10 Things I Learned During the First Year of University

It’s September which means it’s the beginning of the academic year and I have been thinking about how quickly the first year of University went for me.   It was alright, I guess.  I wasn’t loving it but it wasn’t all bad.

  1. Freshers week is a daylight robbery.  You will either love freshers week and say you want to go again next year, or you will think it’s shit.  Which it was for me.  Never in my entire life have I felt so robbed and taken advantage of.  There is so much pressure to have a wrist band and go to every event.  It doesn’t help that you have second and third years telling you what you will like and that you have to go. It maybe a great way to meet people but I beg to differ.  There are societies, sports etc.
  2. Catered halls is one of the worst things you can do to yourself.  At first I thought, yeah, it will be great.  I don’t have to focus on buying food or cooking.  I can sit with the people I meet/live with.  Let’s just say, I should have bought food and cooked.  The food was so bad, unhealthy and definitely reused.  There are set times for meals so if you have a lecture you will have to find another way to eat.
  3. You will meet lots of new people in your halls.  Meeting people is one of the most interesting things that will happen at university because everyone comes from very different places and areas.  It’s a great way to learn about people and learn new things.
  4. You definitely will not like everybody you meet in your halls.  It is almost certain you will hate someone, if not a few people in your halls of residence.  And that’s okay, because some people are annoying a**holes with bizarre opinions and views.  You will meet people from all walks of life, from different places.  So to be safe, prepare for the worst kinds of comments.  From ignorance to know-it-alls.  I was friends with a girl who turned out to be one of the most ignorant people I had ever met.
  5. Halls can get pretty noisy.  I really do not have a problem with people making noise.  It usually just shows how much they’re having fun which is nice.  What isn’t nice is when you have drunk people you may or may not have spoken to before banging on your door or making too much noise when you have to wake up early for a lecture.  Everyone has their limits right?
  6. It’s okay to change course or module if you don’t like it.  Personally I didn’t because I like my course but I know a few people who did but act fast because there are deadlines for these kind of things.  Also be prepared to be disappointed if there are no spaces on other courses.
  7. Everybody definitely is NOT in the same boat, no matter what any 2nd or 3rd year says.  Lecturers too.  For ages before I began university I was so nervous because it is a big change from what people are generally used to.  What really bothered me though was people constantly telling me that ‘Everyone is in the same situation.’  Technically, yes because everyone is in first year and there’s a high possibility that you will know nobody.  However, I noticed that some people just made friends easier and others didn’t.  Homesickness, workloads, stress, going out, anxiety.  Everyone handled it differently.  Simple as that.
  8. Know the city you live in.  It is important to know about your surroundings so you know where is safe and where isn’t.  Especially if you’re a girl.  Safety is important.  Every great city has something bad within.
  9. No matter what anybody says, your first year is actually really important.  Remember when you went to open days and applicant days and all of the students already there said ‘All you have to do is pass!’  Well, there’s a lot more to it than that.  Well that’s what I found anyway.  It’s true that all you have to do is pass because the grades in first year do not count.  On the other hand what they do not tell you is that if don’t pass you will have to come back in summer to resit and if you fail again, you’re not allowed to continue.  (Sometimes)  Furthermore, all of the knowledge which is given to you in first year is a great foundation for second year knowledge.
  10. Reading is more important than you think whether you like it or not. The reading list you get maybe extensive but it will really help when it comes to resources.  You will also have to find your own but the reading list will help you a lot.  Again, it’s good knowledge for your second year.

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Chinese and International Relations Student, Avid Reader, Casual Comic Book Collector, Fashion and Beauty Fanatic, Food, Wine and Whisky Enthusiast, Freelance Photographer, Language Devotee, Polymath

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