Students' and Parents' Experiences

On your way

"So, you've received your A-level results, you've found out if you made it into your first choice, insurance choice, or whether you, like me, have been exceptionally fortunate and got a better course at a better university that you deserved through the magic of Clearing!

And now it has finally hit you.

You are on your way.

With Intro Week in the middle of September, I had less than a month from receiving my results to moving in. The day after getting my results I had received an offer which I accepted, and in a few days after that I had my forms sent to me asking me how I wanted to pay my fees, where I wanted to live and whether I had had all my vaccinations.

Of course, it took a whole week to sort out, organise and fill out those forms and shortly after I had sent them off I received confirmation of my living arrangements, the huge dint shortly to appear in my bank balance and the fun things that the Union had planned for Intro Week.

I was now left with less than two weeks to visit the places I was going to be living, sort out and pack my things to take to University and, of course, say goodbye to my family and friends.

A second visit to Sheffield was very helpful. Now that I knew I was definitely going there, I really took note of the surroundings, the shops and the atmosphere of the place. It made me feel excited and very nervous and the moment I stood outside my Hall of Residence knowing that in a few days it would be my new home was the moment it hit me that I was really and truly going to University.

I am lucky enough to be a relatively confident and independent person so the idea of meeting and living with a whole new bunch of people didn´t faze me. However, as I looked at the mess in my bedroom and tried to decide what parts of my life I wanted to move with me I was more than a little stressed out.

My whole family was so supportive. My mother helped me pack and sort out my things and made sure I had everything; my father drove me to all the places I needed to go to get everything organised; my grandparents took me shopping and gave me some money; even my brother said I couldn't take the Game Cube as I was going away to study. Their support and reassurance helped me a lot.

Saying good bye to my friends was difficult, but I knew that I would keep in touch with the people who mattered most and I was suddenly very grateful for the invention of mobile phones and MSN Messenger.

Moving wasn't as difficult as anticipated; the Halls had residents who helped carry my things and show me around; the JCR gave me and all the other freshers a very warm welcome and I began to make friends straight away.

At the end of the first semester I have learned some valuable lessons: The first is that when people tell you university is the best time of your life, believe them! It's a blast! Second is that you don't need half of the junk you will take with you in you first semester.

Third is that four pairs of high heeled stilettos are not needed, by anyone. And lastly, that University truly is a chance to explore your individuality and meet many new people, making the most of it is not as hard as it may seem when you step out the car when you first arrive."

Jennie Whitwood
First year
MBiolSci Genetics