Bookshelves with low-hanging lightbulbs

First year: things to remember

They say time goes fast when you’re having fun. Well, whoever “they” are, couldn’t have been more right. This first year of university has now finished, I completed my last exam and have said goodbye to my first university accommodated room – which in itself, was sad enough. You wouldn’t think saying goodbye to my single bed, tiny en-suite and blue carpet would be hard, but weirdly, it was.

A little about me – I didn’t have the experience of the jump from A-Levels to a Degree. Instead, I did almost a year of A-Levels, to find out it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t time wasted though, in fact it was very insightful – studying Photography, English Language, EPQ and History for almost a year made me realise that doing an array of subjects wasn’t something I felt would help me out later. Instead, I joined college and took up Print and Journalism for two years, which gave me the experience I needed to put my foot in the door for university.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before but, university is a big deal, it will change your life as you begin a whole new chapter – but with everything going on, here are a few things to remember in your first year:

Making friends:

First thing to remember, you will most likely not stop making friends throughout your first year. This is a good thing, but it can also be troubling. You may very well make a group of friends and that be it but you also might meet so many new people that the friends you make at the beginning of first year may not be the friends you have at the end, and that is OK.

You’ll realise that dynamics change, just like at school and in life, it’s only natural, and obviously normal. I made a group of friends, but I also then kept making other friends through different lectures, seminars and on nights out – so if you’re worried about not making friends, there are plenty of opportunities for you to mingle and socialise!

Use first year to settle in:

This may sound strange, but your life won’t automatically be over if you don’t do very well in first year. Your parents may not be too happy, but as long as you pass your assignments you won’t have impacted on your final result.

This means, don’t panic if you’re not getting straight 1st’s right away – if you’re anything like me then as soon as you start worrying about not doing your best, you most likely won’t do very well.

Remaining calm during my first year is what got me through and having this knowledge in the back of my mind really helped. Of course, I would advice anyone to do their very best, but also remember that first year is about settling in and getting used to university, so cut yourself some slack. Though, don’t let that take over your overall attitude, try and do your best regardless.

It will go quicker than you think:

Your first year at university will go so fast – and that may cause a mix of emotion. For me, I feel happy to be finished with the knowledge that I had done it and could handle everything that has come with the first year of university.

However, I also feel a little apprehensive because things will be getting harder next year, and going home for summer, it’s almost like the end of an era. But, don’t let that throw you, university is supposed to be a learning experience and I still have another two or three years of education to go!

Last piece of advice, have as much fun as you can, but remember you will find that there are many different things about university that you’ll need to get used to. Like, don’t leave your assignments until last minute, trust me, technology is always at its slowest when you’re in a rush!

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