The Verse’s Phoebe Doolan shares with us her experience moving away from home for the first time in the first instalment of the ‘Freshers’ series.
I feel as though moving to university is one of those changes in life that challenges all parts of you. Not only are you facing the biggest educational change you will ever experience; you are leaving your home, which is so much easier to talk about than it is to actually do.
Being from Liverpool, this wasn’t a little hop to the nearest city for me, it was a 5-hour car journey and a one hundred pound plus train ticket. I was lucky enough that my parents stayed around the area for a few days when I first moved in, but when they left I cried my eyes out in the taxi back to my halls.
That first initial feeling of genuine independence might excite you, but it was something that I found overwhelmingly daunting. I left my first night out at about 10 pm and made up some ridiculous excuse, when really I just wanted to go back to my room and facetime my mum. At the time, I felt like I was the only person who wasn’t loving this ‘fresher’s’ period, and in reality I most definitely wasn’t.
I was so stuck in this negative frame of mind that at one point I thought I was just going to pack my bags and get on a train, and then I went to pick up some herbal tea for my Dad in town (so random but it becomes so relevant). The man who served me asked if I was a new student, and I told him I was and I wasn’t loving being away from home. He told me he moved from Leeds, and that he felt the exact same, and asked me to promise him to give it a while longer.
When I asked him why, he told me that the people that start as friends become family and that I needed to give that time to happen. That was the best advice I could have gotten, and now in my final year at uni, I can say that the days of crying were so worth it. I have grown so much as a person, I am so happy, and I have met some of the most amazing people who I now get to call my family. It’s normal to be sad, but make sure you anticipate the happiness; I promise you it’s coming.