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Comment Editor's Opinion: Brand new experiences

Molli Tyldesley on the exciting yet daunting new experiences that going to university brings

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Image Credit: Molli Tyldesley

Being a third year student right now is a strange experience. We are the oldest and most experienced undergraduates at the university; but after all the Covid-19 restrictions, lots of things still feel very new. For example, if, like me, you came to York in September 2019, you will never have experienced a summer term without restrictions — or a Roses tournament.

Of course, some things never change. Going to Salvos last Wednesday with my friends, I was greeted with the same ridiculously long queue, saw many familiar faces in the club, and got chips from Oki’s on the way home. Central Hall still looks like a spaceship, we’ll still all complain that we have our graduation there and not at the Minster, and the geese still have right of way on campus footpaths.

But there are also new experiences. Even in the past week, I’ve been to new areas of campus that I’ve never been to before and met people in person that I’ve only ever seen on Zoom. Even going into the office to help with this print edition of Nouse was a brand new experience for me, and many of the other editors. Having only been a part of Nouse since everything was done online, I even had to ask for directions to the office!

Ultimately, university is about experiencing new and different things. I remember seeing a post on Twitter not long ago that read: ‘the best thing about uni is that nobody tells you what to do. The worst thing about uni is that nobody tells you what to do’. Anyone who takes the plunge to go to university will probably agree with this: you have unprecedented freedom, with nobody telling you what to eat, what to wear, or whether you can or can’t go out.

But you also have an unprecedented responsibility to look after yourself. Unlike the organised structure of school, at university you are in charge of your own academic choices. Nobody shows you how to budget your money properly, or tells you what to do when your bathroom becomes infested with silverfish.

This might sound daunting, but a good way to view it is as part of the fun. And while I was initially worried that I didn’t know as much as a normal third-year student should, having had my time at university interrupted by coronavirus, I now realise that this only makes my final year all the more exciting.

We chose to come to university to learn and grow in an academic sense. And while we’re here, we also learn and grow as people, too. Whether it’s participating in societies or sports clubs, navigating adult friendships and relationships, or simply experiencing cooking for and cleaning up after yourself, university teaches you more than you could ever imagine. I’m looking forward to seeing what new experiences this year brings as I complete my degree.

We hope you find the Comment section of this print edition as interesting and informative as we do. It opens with an important article by Thomas on the value of teaching black history in our schools. As restrictions ease and York's nightlife reopens, Lucy discusses the need for LGBTQ+ safe spaces and Kendra criticises the university’s decision to offer some students accommodation in Hull and Josh and Emily go head-to-head as they debate whether York deserves the University of the Year Award.

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