Monday, 8 June 2015

Eight things that my first year at university has taught me.

With my first year at Plymouth University coming to an end in 3 weeks time, I felt it would be a nice idea / helpful to any upcoming Freshers if I reviewed my year, compiling my top eight tips for starting university. 

1. If you’re unhappy, don’t stay quiet, do something about it. I cannot stress this point enough. Despite it being my first choice, when I arrived at Roehampton University in London, I knew it wasn’t right for me. If you’re feeling unhappy at uni, try and stick it out for a couple of weeks to see if it improves; but if you’re like me and are still finding it hard, then do something about it. I was lucky enough to be able to transfer to my insurance choice in Plymouth within the space of a weekend, and I am so much happier because of it. 

2. Don’t be afraid to reach out and make new friends. One of the best experiences that university offers, is the chance to meet new people and make new friends. This may sound unintentionally patronising, but everyone is in the same boat and are just as scared as you are. Someone just needs to make the first step that’s all – why not let it be you? 

3. New friends are all good fun, but don’t forget your old ones either. This is another point that I cannot stress enough. Before university, your ‘old’ friends were the people you’d do everything with and tell everything to. Whilst it’s fine to be just as close with your uni friends, make sure that you don’t neglect your old friends either. Some of my best friends are from school and we still make sure that we’re up to date with all of the gossip via group chat / see eachother whenever we’re home – a catch up I always look forward to. 

4. Don’t get lazy. As a fresher (who’s first year often doesn’t count), many can fall all too easily into the trap of ‘ordering in, pjs, lying in bed all day’ kind of mood. If possible, I urge you to try and stay away from this. Obviously if you’re hungover or ill it’s only right that you should lie in bed with a Papa John’s feeling sorry for yourself; but in any other situation, resist. Go out, grab lunch, go to the gym, do some uni work (I know, I can’t believe I’m saying that either), just whatever you do, get.out.of.bed. 

5. Ask for help if you’re stuck. Whether it’s money problems, uni work or your first time washing your own clothes; if you’re in a tricky situation and don’t know what to do, ask. Along with asking Flatmates for cooking advice, followed by googling the answer when they don’t know either, I often email my uni tutors for help with coursework. This really can help to put your mind at ease if you’re struggling – I would really recommend to anyone that needs that little bit of extra help. 

6. Spend time getting your room right. Before leaving for uni, I went on a ginormous Ikea haul – buying an array of things from a full length mirror, cute tortoise pins and a hot pink ambience light, to frying pans and knives and forks. Although buying trivial things such as tortoise pins may seem silly, I would 100% argue that buying such items and making your room feel comfy and homey is a must. You will feel far more settled if you’ve got a lovely room to be in, and I would definitely recommend Ikea being your first port of call. Other great things you could put in your room could be cushions, photos, posters, and bed throws (I am guilty of all of the above). 
Ps. Even if your halls contain single beds, buy a double duvet for extra cosyness / most houses in 2nd and 3rd year contain double beds! 

7. You will not survive without Netflix. Sure uni is great and all, but like anywhere, it does have its’ boring moments. For those who don’t have a tv in their room or even for those who do; all I can say is, get a Netflix account. Trust me, it will be your lifesaver. 

8. There will always be someone to have a drink with. It’s pretty self explatory really, but as you can imagine, university students LOVE drinking. So whether you’re homesick, upset about coursework or hungover even; don’t frown – go grab a drink. 

I hope you like my top tips for starting university, and that anyone starting in September has a great experience :) 

Please feel free to comment or suggest your own tips below! 



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