I am Alice – newly appointed student ambassador and enthusiastic 3rd-year law student! I have been in the University of Surrey for 2 and a half years and, let’s just say, it’s been a whirlwind!
Moving to Surrey was definitely not the easiest decision I made and of course the prospect of law school was quite daunting. I admittedly was curious to see what it would be like to live on your own in another country, but that did not make the task any more bearable in the beginning.
Some struggles to anticipate when you are settling in: minor accommodation issues, getting lost all the time around campus and in town (and thus being forced to ask around for directions most of the time), figuring out how not to spend all your budget on food-shopping (still difficult for me) and, of course, meeting new people and actually enjoying yourself! Being reasonably introverted, striking up conversations with strangers in a large lecture theatre would not come naturally to me – especially while I was trying to wrap my head around what the professor has been talking about for the first hour!
Another struggle was adjusting to law itself. Common law is obviously a different system to the civil law practiced in Greece and I had to grasp the differences fairly quickly. I did not have any previous knowledge, as I had not done law A-Levels or anything similar, so there were certain things that would confuse me quite a bit. Not to mention that the standard expected of our university work is much higher, concentrating more on independent research and in-depth analysis.
Now that I have scared you, here is a little secret: it gets easier! You will eventually start chatting to strangers and getting to know your coursemates through your lectures, tutorials, and various faculty events. And you will receive quite a bit of guidance regarding what is expected of you. Exhibit A: me. Fast-forward to the first semester of my third year, and I am still meeting new people, having good banter with my coursemates in the law common room and pumping out quite a bit of reading on a daily basis.
Bottom line: when you think about your first year, swap all the stress about what could go wrong with excitement about all the wonderful experiences that await you! A little bit of struggle is expected when you change your environment, but no one comes to university having everything figured out. We are all in the same place and do not be shy to admit that!
So here ends my blog – stay tuned for many more to come!
P.S: Pictured above is our beautiful lake at Stag Hill campus – one of the few decent photographs of it that I managed to take.