Problems Adjusting to Student Life
It’s Rachel’s first week at university in Sheffield. She has been finding it difficult to settle into
her new life as a university student. She is talking to her mum about her feelings…
Mum: Hi darling. Well, how are getting on today?
Rachel: Not great, Mum… I missed the bus this morning and arrived 20 minutes late for my
first lecture, so I missed the assignment briefing! Everyone seems to have made friends
already too, apart from me… I just wish I could just come home again…
Mum: Oh Rachel… Did you not ask anyone to help you?
Rachel: No, I couldn’t wait to leave and get back to my room again. I don’t think I’m going
to fit in here…
Mum: You need to give yourself time to adjust. You’re experiencing culture shock and that’s
perfectly normal! When I arrived at university many years ago, I was totally overwhelmed
too… a new city, no friends and everything just seemed different. But after a few months, I
started to really enjoy it. I’m confident that you’ll come to love it too! What about your
roommates? Have you spoken to any of them yet?
Rachel: I’ve said hello a few times. I can hear them all laughing and having fun every
evening but I’m too scared to leave my room… I can’t sleep either... It’s just a nightmare,
Mum: You really need to socialise and put yourself out there! You can’t hide away forever…
You might be surprised – your roommates are probably feeling exactly the same way you
are! Now, you need to pluck up some courage and go out and talk to them… a problem
shared is a problem halved!
Rachel: But mum… what if they don’t want to talk to me? What if they’re too busy?
Mum: Stop making excuses! You won’t know if you don’t try. Now, call me later tonight
and I want to hear everything about your new flatmates!
Rachel: OK, mum… I suppose it’s worth a shot…
To run up against
To experience something difficult and unexpected.
The politicians ran up against strong opposition from the people.
To wrestle with
To try very hard to deal with a problem or a difficult situation.
I wrestled with the decision for a few months before deciding to quit.
To think through
To carefully consider the possible results of doing something.
I need some time think this through before making a decision.
To knuckle down
To start working or studying harder.
He’s going to have to knuckle down if he wants to pass the course.
To talk over
To discuss a
problem or situation
We talked over the
issues in the
making a decision.