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5 things I wish I knew before starting uni


Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Life Sciences
Course: BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour
Category: Animal sciences

2 September 2022

I think most people going to uni feel slightly nervous about the fact that you’re moving to a different city and will be surrounded by lots of new people.

1- How quickly and easy it is to make friends

I think that was my top worry before starting because my confidence is not the best when it comes to creating new friends. However, within the first night I made so many friends and within a couple of weeks I had made some great friendships who I still to this day am really close to and consider my best friends now. Me and five other girls who I met within the first couple of weeks are all now moving into a house this September! Everybody is in the same boat, the majority of people are so welcoming.

2- It is not as stressful as you most probably think

University is not going to be the easiest thing but before I started, I always thought the studies at university was going to be very overwhelming to an extent by the timetables being everyday 9am-4pm. This is not the case. I know everybody timetables differ to what course they are studying but my course (animal behaviour) and a lot of my friends all had at least one day off in the week and some days may even finish at lunchtime or you may have a later start on one day. My timetable in year 2 is also quite like this. This really helps me because it allows me to have the time during the week to get all my revision, work on essays and extra work done so I don’t have as much to do on the weekends and late in the evenings.

3- Try go to as many freshers events as possible

What made me feel involved, connected, and settled into Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin was just going to as many freshers’ events as possible. I made some good connections with people and had so much fun whilst being there. Whether it be a freshers’ fair, events at night clubs, sporting events etc. if somebody invites you somewhere or the university advertises it , I encourage you to just go, unless obviously you really don’t feel like it. I just felt like keeping busy doing things really helped me settle in during the first few weeks.

4- You don’t need to be fully prepared

Before moving to Cambridge, I was really panicking if I had everything I needed and was worried if I didn’t it would be the end of the world! When I did move, I did realise that I had maybe forgotten some things or needed some things, but this was easily solved because I just ordered whatever it was I needed online or went to the shops and bought it. For this September when I move back to Cambridge, I feel so much more relaxed. I have got my essentials things I need but everything else I am just going to purchase when I am moved in.

5- Your friends back home

I was upset about leaving my friends that I have at home when moving to Cambridge just in case I ended up drifting from them etc. However, this was not the case. I was always on FaceTime to my friends; a couple of my friends also came up to Cambridge to stay with me for a couple of days. I also went home quite frequently but I do only live 1.5 hours away. The Christmas break is also around 4 weeks long, Easter break is 2 weeks and my summer break in my first year was from April - end of September! So in the holidays you have a chance to go home and see your friends and family for quite a long time!

Bayleigh is studying Animal Behaviour at ARU in Cambridge. To find out more about our degree courses and student life at ARU, book your place at an Open Day.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.