Before doing so I want draw attention to the fact that not everyone has the opportunity to go to University and therefore those of us that do should acknowledge our privilege. Subsequently, I hope to write pieces that are relevant for people regardless of whether or not they have this privilege, as otherwise my target audience would be very elitist.
Anyway, this transition from High School to University is known for being a daunting process, particularly when this transition also involves moving to a new city. In February of this year I experienced said transition when I moved to Dunedin for University. It was a change that elicited a cocktail of emotions – including apprehension, fear, excitement and many more. I had only been to Dunedin once beforehand so I had to familiarize myself with many new environments – including my hall, campus and the wider city.
However, thousands of my peers were in the same situation and so they too will have been feeling similar. This managed to calm me when moving into my hall as we were all in the same boat of having been ripped away from familiarity and tossed into a pool of 400+ strangers. However, this wasn’t as frightening as anticipated as the first week (‘O-Week) was sufficiently induced with alcohol – meaning that potentially awkward barriers are broken down and next thing you know you’re divulging your entire life story to someone you’ve known for a matter of hours. Though this first week was a drunken blur, one thing I do remember was how important it was to put yourself out there and make a conscious effort to introduce yourself to the strangers around you.
The concern soon shifted from social matters to academic matters, as introductory lectures began. I remember, alongside many others, being subdued by this – thinking that while I did okay at school, this was a whole other level. However, when I came to learn that I had the opportunity to write essays about how Nicki Minaj subverts dominant ideology, among similarly interesting material, this angst subsided.
Because of this, I couldn’t more strongly recommend taking subjects that you’re genuinely interested in – as opposed to ones that you think will lead to being financially sound later down the track. That’s not to say I’m discouraging being practical, but if it comes down to choosing subjects that bore the hell out of you purely for monetary gain, then it could be good to reevaluate because chances are the same issues will be faced when putting a degree into practice.
As I hope I have communicated, it is perfectly normal to feel unsettled when transitioning from secondary to tertiary education – but it is also important to bear in mind that this feeling is temporary and will eventually ease. Despite having initially felt this way, I’ve now got my first semester under my belt and am happily settled into my social circle and my course. I felt the fear and did it anyway, and so can you!
Author: Harry Reid
Hi – my name is Harry Reid. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m originally from Greytown in the Wairarapa – which is approximately an hour out of Wellington. I’m the youngest of three children, with a twenty-year old brother and a twenty-two-year old sister. After finishing Wellington High last year I’m now in my first year at the University of Otago, doing a double degree in Law and Arts, with my Arts Major either being Communications or Politics – and whichever one I decide against will become my Minor. Some of my interests outside of University include photography, socializing with friends and keeping up with current affairs– among other things. Over the coming weeks I’m going to share with you some of my experiences (both good and bad) in my weekly blog. Feel free to follow my Instagram @harrrryreid for a more personalized view of what I’m up to!