The idea of moving to university was incredibly daunting - I’d be six hours away from home with no friends or family nearby. I had no idea what to expect and wasn’t sure how I’d cope! Luckily, UCLan had all kinds of support available.
As soon as I received my accommodation offer (and things began to feel real!) I began preparing to start university. I found the welcome checklist on the UCLan website helpful for this. As a person with anxiety, it was nice to have all the information I needed in one place.
I joined the course and accommodation Facebook groups set up by the university. I shared my flat number in the group, hoping to find my future flatmates. Within days I’d had a response and I'd found five of my six flatmates! They were second-years, some of whom were studying the same course as me. I had made a note in my application about my anxiety and so was grateful to be paired with people who could show me around and give me the ins and outs of both my course and university life. We created a group chat to discuss who’d bring what and where we were going out for freshers. This helped dispel some of my fears - I felt like I’d already made good friends and I hadn’t even stepped on campus yet!
Of course, the time did come for me to arrive, and I was greeted at Roeburn Hall by lots of helpful Student Ambassadors and staff. The fact that everyone moves in to UCLan accommodation on the same day made it feel like a whole event. It was nice to be around so many other first years moving away from home too. There were loads of events on throughout the year - film nights, treasure hunts, pizza parties. They were great excuses to do things with your flatmates as well as meet people in other flats. The communal common room was also great for this. I met so many new people just by hanging out and I could barely recognise myself by the end of the year. Moving hours away from home and into student accommodation seemed like the scariest thing ever, but it did absolute wonders for me. It allowed me to come out of my shell and helped my confidence massively.
I applied to university thinking my anxiety would get the best of me. I’m now in my third year and on two sports teams, working as a Student Ambassador, and still living with my first-year flatmates (who are also still my closest friends!).