Looking back on my time at university, there are certain things I wish I had known before starting. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. However, I am here to share my experiences with you to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes I did!
I am currently a 5th-year medical student so here are some medicine-related, and non-medicine-related tips for you.
Do I need a fresher’s wristband?
From my experience, I spent a lot of money on a wristband to gain access to the campus and city events – but in reality, I did not use it to its full potential! It is hard to know before you arrive what events you are actually going to end up going to. Therefore, to save money I would wait and buy one there.
Do I need to go out every night?
No, don’t feel like you need to go out every night as you will get tired! Fresher’s week carries a huge perception that students go out every night, and some do, but I am here to assure you that it is okay not to.
Of course, I wanted to make friends and therefore didn’t turn down going out for fear of missing out on this opportunity. But it is tiring, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you will 100% make friends.
Student general life
Is it okay to feel behind on work?
As now a 5th-year medical student, I can assure you that it is COMPLETELY normal to feel behind on your work. Moving from A-levels to university is a big jump, and the workload increases significantly. So do not feel inadequate if you are behind, there will be time to catch up I promise, and with the circular curriculum, things will get taught again.
Do I need to buy textbooks?
One big mistake I made was to buy textbooks when I really didn’t need to! If those books are available at the library, simply borrow them and save yourself the money. Moreover, don’t rush to borrow every book on the reading list, as from my experience there will not be time to read them all!
2nd year housing
Housing for the following year comes along very quickly, and it can be quite a stressful time. If you are thinking of renting a house with friends in 2nd year I would recommend finding a group of friends you want to live with as early on as possible.
Most importantly, have fun! As cheesy as it sounds, looking back on my first year of university, I regret missing out on certain events to study. I wish I had spent more time out enjoying my first year. Although it is of course important to attend lectures and do work, it is also important to enjoy this time in your life. There needs to be a good balance, university only gets more serious the further into it you get, so don’t stress too much early on 🙂 You’re going to be fine!