From the minute you start the University process your mind starts to worry about a whole range of things. For me, ‘What if I’m the only one…’ was the start of all the questions that stuck in my mind, and even throughout university, new questions popped up, all starting the same. Below is some of the questions I found I was asking myself, and the responses I now have to those questions!
What if I’m the only one…from my hometown?
Not knowing anyone from your area who is coming to the University of Brighton adds to the worry about settling in. Some of me was excited to start a whole new chapter of my life when I moved to Brighton, but another bit of me worried about not making close friends, like the ones I had at home, here in this new town.
Truth is, being the only one from your hometown does impact your first week, but it actually doesn’t make a difference in the long run. It can be a blessing going with people you know to university, as you immediately have someone to chillout with, but actually university is about pushing your boundaries and taking a leap. Going to a university where you don’t know anyone, pushes you to get out and make new friends and broaden your friendship circle straight away.
What if I’m the only one…who hasn’t found a house yet?
Finding accommodation is one of the hardest challenges of being a student and is even harder in your first year if you don’t know anyone. The University are really good about helping you find a home though and offer multiple approaches to help you along.
House Hunting Guide – Previous students of the University of Brighton have written a guide to help you find your new home and make sure that you have considered all angles before signing a tenancy agreement. This guide can be found here: https://staff.brighton.ac.uk/ahs/Publicdocs/House%20Hunting%20Guide.pdf?_ga=2.199354342.974881421.1548108005-1274507519.1536007631
House Hunting Fair – The University runs housing fairs which are opportunities to meet local estate agents and landlords offering a variety of properties in the local area to the University campus. These are also a great place to meet other students still looking!
House Hunting Advice – The University Accommodation Office are contactable by phone, email and Facebook and can offer really useful house hunting advice for Brighton, they can even check over prospective tenancy agreements before you sign them to make sure everything is legitimate.
House Hunting Facebook Group – This is where I met my housemates for first and second year, in a Facebook group that people advertise spare rooms in their students houses and where you can team up with other people going to view potential properties. The Facebook group is a really good place to post enquiries and reply to other people looking too! The group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/UoB.Housemates/
What if I’m the only one…who didn’t do A-Levels/BTEC in my degree subject?
University of Brighton degrees start as the basic of every subject to account for the different experience levels of everyone in the class. Although the basics are covered fairly quickly, it does mean that people who have not previously studied the subject before University, are able to get up to speed by the winter holidays so that everyone can advance together.
For me personally, I did a BTEC in the Uniformed Public Services (Army, Police, Paramedics etc) and then went to do my degree in Business Information Systems (Computer Programming). I had very little prior experience in computing when I started my degree, yet within months was up and running coding websites and secured myself a job at the Student Union helping with their website! – Anything is possible if you put your mind to it!
What if I’m the only one…who likes Rock Music?
Especially in Brighton, whatever your music taste, you will fit in! There are such a range of opportunities to appreciate your music taste throughout societies and local pubs and bars, you will not be the only one!
The Music Society arrange a variety of gigs and rehearsal sessions that you can get involved in all year for a small membership fee (normally £4 a year), as well as the Alternative Society who meet up in local bars and pubs to appreciate the variety of music offered in Brighton. Other societies can be found here: https://www.brightonsu.com/studentactivities/societies/findasociety/
What if I’m the only one…who doesn’t get my student finance on time?
I don’t know the official statistics, but from my friendship circle and fellow course mates, I would say approximately 40% of students don’t get their first Student Finance payment on time, as this causes an unbelievable amount of stress around paying rent and necessities on top of making new friends and learning your way around a new university and town.
From experience, I know that the university offer brilliant advice around money and will support you with enquiries to SFE to chase up your payment and even offer to speak to the accommodation office about delaying your halls rent payment a bit until the finance comes in so that you don’t have to worry.