Starting university alone can be scary

By Sophie Orchard, 2nd year BSc Psychology student NTU student

A university lecture hall can be a very scary place to walk into for the first time, especially when you know absolutely no-one that is going to be in the same lecture. I felt so scared to walk into that lecture hall for the first time and felt like I was just going to be alone for the duration of my course because I didn’t know anyone. This was definitely a big worry for me when I first started university. What made it worse for me was that I knew my friends from before university were starting their course knowing at least one person, but I was starting my course at NTU with no-one doing the same subject. It was very lonely. Especially since my entire first year was spent doing online lectures because of the pandemic.

In the weeks leading up to starting my course, I started to get the anxious feelings of “no-one is going to talk to me” and “I’m going to be the only one who doesn’t understand something”. This for me was the boost I needed to start really trying to talk to people and really prepare for my course. I would say the best tip I got for dealing with this anxiety was trying to find Facebook pages or group chats of people in a similar position to me.

I found myself joining the course group chats and following people on different social media websites from the group chats and being able to start conversations with people in the same situation and allowing them to calm my nerves. I quickly stared to realise that I wasn’t alone in my thoughts and that most people felt the same way. I found myself also creating friendships with people and deciding to meet them in the lecture halls so I wouldn’t feel so alone when walking in and actually doing the lecture. From this as well, I found myself making friends with these people and then making friends with the other people that they came to the lectures with. I even found myself just asking the people next to me how they were and asking them about their journey to university and why they chose Psychology.

I realised that I wasn’t alone, and I was fortunate enough that I could talk to people and make friends with people and know that if I felt anxious about something I could tell them, and they would help me calm down and realise that I am not doing it alone.

It’s hard starting university knowing no-one, and it can be hard to put yourself out there. It’s ok to feel like you are alone, but it is important to remember that there is someone going through the same thing or something similar.

For help, advice and resources whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.

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