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What I learnt during my first year of university

19 JUNE 2018 - SARAH -

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Being back home for the summer is great, and I’m really enjoying myself. I’m working back in my old job again, I’m looking forward to a couple of holidays, and it’s been great to catch up with a lot of my friends. The academic year has absolutely flown by; I can’t believe I’ve finished my first year! There’s a lot that I’ve learnt that I want to share with you (especially those of you starting in September).

Get involved

University is a great opportunity to get involved in so many different things. In my first semester, I kept myself to myself a lot, and didn’t do too much else. I had a small group of friends, but not necessarily anyone too close. During my second semester, I got a bit more involved by joining a society, running for School Officer, a becoming Digital Ambassador. Suddenly, I had a big group of friends, and a few close friends.

That was what made me really start to enjoy university life. I’m not saying you have to do everything, but just going to a sports session or joining a society will help you make a network of friends, meet people who share your interests, and most of all, it’s a good way to de-stress.

Go to classes

When you start university, you’re an adult, and you’re treated as an adult. That means that yes, you don’t have to go to all your classes. But there’s also a point of responsibility there. You’re suddenly responsible for your own education (which you’re paying for, remember). So go to your lectures and seminars.

You'll find that you’re not suddenly drowning in catch up work, you’re not letting other students down when you have group work to do, and you’ll start to find the subject more enjoyable. After all, you’ve chosen to go to university and study that subject (even though none of us like 9am lectures!)

Don’t leave things to the last minute

It’s so easy to get into a mindset during first year that you only need 40% to pass. So you can leave that essay until the night before, right? No! Although you will have to pull the occasional all nighter, don’t make it a regular thing. But the mindset you have now will continue, and unless you get into the habit of trying your best on each assignment, it’s likely that second year will be tough. Start out as you mean to continue.

First year was a great experience for me, and I’m sure it will be for you too. It’s all a learning experience to get you ready for the next couple of years at uni. Get involved, do your work, and have fun!

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