Can't wait to start university? Actually, I'm petrified

By Naomi Bloomer
September 10, 2009

So, what seems like a lifetime after A-level results, this Jewish girl from Watford is now looking forward to going to university later this month.

Looking forward? No, that’s not the right phrase. Perhaps petrified is more appropriate.

I completed my accommodation form incorrectly and ended up in catered halls instead of self-catered. It will just have to be a repeat of the past seven years at a secular comprehensive: I’ll have to be very careful, always asking twice about canteen food and never eating anything I’m not sure about.

Perhaps being Jewish on campus will provide a stronger camaraderie than at school. Knowing we’ve got the same problems with lectures on a Friday or exams on a Saturday morning and that we have the same questions — what do I do if that all-important ball with that all-important special someone is on a Friday evening? — will help.

A message for parents? Your 18-year-olds are still your babies, and they will be scared, but they will also be excited to face this fear on their own. They’ll be homesick, but won’t come home; they’ll be lonely, but won’t ring you every five minutes; they’ll be overcome with work, but won’t skip lessons… if they can avoid it; and they’ll be dirt poor, but won’t come begging you for money… too often. I’ve never been more scared to be leaving home alone, without my friends, having no job and absolutely zero idea what my next four years will be like.

You probably feel the same. We all do. And maybe that’s the trick to the first year — knowing that everyone is as petrified as each other.


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