Starting Uni

It’s normal to be nervous when starting uni

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We asked our 100,000 Instagram followers how they felt when they started university. We’ve put together their responses — along with the advice they wished they’d received — and if you can read to the end of this article without someone having felt the same way you do now, make sure to let us know. 

We asked our Instagram followers (@officialuom) how they felt when they first started University and you can slide to see the results.

Hearing the news that you’re coming to Manchester can be exciting (“I feel like I’m walking on the clouds, so excited and happy”), knowing you’re joining an institution with so much history (“Privileged to be part of something so great”) and preparing to experience so many new things (“So excited to begin my studies, meet people and try new experiences”).  

But for many people, there’s mixed emotions: 
Excited yet so nervous
Stressed and excited at the same time” 
Such a mixed feeling. Nervous and anxious but excited at the same time” 

And some people’s feelings speak for themselves: 
 “Like a small fish in a massive lake” 
An entire butterfly colony in my stomach” 

Many students are moving to Manchester for the first time (“Really excited to start my new life but also nervous as to whether I would manage”), leading to “a strong sense of imposter syndrome” (“Anxious, excited, thrilled and homesick all at the same time”). 

But the experiences these students had, led to some great advice for you:

  • Don’t be worried about going out sober. The right group of friends will never make you feel left out” 
  • Be grateful for being able to study at UoM! Student life at UoM is the best part of my life” 
  • Try everything and learn what you do and don’t like” 
  • Get in some green space! Platt, Birchfields, Chorlton, even the Peak District is just a half hour train!” 

And we even got to listen in on what our students would say to their younger selves before starting University:

  • You’re gonna love this place more than you could have ever imagined” 
  • It’s the first time you’re living independently so go easy on yourself if you struggle at first” 
  • Ask questions, be flexible, make mistakes and learn from them!” 
  • Everyone wants to make friends – don’t be afraid to walk up to other freshers and talk” 

However you’re feeling right now, it’s completely normal and just remember that in time, you’ll look back and have advice to give to others from all the memories you’ve made! One student said they felt “scared, out of place” when they came to Manchester but “now it is the only place where [they] trust and feel at home”). 

Students Aidan, Maansi and Irene talk about what they were most worried about before starting their studies at university. They talk about making friends, accommodation and much more, as they battle the misconceptions of starting university!

To be part of this type of content and to see more stories from Manchester students, make sure to follow us on Instagram and TikTok.

You can also find out more about events and support available as a new student on our Welcome and Induction website and this pre-arrival resource — created by staff and students in our Library team — is a great way to get settled in to University life.

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