- Get Involved
Coming from a small town in the West Coast of Scotland, I moved to uni with dreams of all the things that I would do, all the societies and bands I would join, but in reality, it took me until the 1st semester of my second year to join the Aberdeen University Concert Band. In my first year, I was a member of the Economics and Business Society but because I didn’t really know anybody else who went to the events, I didn’t go and it became a vicious cycle – I didn’t want to go because I didn’t know anybody so didn’t go so I didn’t get to know anybody. I have played the trumpet since I was eight so I was beginning to miss wind band concerts and the feeling of taking part, so at the start of this semester, I bit the bullet and joined the AUCB. My only regret was not joining it sooner. The people I have met are such a laugh and I really look forward to Tuesday nights to catch up and see what’s happened in their week. It’s also getting me back into playing again which after not being very active for a year has done me the world of good.
- Your friendships from home may change (and that’s fine)
Uni life is not for everyone so it’s inevitable that some of your friends may stay at home and find a job or an apprenticeship because it suits them better. People that you thought you’d be best friends with for life may start to drift, and people that you weren’t that close to in school may become your best friend. Moving away from home is a big change and it can be tempting to just stick to who you’re comfortable with, even if it’s not the best friendship but the beauty of uni is meeting new people and creating beautiful new friendships with people that were strangers a year ago. (On the same hand, your new friends can come from anywhere – if you get put in a flat with people you just do not get on with, that’s not the end of the world. All student accommodation companies want you to feel safe and comfortable with your flatmates and living situation, so please do go and see them if you have any issues.)
- Your flatmates become like family
Once you choose who you’re going to live with and get your own flat, you can be certain that they’ll see you at your worst and they’ll see you at your best. Boundaries will be crossed, you’ll have full blown conversations whilst one of you is in the toilet with the door open, you no longer have your own possessions, everything is shared. This goes for makeup, clothes, shoes, chargers, laptops, bags, speakers, you name it. You each have a thing that you do for one another because you’re rubbish at it yourself, whether it’s doing their eye makeup, sticking on their lashes before a night out, curling their hair or making them lasagna even though you’re vegetarian because they’ve never cooked mince before at the age of 21…You do everything together, from going out to weekly trips out to the “Big Tesco” at Danestone to making dinner to studying (aka sitting distracting each other). You feel comfortable enough to tell them when you’re annoyed because they’ve left a pineapple out and attracted fruit flies, or they’ve left the milk out by the kettle for the 14th time that day.
- You’ll miss things you never thought you’d miss about being home, then when you’re home, they’ll drive you crazy
I’m talking that about radio programme your mum insists on listening to every night at 7 pm, or the sound of your sister’s phone pinging every 12 seconds because she doesn’t put it on silent or the smell of your mum’s perfume. I’m not saying that you’ll be shut in your room crying from being homesick every day, but sometimes you’ll hear things or see things and you’ll get this weird nostalgic feeling of being back home. You’ll see a dog or a cat and feel a horrible sad feeling because whilst they’re cute, they’re not your dog and you know you’re going back to a petless flat. However, that is not to say that when you are home for Christmas, your parents will drive you up the wall. You will no longer be able to go out without hundreds of questions about where you’re going, who you’re going with, why you’re going, when you’ll be home…you get the idea. Whilst I love my family to bits, they don’t half drive me round the bend over uni holidays.
- Explore your new home
I had lived in Aberdeen for over a year before I finally made it down to the beach. There’s so much to explore when you move away, and this city is going to be your home for the next 4 years at least, so just get out and see what there is to see. Learn about the history of the place you’ve moved to and even check out the places to eat and drink. One of the things I love most about Aberdeen is the cute little coffee shops, cafes and bars that we have, for example, JoJo’s and Books & Beans on Belmont Street, or Jam Jar which is just tucked away off Union Street. There are so many new places to try, so it’s more than worth going to a few, and not just sticking to what you know.