By Meghna Amin
This time last year I was stuck in the middle of what at the time seemed like a never-ending stream of exams with no light at the end of the tunnel. This was followed by the unbearable wait for results, and even worse, the unbearable wait for UCAS to update and tell me whether I’d got into Durham. I never would’ve been able to imagine what university life would be like a year on from then, and looking back on this last year seems just as crazy when I think of everything that’s happened.
I never would’ve been able to imagine university life
Whilst I can happily say I have grown more used to ‘adulting’ and general university life over the year, be it finally learning to cook something other than pasta, changing the bed sheets by myself or plucking up the courage to make reservations over the phone, the overwhelming feeling nearly everyone had on the first day of Freshers’ has definitely lasted. Durham does finally feel like home, but there’s always so much going on.
I still encounter novelty in many forms. I constantly meet new people, still have an endless list of bars and restaurants to try, and my timetable remains a stubborn mystery.
Even now, there is so much excitement in my student experience. Every Klute night might be the same, but nothing else seems to be getting old. Aside from the social aspect of university (definitely one of the best parts), the actual degree and learning part isn’t so bad either. The leap from sixth form to university was massive; in the first few weeks I thought I’d never be able to manage the academic expectations at Durham. When I compare how I felt in the first few lectures to how I feel now, it’s clear that things aren’t as hard as they first seem. Eventually, the fear subsides.
The actual degree and learning part isn’t so bad either
In many ways, at the end of my first year I don’t even feel like a fresher anymore. A regular seat in the library and all. Homely as Durham may feel to me, I still have much to explore. The many societies and events leave me with so much to do over the next two years.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about my first year of university, but there are always some ‘what ifs’ about joining societies and attending events like Hummus Fest, and so much promise for the years to come. All I can think about is how quickly the year has gone, and all the things I’ll have to cram in and take advantage of in the coming years, even when I’m not so ‘fresh’ anymore.
Illustration by Navya Lobo