Warwick University

Feeling anxious about starting University

It’s almost time. You’ve finished you’re A-Level exams, you’ve got your university offers and you’re waiting for Results Day. At this point, you’ve probably tried to imagine exactly what your university experience will look like, especially those first couple of weeks of settling in. For me personally, I remember being completely terrified at the thought of living with so many strangers, that I didn’t even consider that I would actually make friends. If you’re an introvert and a bit socially awkward like I was, you might have this same feeling of dread at the bottom of your stomach. The one thing I would say is that the feeling of anticipation (even in the form of dread) is nothing like the actual experience. Let me give you an analogy.

This year in one of my modules ‘Philosophy of Mind’, I studied a thought experiment called Mary’s Room. A girl, Mary, has been trapped inside a black and white room for her whole life, studying the ins and outs of the neurophysiology of colour, like how the eyes work in response to colour. Mary has never actually seen colour at this point, she has only learnt about it, until the day she is released into the world, in which she sees colour for the first time; she sees that grass is green, roses are red, etcetera. The thought experiment was made to test whether or not Mary has learned anything new from her experiences of real colour in the outside world, as opposed to just learning about it. The basic theory behind it was that Mary had in fact learnt something new about colour from actually having the experience of colour, even though she thought she knew everything about it before being released.

We really can’t know what our experiences will be like until we go through it first-hand, so prepare your mind for the experience by being open-minded to what the experience will entail. If you are feeling anxious about the whole experience, remember that it will probably be a lot different to how you are imagining it, so there is really nothing to worry about. So, whether it is people you are nervous about meeting, or the whole idea of being completely independent for probably the first time in your life, you definitely aren’t the only one. I will be writing another post on some tips to prepare yourself for the Freshers experience (post-results day). For now, get in touch if you have any questions and enjoy your summer!