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Sarah – my first day at Durham

Image above – St Chads College

Let me take you down memory lane to my first day starting my undergrad at Durham University.

Her palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms were heavy
There’s sweat on her brow already. Tissues? Mum’s at the ready
She’s nervous, but on the surface, she looks calm and ready…

Eminem – Lose Yourself

Fair to say, I was just as anxious about my first day as Jimmy B-Rabbit was for his first rap battle in 8 Mile: Will people like me? Will I be good enough? Do I deserve to be here? Is there really a pink panther roaming the streets? Anxiety was rife.

As my parents pulled up their car on the Bailey, a welcoming sea of smiling green stood outside of St Chad’s College, cheering and clanking their pots and pans: a ceremonious introduction to the new place I would soon call home. Several fellow Chadsians gathered around and helped move my belongings to my new room. As I began settling into my surroundings, the freps (students who volunteer their time to help new freshers get settled in) handed me a useful pack full of helpful information all about the uni, my new college, and an itinerary for the week ahead for my freshers’ week. It felt like a lot to take in at first, but the freps assured me there was no rush. Take your time.

I plonked myself down on my new bed, dad admiring the view from my new bedroom window, mum inspecting the en-suite and complimenting how nice the place is: we all looked at each other and smiled. We all knew this was going to be a lovely place to start my new chapter in life. Anxiety began to melt away.

Goodbyes are never easy, but this was a ‘see you soon my parents assured me. As I waved them goodbye from the big green door of Chad’s, it was hard to hold the tears back (fortunately my mum remembered the tissues). As I returned to the main college, I felt lost, what do I do now? But a frep is never far away. A Chadsian, who would later become my college mum (someone who is there to look out for you, college family) came over, reassured me everything was going to be okay and took me to the quad with the other freshers.

We were all shy, missing home, but excited for our new journey ahead.

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Sarah E Taylor

Hey there! I’m Sarah, an English Literature finalist at St. Chad’s college here at Durham University. As well as being a Durham Student Ambassador, I am also one of the student interns responsible for the university’s Official Rep account on The Student Room (so any questions regarding Durham Uni or student life in general, please throw them our way 🙂

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