As the season is upon us for new students to venture into the world of university, booze, and wonderful new experiences, and upload a post about the first year of Uni from my perspective in the hope that it will give some of you new first years a small insight into what uni is like.
I loved my first year, both the rough and the smooth! I am grateful for everyone I have met as they have all had some influence in my life, some positive and some negative, but it has made my Uni experience what it has been, it has made me grow up and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I have some of the most amazing flatmates and best friends and great course mates, if I hadn’t had gone to Uni I wouldn’t have met these amazing people!
Of course, everyone’s experience for Uni shall be different and what one person experiences may be completely different to another’s. For one you may not be at the same Uni as me, so bear that in mind when reading this, this is purely just my experience!
(I have a post up about how I packed my stuff up when I had finished my first year, which you can find here – It has some tips on how to lessen the burden when packing)
When packing (literally) your life into boxes and transporting them to where ever it is that you are going, the last thing you want to be doing when you get there is having to wade through mounds of stuff to find out what goes where and what have you. At your open day you may have seen a version of your room (if you are living in halls of residence) so pack things together or just have a list of what is in which box so when unpacking you can make to job go quicker! On moving day and you walk into your ‘home’ for the year it can be quite depressing (at least my room was!) and unpacking and making it yours will help the situation so much and may lighten your spirits about your shoe box or prison cell (what I refer to mine as) of a room.
Secondly: getting to know your flatmates
When I first moved into halls it was so daunting because like the majority of people, if not all, I did not know a single soul! So remember that everyone is in the same boat, all equally as nervous as each other! I remember being so nervous and trying to say ‘hi’ to everyone so that I could learn names and get to know people. That is the key, in my opinion, getting to know people; don’t be too full on and ask them a million questions as that may be a little heavy for the first day. But just ask their name, where they are from, what they are studying, how their journey to Uni was, etc. It is for later down the line when you’ll get to know everything from their shampoo routine to their friends-sister’s-cousins-boyfriend.
Thirdly: nights out
University students are renowned for going out and getting stinking drunk on crazy nights out, yes this is true. As there is a possibility that my mother or any members of my family may read this, then I shall not go into too much detail of my personal experience of the topic…
But just a little advice about going on a night out:
- Eat before going out (I speak from experience…) – if you are going to be drinking alcohol then carb up (who even needs an excuse anyway?). Don’t be worried about having a food baby and it ruining the outfit, it doesn’t matter because if you are being sick because you haven’t eaten properly, I can guarantee that that outfit won’t be looking so wonderful with your head down a toilet.
- Drink all drinks at the bar and watch the bartender make you drink, don’t let anyone else order for you – it is becoming more and more apparent for people to be horrible enough to spike drinks, especially girls. I knew a couple of people who it happened to and one girl didn’t even drink alcohol, so be ever so careful!
- Taxi money- put a tenner in your phone case for the taxi home, running out of money when you are tired, hungry and bursting for the toilet is not fun!
Going out is so fun at uni as you have all you flatmates and or course mates out so enjoy it, make sure to stay safe and look out for each other.
Fourthly: remember why you are there
Getting into university is not an easy thing, whether you did A-Levels like me, B-Tec, apprentice, etc, you have worked so incredibly hard to study there so be proud of that!
University is such an amazing life experience and a way to develop into the potential which you have, so remember that there is fun but there is also a learning side to it also. I don’t necessarily mean academics; it is things like organising your time from going out, buying the weeks shop from Asda, doing your washing and of course studying!
For many the ‘first year does not count’, whilst this was true for me also I still tried to give all my assessments and exams my all and I will always stand by that. As I’m not the most academic, all through my life I have always felt I have had to work that little bit harder to get the results I want. Going to university did not change that. I gave my all in all my assessments and for the majority, it reflected and even if it didn’t I still knew that I had tried my best. Ultimately I wanted to make myself proud and have something to show for my year, not just 40% all around, but also I wanted to make my parents proud of me.
Another point is to make sure you get to know your course mates, you are going to stuck with each other through all the stress of deadlines, late nights at the library and exams, so make the effort to get to know them and get on. Having a good rapport with your course leader doesn’t go a miss either, I don’t mean adding them on FaceBook or going round theirs for Sunday lunch or anything because that is a little too much! But making sure they know your name and that you are really enthusiastic about the course will mean a lot because ultimately they want to best results for their department and you want to get the highest grades you can, which you will need a little of your lectures help for!
So there are some of my ‘tips’ for freshers going to Uni in the next coming months! I wish you all the very best of luck, stay safe and above all enjoy your first year! You will make mistakes (everyone does) but what is important is to learn from them and move forward!