First Year: A Review
I wanted to write another post about uni because the others seemed to have helped a number of people and that’s what I want to do but I didn’t know where to start so, I thought I would do a review of first year, the best bits, the bits I wish I’d done and everything in between. Everyone will do uni in their own way which is always the right way to do it but maybe somethings to think about…
Societies. Join them.
I so wished I’d joined a society in first year. I tried benchball, looked into a couple of music ones but on the whole was just way too intimidated at the idea of going to meet people and talk to them it just really scared me. But honestly don’t let it scare you because all of my friends who joined societies obviously found friends and loved it so do it, whether it’s sports or arts do it. And it’s easy to be distracted just by making friends on your course or accommodation but usually there are societies for your subject so even joining those gives you a whole other group of people to be friends with and it’s so important.
Be open to every conversation
Okay I was really scared to do this but here’s a story about why it’s so important: So I was going to my first English seminar and I was really scared, I didn’t know anyone. I walked in and there were a handful of people there and this blonde girl just looked at me with this beaming smile and immediately introduced herself and started talking. She was so lovely and put me at ease and I’m so glad because she opened me up to feel comfortable to talk, and now she’s one of my best friends, as are some of the other people (shoutout to Alex, Lauren and D and the rest of Aiden’s seminar group)
But this was something I think I went on to do well, I talked to everyone and I did it as openly as I could. It’s really easy to be judgemental and what I found odd coming to uni was the unfamiliarity and how different the people would be. I know that sounds really obvious and I was expecting it but it just really hit me, so I had to really tame myself and make sure that I was open and it was actually so refreshing to talk to people who were different (albeit not completely) from the people I went to school with. And it was really great because it opened up dialogues between so many people rather than just a select few so make sure you’re open to every conversation.
Another thing I admittedly did well, I’m a Virgo after all. But I did plan it within an inch of its life because that’s the way I work, however I know that some people don’t work that way and they’re more relaxed – whatever you feel comfortable with but, it makes sense to have a rough idea before you get there of what you’re using your loan for, what your weekly budget is and how much train tickets home cost. All these things will effect what you buy and when and it’s good to be conscious of it so if you need to quickly buy a ticket for an event, and believe me it’s usually an on the spot decision, you know you have the funds to do so. Sure, I planned it narrowly but you don’t have to, just don’t expect your loan to magically reappear if you spend it all in freshers…
I wanted to write about this since my first uni blog post because it is a really important discussion to have. As I’ve mentioned before I genuinely didn’t drink before uni. The first time I got drunk was with my sisters about 2 weeks before I went to uni and I actually didn’t like it. I liked being drunk but I had too much (6 vodka and cokes, lol) and I mixed with a fizzy drink. And it made me feel really burpy and sick and I didn’t like it. I didn’t get a hangover but I just can’t deal with feeling sick very well. So when I went to uni I was a bit scared, however being around new people actually made me feel at ease because most of them had drunk a lot before and I told a couple of the girls I was new to the drinking thing and they really made me feel at ease. And in freshers what I realised was Vodka and Coke wasn’t the only drink. I tried different things and learnt that I just can’t mix with fizzy things – then I’m fine and I really enjoy it now.
However, drinking isn’t the be all and end all of freshers or uni. Sure, drinking is central to British uni culture but it doesn’t mean it has to be the only thing you do and in fact it wasn’t. There are loads of freshers and consistent activities during the year that don’t focus on drinking whether they’re sports fixtures or rehearsals and most unis have great support societies for sobriety. So if you’re worrying about it, look into it because it’ll really put your mind at ease. You really don’t have to be drunk to have a good time, no word of a lie.
I think often people go to uni with the expectation that they’ll find their Rachel, Ross, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe and Monica and honestly it’s rare that happens. Instead I would say expect to have great friendships but don’t feel it necessary to have an exclusive, members only type group. If you tie yourself down to that, especially early on, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to meet other people who may turn out to be great mates. Also to be honest the people who are exclusive within their friendship groups are unintentionally (at least I hope) sending out a message to everyone else that they’re happy the way they are aka ‘don’t bother us.’ Don’t be those people, have open arms and talk to everyone. Sure you’ll have groups of friends and best friends but don’t exclude yourself, because in turn you exclude other people.
The work. Lol
Ah year, finally the thing you’re actually there to do, the work. Sometimes it’s forgotten about but honestly some of the best memories I have are from staying up late with certain people till 4am so they get their essay handed in for the 10am deadline, you’re welcome Lottie. And whilst this may sound slightly stupid to some people, that’s honestly just the way she worked and ended up doing better than me lol. As long as it gets done and you are trying, with at least 40% effort, that’s fine. It’s first year, you just need to pass. All I have to say is look at your timetable and deadlines in advance and remember them.
If there’s any other questions you have or things you’re thinking about, just dm me on Instagram! (@mtrrch)