October 4, 2018, by Philip Moriarty

What’s it like to start university?

This is a guest post by Mark Palmieri, who has just started the third year of his undergraduate physics degree. Mark has also recently joined our social media team and produced a great video that will be of interest to anyone considering starting a university course. I’ll let Mark explain the rationale behind the video…

Over the summer I’ve been helping out with social media and video editing for the School of Physics and Astronomy. After working on the video for Spring into Science (see here for the final product) I realised how much I loved editing. I have been more of a photographer for many years, but videography has always amazed me. I was hooked.

I came up with the idea of a video demonstrating people’s experiences with the goal to ease the nerves of students starting university, not just in Physics, but for any course. I wanted to show future students what university is really like, what is good and bad, but especially how they overcame those struggles. Having suffered from depression and anxiety in the previous year I am no stranger to how you can feel alone and helpless at university. I hope that with this video I have shown that everybody is different, but you are also never alone in your experiences. Most often other students have gone through (and are going though) similar experiences, and more importantly, they have overcome them just as you can.

Once I planned out the type of video I wanted to make, I had to move quickly as the goal was to get it ready for the September Open Days. I contacted five other students from years ranging from 2nd year to PhD level and asked if they would like be interview for the video. They all graciously took time out for me and in just one week with at least one interview every day I had all of the footage I needed. Within a few days, I had the footage edited and at last I had in my hands what I imagined it to be. I hope that it makes you feel the same way as I now feel after two years at university; feeling at ease, seeing that there was nothing to worry about and that anyone can do it.

I hope that any future student, no matter what they want to study and no matter where they want to study, have some nerves calmed and are allowed to relax and enjoy the time studying their favourite subject.

The video is below. Let me know about your university experience in the comments!


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