University really does become your home. There’s no denying that – and the people you share this experience alongside will almost become your strange second family.
You work together, wake each other returning from nights out, burn pizza together, attempt to make pancakes on pancake day, celebrate birthdays, pick each other up when you’re stressed about work, steal each other’s milk and offer them the rest of your chocolates when your jeans are getting too tight.
Whether they are your course friends, your sports teammates, library acquaintances, the dinner ladies in the dining halls, or your next door neighbours – all these people add to your university life; and for the good and the not-so-good times, it wouldn’t be the same without them.
However, one thing I can guarantee coming to university will do, no matter if you’re a 6’4 rugby guy or a girly girl, you will 100% appreciate home more when you go back. For me personally, I am a huge family orientated person. My family has always been very very close and I know the thought of separating myself from this when applying to university was a scary one. I kept talking myself in and out of it – some people out there probably couldn’t wait to get away from home, but that wasn’t me.
But honestly, when you get here, you will be so glad you made the leap and put yourself out there. There is so many opportunities and so many learning experiences available; a lot of the time I find I’m so busy and time is just flying by.
And often when the weekends come around, I go home. Not everyone does; I have friends who stay at Loughborough from one term to the next; I’ve even spoken to people who haven’t even left campus across a whole semester, because honestly there is no NEED to, everything you could need you can get from within our lovely Loughborough bubble! That’s what we call the campus… because it is easy to forget there is a real world going on outside of the ‘bubble’!
But I only live an hour’s drive away – just outside Birmingham – and with my car here in Loughborough with me, it just makes it so easy! I love my home comforts – you can’t beat your mom’s cooking, lying in front of the fireplace with your dog and having your washing done for you too! I feel like these little visits home are something which keeps me going, something different to look forward to, a place to relax after a busy week of lectures.
I am going home next week to watch my sister’s dance competition and for her birthday – things I wouldn’t want to miss – and as long as I’m organised then there is really no reason to miss these special events! Of course, there are weekends when I don’t go home because I need to get some work done (I find I focus better at Uni) …but the reality of it is, if there’s ever a need to get back, home really isn’t that far away. I even had a friend last year who flew back to Egypt for her birthday weekend. It may seem like a big distance before you come here but even my friends from all the way in Yorkshire or Blackpool for example, still visit home regularly – and their parents come to visit often too.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, yes it’s different and yes it’s initially overwhelming but it’s something which pushes you outside of your comfort zone – and this is where the magic happens – experiencing things you never even thought of. Honestly, sometimes I just sit back at uni, even in the smallest situations, and just think – if someone told me I would be here doing this two years ago I wouldn’t have believed them.
So as you are all receiving your university offers back and being worried about the location of your university and the daunting thought of leaving home – because that is completely normal – just consider that Loughborough is very well connected and even when it does become your second home your real home isn’t all that far away.