Recently I finished my first year at university and I have been reflecting upon my experience. It's been a rollercoaster ride of an experience which can be easily expected as it's a big change however I wouldn't change any of it for the world. Yet I believe that if I was given a top tip guide the year at university may have went a lot smoother so I've decided to come up with one for you upcoming freshers. Don't take everyone of them too seriously as it's all a learning curve so let's get on with it.
- Make a big effort to get on with your new flatmates. If you ask me this is honestly one of the most important tips that I could give you because you're going to spending a whole year with these people. It's certainly a good idea to make as much effort as you can to get to know everyone because these are the first and most easiest friendships that you can make when you start. These are the people that are going to be there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on or if you just want someone to go out with so try your best!
- Enjoy freshers week and go out as much as possible. When I started university I didn't really drink so I used that as an excuse not to have to go out and socialize however now I really regret that. Since I go out often now I really wish that I had taken advantage of the fun of freshers especially since you normally meet the best people when you are drunk.
- Say yes to anything that gives you a chance to be sociable. It's so much easier to make new friends through social events especially if you join a sports team or a society. So definitely look into what societies are offered at your university.
- Don't miss seminars or lectures because you're hungover or just can't be bothered.
- Try your best to keep up to date with your reading list. Considering I personally study English Literature my reading lists have certainly always been very busy and I've always struggled to keep up with it. However it makes your university life much more easier if you manage to keep up to date especially if you have seminars on the texts.
- Don't leave assignments to the last minute (especially if they are worth 60/80% of your grade). For many people first year won't count towards your final year at university however don't use this an excuse to leave everything to the last minute like I did. Give yourself plenty of time to get your assignments done so you don't have to stress about them at the last minute.
- Budget your student loan wisely. I feel like a hypocrite for including this one because it isn't something that I did or do myself but it's honestly the best thing to do. You need to make your money last as long as possible.
- Keep in touch with your family and friends at home. Now this is an important one for me because without both my family and friends I probably wouldn't have completed my first year. It's best to keep in touch with these people as they will always be there for you when you need support.
- Consider who you would like to live with in second year. Even though this is probably one of the last things you'd think you need to consider it's important that you do because you don't want to make the wrong decision. Many people put a deposit down on their house for next year in the December/January of the first year so you should get thinking about it early.
- Don't be scared to be yourself. University itself and the independence you gain from it should help you gain confidence it who you are as a person. Yes you are going to meet many people who are very different to you but you are also going to meet people who have similar interests so don't change for anyone.
- Most importantly have FUN. You only get one chance to be a fresher so enjoy the experience and have as much fun as possible.
I hope this is helpful to some of you, and I hope you all have a great first year at university.