Hello! I decided to write a post regarding my experience at my new university as I have mentioned uni constantly on all of my social medias.
I wrote a post about why I decided to change university, so if you are interested in that, you can read it here!
To make it pretty simple, I’m going to pop them in two categories: the good and the bad. Although I have generally been happy at university, it has been fairly rough for numerous reasons but that does not mean that my university is bad or that university will be the same for you! This is simply my experience and how I felt about it!
In case you are unaware, I am studying French and Scandinavian Studies (in which I study Swedish) at the University of Edinburgh, if you’d like more information you can read about my exact degree combination here.
- Finally discovering what I love! I was accepted to study French and Portuguese, knowing that Portuguese already wasn’t the language for me. I wanted to apply for French and Scandinavian Studies (with Danish), but I was too afraid to apply and I am so glad I was! As I opted to replace Portuguese with Swedish rather then Danish and it was the best decision I have ever made. I absolutely adore my Swedish class and my tutor has been so incredibly supportive of my anxiety and she tries to hard to help me and it means the world.
- Getting to move to my favourite city in the world, Edinburgh! I’ve lived just outside Glasgow beforehand but I’ve always preferred Edinburgh over Glasgow, for obvious reasons, so getting to live here has been wonderful. I am from a fairly large town near Glasgow however there isn’t particularly much to do, so living near the centre of the capital was always going to be a good change!
- Swedish deserves a special mention because choosing to study it was definitely the best thing I have decided to do at university. As I mentioned, my class is wonderful and we have the most incredible tutor. On Fridays after class, a few of us always go for coffee together and chat and it’s just a lovely way to end the week and motivate me to go to class!
- Getting to live “alone” has been really lovely despite the isolation. Being able to cook whatever and whenever I want is definitely my favourite thing. Also even being able to just do my washing whenever is really lovely (and it’s therapeutic).
- Despite not meeting or making many new friends, I did meet my current boyfriend who I thought was worth a mention as I end up spending a lot of my time with him (and he does Swedish too, another reason to love the class)! And honestly this has meant a lot to me due to how terrible my self esteem has been due to not being brave enough to socialise properly.
- I have been incredibly isolated since I came to university as things just haven’t seemed to go my way. First of all my flat doesn’t speak, everyone else I know did things with their flat during freshers which is how they met their current friends. However my flat has barely even socialised, so I was too afraid to attend any freshers events alone and I really wish that had been different. In addition to this, my French classes are very quiet and no one chats to one another so it is practically impossible to make friends. Hopefully this will change in second semester but this has definitely been the toughest aspect for me. Also I have missed my family so so much.
- The workload has been intense for my French course as the course is very much wanting you to teach yourself. We have no grammar or language classes, we are just pretty much expected to know anything which is awful and I don’t think I have really learned anything so far which is a shame. However since French is the love of my life, I have to stick with it and just keep trying.
- My anxiety has been pretty bad since I got here and I’ve only recently become a bit more comfortable even in my own flat, so I am hoping that next semester shall be easier!
So those are my general thoughts about my university experience so far! I think I’ll do updates per semester (2 per academic year), just to see if my thoughts change any! Also, if you’re interested, I’ll explain my degree a little more.
At Scottish universities you are required to take 3 subjects (with the exception of certain degrees). As I am doing a joint honours degree, I already have to take French and Swedish. For French I get to study numerous aspects of literature as I am not a beginner, whereas in Swedish we will be starting with an short text from a children’s novel next semester as we are all still very much beginners! I do this alongside language classes, for French I have an oral tutorial, language tutorial (however we do barely anything), literature tutorial and a literature lecture. For Swedish I have one oral tutorial and 3 seminars.
So my third subject is Scandinavian Civilisation, which I am not required to do despite being a Scandinavian Studies student. I’m finding it really interesting and I think my exam last week went fairly well so I am looking forward to next semester! This semester we studied from the Viking Era up until the 1800s, so it’s nice to have a general overview of the history of Scandinavia. Also, as much as I love languages, it’s nice to have an escape from grammar and vocabulary!
So that was my first semester of university! I hope you have all survived the semester and good luck to anyone who has recently sent off an application!
Much love x