Coming to Lincoln – the First Year Experience

Jamie Hamilton

The beginning
Confidence and persistence; that’s all I thought I would ever need, and so coming to university to study psychology did not seem like such a mammoth task. People said the course was hard, that it was scary moving out, and that it was a big jump from A levels, but I knew I would be okay. I didn’t know how right I was.

Walking into university with my huge bags in-tow, I was riddled with nerves and excitement, and the same was true for my first Psychology lecture. Just like the first time in my flat, the first time in my lecture hall soon put me at ease. The electric buzz of three hundred fellow budding psychologists all waiting with baited breath to finally learn the deepest secret details of their chosen subject, MacBooks and notepads ready, I instantly felt a part of a greater thing. At first, I barely noticed a difference; “this isn’t that much harder than A levels,” I thought. But before I knew it, I was learning harder and harder material, theories and models and biological processes that I’d never heard of or even considered, and I understood them. The jump is big, but with just a little hard work and a little help if you feel you need it, it is more than manageable.

The present  
A few lectures in, the group chat was littered with messages like “I don’t understand what he just said,” or “can someone please explain what a type 1 error is?” These messages were interrupted only by helpful, supportive messages from other students who had a head for research skills or other areas people were finding difficult. All working together to make sure no one was left behind. All united in silence when the lecturer asked a question, and united in desperation when the lecturer skipped a slide in the blink of an eye.

If you want a scene of pure humanity and unconditional love, look no further than the hall outside the exam room, where encouraging words and hugs are plentiful and nervous jokes are met with hysterical but relieved laughter.

Now feeling more like a family than ever, I am still making new friends in the lectures and labs, and am continuing to learn and love psychology.

The future
Now that the shock of moving to university and starting my course has subsided, I feel much more comfortable branching out; reading and writing, joining a society or two, maybe even exercising. A few of my friends have left, or are thinking of leaving, which is why I think it is important that you know this is what you want to do before you go to University. Despite what your school might have told you, University is not the only way to go, and may not be the best thing for you.

Now I look forward to two and a half more years of Psychology, getting harder all the while, and I can’t help but think about it and smile.

If there’s anything you can take away from my first term at Lincoln, it is that you should have a good think about whether university is for you. You should also know that if this is what you really want to do, there is nothing stopping you; there is so much support and help on offer at Lincoln that there’s no excuse for anyone to not fulfil their potential. Finally, if you do come to Lincoln, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.