The decisions you need to make about university are some of the biggest you’ll ever make. It’s an eventful journey, but one that is worthwhile. Here’s the path I took to get to Newcastle!
When I began thinking about universities to apply to, I had no idea where I wanted to go. Newcastle hadn’t even crossed my mind until I saw their stand at a UCAS University Fair. I loved their alternative prospectus and guide to Newcastle, which showed how students found the University. This was different to all the other prospectuses around, so I looked closer into Newcastle and booked an Open Day.
I fell in love with the city as soon as I arrived, and the taster session for my course (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies) was so interesting that I knew I had to choose Newcastle! The course was number one in the country, which made me certain it would be the best place for me to study and delve deeper into the media. So, months before even thinking about my personal statement, I had my first choice university.
Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long after applying to receive my conditional offer. It was the reply I was waiting for and I honestly didn’t even think twice before accepting the offer as my first choice. I received offers from all the universities I applied to, but for me they were all just contenders for my insurance and Newcastle was the one I really wanted.
On results day in August I finally had my place confirmed – but I was on holiday abroad so didn’t even know what my results were! I remember waking up really early and refreshing the UCAS website in bed, waiting to see if I’d been accepted. Luckily I had been, or it would have been a sad end to the holiday!
I went overboard preparing for the move to Newcastle. I made spreadsheets, budget planners and lists galore. My mum helped me buy all the necessities, including the crucial toastie maker.
Before my arrival, I spent my last few weeks at home working, taking a muddy trip to Leeds Festival, saying goodbye to friends who were off to different places across the country, and watching every possible video from students in Newcastle. I was excited to move and start the next chapter.
My family drove me up from Nottinghamshire and helped me move in. I lived in Castle Leazes – my first impression was that it was huge and the spiral staircases in my building were not ideal for carrying suitcases! Luckily we were helped by some lovely Freshers’ Crew who carried all my heavy things with ease.
After unpacking a bit, I was eager to meet my flatmates so said goodbye to my family. I wasn’t too emotional to leave them, I was so excited to get stuck in. My flatmates seemed nice and we spent some time getting to know each other.
Freshers’ Week was overwhelming and actually quite lonely for me. I hadn’t clicked much yet with my flatmates, and it was hard to meet other people as my course inductions weren’t until the Wednesday after arriving. I missed home more than I thought I would and called my mum whenever I felt down or lonely – which was more than I’d like to admit.
Although the start of the week wasn’t great, I met some nice people in my course inductions and in society meet and greet events. In fact, these are still some of my best friends today! It took a bit of time, but I’m thankful I found my people and managed to enjoy the first few weeks after a rocky start.
I love Newcastle, and would honestly never change coming here or even those first few days of loneliness. It’s helped me grow and become more confident in putting myself out there and meeting people from different backgrounds.
I’m in my second year now, and I’m finally starting to figure out what career I’d like to find at the end of my course! I have dived into societies, including being on two committees, and even into student politics at the SU. This is probably the best I’ve ever felt, and the community and vibrancy of Newcastle is definitely to thank for that.
If you’re considering Newcastle, or you’ve applied and are waiting for that confirmation… you’ve made the absolute best choice. Be patient waiting for your results, get to know the city and what’s on offer a little bit before you arrive (your flatmates will think you’re super cultured!) and most importantly, make the most of every opportunity.