So here I am, in a my very messy bedroom, my packed bags are sitting on the floor in front of me all ready to move out with me. I have my new laptop perched on my knee; my fingers are ready to unleash my inner emotions on to the keys. Tonight, for the first time after this, long Summer holiday I’ll have to set an alarm to wake me up in the morning. After 2-3 years of working towards this, tomorrow I will be waking up and making my way to the Medicine welcome lecture. It’s practically a dream come true, all my prayers answered to be starting on this journey; and here I am reflecting on the wild mix of emotions and thoughts floating through my head right now.
So how am I truly feeling about starting university? That is the question.
It’s goes without saying, excitement is sat on the throne right now. There’s something about a new beginning that sends ripples of joy through me. The last year has been difficult and required a lot of hard work and honestly throughout the whole application process I don’t think I ever truly envisaged that I’d make it here. There’s a thrill, a buzz, a sense of purpose that runs through me whenever I think about the fact that all that work was worth the effort and that it’s lead me here – at the gates of my first choice university to study my dream course. Moving out to a new place, living with friends, cooking for yourself…it’s all really exciting; but when I think about starting the course itself that’s what really ignites the spark inside me. I can’t wait to dig right into the anatomy sessions, focusing on every aspect the human body to feed my fascination. Then there’s meeting patients, putting all those acquired communication skills into practise – the reason why Manchester was my first choice Medical School.
Despite all this, I’m sure every single person preparing to begin paving their future through starting university has been a victim of nerves, and understandably so. Up until now, we’ve always been taught in a classroom environment, been taught the information, learnt it and spewed it all out on an exam paper. But studying Medicine is so different to that which brings the triggers the self doubt within you to ask you whether you will be good enough amongst everyone else. Then there’s the anxiety that comes coupled with all the new faces to meet, the worry of fitting in and making friends. And there’s also the unease and hope that you’ll manage to keep up with the fast pace of the course, be able to handle an independent learning attitude and lifestyle.
Though I am really excited to start this new chapter in my life, I can’t help but feel unprepared. I’ve told myself I am going to have the most organised and productive academic year I have ever had, but there are many things I haven’t done yet simply because I can’t. Simple things such as buying stationary, files, notebooks, pens…I don’t really know what I’ll need. I suppose I’m comparing it to starting college when I went out and bought a big arch lever file for each of my 4 subjects and different coloured pens for my notes. That was easy because through my experience of GCSE I had managed to establish a preferred learning style; but here the teaching is so different that I don’t really know how it’d be best to learn anymore. With my GCSEs and A levels I found out the specification I would be studying and ordered a few different textbooks and revision guides for each subject in advance. However, for Medicine I’m completely in the dark. I suppose that’s a good thing in a way though – it’s just a learning curve and chance for me to adventure within myself again.
All I can really say is that I feel a whole mixture of emotions, melted together like marshmallows in hot chocolate. Some good, some not so much, but I know they’ll combine to give me a taste of the university experience. It might be a tough journey but one I am sure I will enjoy every moment of. Moving out to a new place, meeting new people, learning new things – it’s going to be an amazing experience and one I can’t wait to jump head first into!