University Day 1, February 2012:
I walk into possibly the most frightening area I have ever stepped foot, an area so richly drenched in the scent of academia that I can hardly breathe. I couldn’t feel more out of place. I move awkwardly amongst the crowd trying not to be noticed, desperately avoiding anyone who looks as though they might disrupt my strategically planned route to my first ever University tutorial. This environment is so foreign yet at the same time appears strangely familiar. It has aspects which remind me of high school and for a second I feel as though I have reverted to my high school self. I clutch my shoulder bag as if it were my life force, or my safety blanket. My only objective is survival, if I last the distance from the entrance gate to my classroom I will consider it my first achievement. The first of many I hope.
As I dash in and out of the crowd with a panicked expression I suddenly realise how ridiculous I must look and try to steady myself. It doesn’t work and I somehow manage to make things worse by cutting off other students whose irritation is vividly stretched across their faces. I spot the nearest open space and move towards it, as I try to regain my composure I notice a sign outside a building that reads, “Electrical Engineering.” HOORAY! This is exactly the building which houses the classroom for my first tutorial. I can’t believe my luck! By my (obviously ill-informed) calculations I shouldn’t be anywhere near here. Most would call it coincidence, but I’m going with intuition! Maybe I’m not such a fish out of water after all. As I scour the halls searching for my assigned room I begin to feel my anxieties rise once again, “What if nobody likes me? What if it’s all too much for me?” I find my room and enter it with apprehension only to be met with smiling faces and a polite “Welcome” from my tutor. I realise immediately how silly I’ve been and find a chair to call my own. As my neighbour engages me in conversation I start to feel a new sense of pride rise from within me. It comes from the depths of my soul and engulfs me with such force I can hardly contain it. I’ve made it to the beginning of my future and I can’t wait to get started.
By Steven Walker