safe when they go out. But as the experiences of this years' freshers show, there is still a lot that needs to change.
There is no simple answer to what depression feels like as symptoms often vary in severity from person-to person. However for me, I became aware that my mood was sinking lower and lower and I began to struggle to cope with the academic pressure I was faced with...
Freshers' Week is only a week. We all act like this weird suspension of reality will define us and our entire university experience. It doesn't. Everything settles down and everyone starts to settle into themselves come week three, and that's when the magic happens.
This week I received a Whatsapp message that made me feel depressingly old: "Happy 9th anniversary." It wasn't sent by a loving, long-term partner, but a close friend. She was paying homage to our almost decade-long friendship, after we met during our university Freshers' Week in September 2006. (Yikes.)