As thousands of teenagers prepare to leave home to start a new life at university, work experience student Emily Webber explains what it was like to start a degree in law and Spanish at the University of Nottingham last autumn.

The two years I spent at sixth form went in the blink of an eye and before I knew it I was facing the prospect of starting university.

I was, and still am, hugely uncertain about what career path I would like to follow which made the decision of what to study and where to study more difficult.

After researching for hours and visiting numerous universities I applied to study law with Spanish.

Finishing sixth form felt very surreal after having spent seven years at Stroud High, but the arrival of results day confirmed my place at the University of Nottingham, and I couldn’t have been happier.

The realities of moving away from home and the Stroud area began to kick in and I was very excited to be moving to a new city to study a new subject.

Looking back at my first year, it is unquestionable that being a fresher was two of the best weeks, despite it all culminating with flu.

Not only did I experience a new independence and freedom but I also met a huge number of people from all over the country and from around the world.

After meeting my new flatmates, two of whom have lived in over seven different countries and had just moved from Indonesia to study in Nottingham, having had a cluster of friends from Stroud made me feel like I had been living in a bubble.

I settled in quickly, despite the fact that the the idea of sharing a flat with other students had seemed a bit daunting. We soon got to know each other - and bonded over our mutual inability to cook!

Thankfully, as I had never studied the subject before, I loved my first year of law.

Although there was no escaping the huge workload, I am looking forward to the next couple of years, particularly my criminal law module in second year and spending my third year in Spain. Sporting opportunities are also in abundance and during freshers’ week I became a member of the triathlon club which provides training sessions every day and also holds socials.

The work, social and sport aspects of university have all meant that my first year completely exceeded my expectations.