For objects you can say things like a brand-new car. For beliefs you can write a new-born Christian. What about periods in life like university life?


Emma has every reason to be happy. She had a trauma-free childhood, has an eccentric but caring mother, and is starting a [...] university life, .

  • "and is starting a beginner's life at university" – Nikita Shrivastava Oct 21 '15 at 6:08

"brand new" also works here. The phrase isn't only reserved for new physical objects that actually have brands.

From Wiktionary:


utterly new, as new as possible


And is starting a grad student or undergrad life.


You could even just say university life; it is an adjective in itself.


"[...]and she's a freshman in college" might just be the answer.


Emma has every reason to be happy. She had a trauma-free childhood, has an eccentric but caring mother, and is starting a frosh life.


North American informal: college freshman:

[as modifier]: ‘frosh week’


Early 20th century: alteration of freshman, perhaps influenced by German Frosch 'frog' (in dialect use 'grammar-school student').

  • Worth noting that this does have a kind of fratty connotation. At least to me. Every time I hear someone use that word it immediately makes me reflexively dislike them at least a little bit. – Parthian Shot Oct 21 '15 at 9:54

Except for the fixed phrase “starting a brand-new [whatever],” I think the verb “starting” in your example would kind of render redundant any answer (other than “brand-new) that attempts to incorporate the notion of “newness” in the period of life, so maybe you should consider to either stick with “brand-new”(Parthian Shot’s answer) or else change “starting” to another verb in your example (which is what Ricky’s answer does).

People don’t “start” “brand-new cars” (except in the ‘turn the key’ sense), they ‘drive’ them; and we usually talk of “being/becoming”, not “starting [as]” a “re-born Christian” (although “starting over [as]” one would work).

All that to say that I think you need to find a neutral verb, one that doesn’t already include the notion of “newness,” in order to better flush out and analyze the two/hyphenated-word adjective that you seek, and I’d propose either “experiencing,” “tasting,” or “living” (in addition to Ricky’s contracted use of “is”[without ‘starting’] in “she ’s”) to use with “first-time”:

(with “experiencing”): “… and is experiencing [her/the] “first-time” taste [of university/adult/married life]”

(with “living/tasting”): “… and is living/tasting [her/the] “first-time” experiences [of university/adult/married life]”

First-time: adjective 1. used, appearing, contending, etc., for the first time: a first-time candidate.

(from Dictionary[dot]com)


I don't know of a two-word adjective, but there are several two-word nouns one might use:

She started a new chapter of her life upon entering the university.

She got a fresh start when she began university life.

University life was a new beginning for her.

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