I’m scared to return to study after a year out

For the past year I’ve been working full-time for my year-in-industry and this September I’ll be going back to uni for third year. While I’m looking forward to it, it’s absolutely nerve-wracking thinking about my return to study. What if I’ve forgotten how to write an essay? My course is primarily essays, and I don’t know what I’m going to do if all my work ends up terrible. How do you even reference? What is grammar? Please help me. I’m going to end up with a third and drop out because of the shame. And exams too! It’s only been a year, but I now imagine my brain like a sieve.

Most of my friends have also graduated now, and while I’m happy for them, it feels a bit like going into first year again and having the trepidation of making new friends. I’ve forgotten how to introduce myself to people. I don’t remember how I made friends before (side note: if you’re nervous about making friends, read about Isabelle’s experience). Maybe I’ll be able to find some others who have been abroad or done a year-in-industry who are also struggling to get back into the swing of things. Hopefully, there will be enough of them dotted around campus and the wider city to find.

I already feel like an old man and so being among third years feels like being surrounded by children. They’re going to be out still drinking at all hours while I’ll be in bed for 8 pm most nights for a relaxing couple of hours of Netflix. I struggle to stay awake at the best of times, yet these young whippersnappers are going to be in their 9 ams after getting in at 5. Their ability to withstand the after-effects of ten vodkas is a feat I only vaguely remember possessing.

It’s also third year! The notorious year of stress and crying in the library over exams and your dissertation. I’d be nervous enough about going back but with the added pressure of a dissertation and actually graduating I imagine that it’s going to be a somewhat difficult year.

All in all, as the start of term draws ever closer, I think the excitement will fade and the nervousness increase. I think it’s best that I try and put it out of my mind, but it might be a little difficult to do. I’m trying to work my way through my primary and secondary reading lists before the start of term to be a little more prepared, so maybe not so easy after all.

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