Hi!! My name is Amber and I’m a first-year student here at Bath studying Pharmacology. For me, moving to university was only a few months ago and I can easily recall the bundle of emotions I felt when I arrived. Apart from the initial nerves, I was so excited to meet my new housemates, decorate my room, explore the city of Bath, and participate in all the activities going on in Freshers' Week (especially Freshers' Fair I got so much free food!) They have themed events on each day of the week as well which are so fun to dress up for. Here’s a picture of me and my flatmates on safari night which made bringing my bucket hat collection to uni worthwhile aha.
For some students, thoughts of moving away from home and not being able to see family all the time are quite nerve-wracking but for a young carer like myself, this can be even more so. All carers have a different experience but often it might mean they spend a lot of time helping their family member with daily tasks like getting dressed, preparing meals or medications and helping clean the house perhaps more than others.
If this is the case your flatmates will love you instantly if you don’t leave the kitchen in a mess! 😊. For me, leaving home made me feel uneasy as I wouldn’t be able to help as much as I did before, and I didn’t want this to affect anyone. Especially after being in lockdowns where I was always at home with my mum which was so useful as the rest of my family went out to work.
For other young carers or anyone who’s also nervous to leave home for similar reasons, I would say that once you are at uni you will feel so much better especially after 1 or 2 weeks when you have settled in and have a routine going on. There’s so much support available as well if you do find yourself struggling.
At Bath, they have a Student Services team that can help with anything you're worried about and you can chat to them both online and in person. For me, they were so supportive and really helped me feel better about coming to Bath. I had a video call with them the week before I left and have since met up with them twice for scheduled catch-ups in Bath.
For adult carers, they offer a £500 bursary to help cover travel expenses to and from home so that you can visit home whenever you like. This made me feel so much better and allowed me to go home a few times before the Christmas break which meant I was seeing my family every 3 weeks! If you’re not travelling home often this money can still be used for whatever, it’s just there so that if you want to go home you can.
They also did a social for people that are Young Carers or are estranged which was fun and although we didn’t talk about anything personal it was nice to make some friends who I could talk to if I wanted. Having been at Bath for a few months now I have settled in and am really enjoying it! I have made good friends here at Bath especially in my flat which helped me settle in so well and I have joined clubs like Tennis and Italian lessons and the PAPS society too.
Despite possible feelings of anxiety at first, after a few weeks, everything will seem to settle into place, and you will be so happy you came!