I have been meaning to write this post all summer and just haven’t got around to doing it, but here I am finally writing it! My previous Uni posts have been very popular, so if you’re starting Uni this year maybe go check them out! But today I’m going to be talking about ‘One Year On’ I can now say I have completed my first year of Uni and am safely onto the second year of my course! (yay me) So I thought it may be useful for me to go over some of my experiences from my year so maybe help any of you guys out.
Before going to Uni I had no idea if it was the right thing to do, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted for my future and although a lot of people told me not to, I decided going to Uni was a way of extending the fact I didn’t really know what I was doing with my life. This decision is one I do not regret at all, although I had some friends at home there wasn’t a large amount that I felt the need to stay for and I just knew if I had stayed at home I wasn’t going to be happy. I have made so many friends and since starting my course and people I feel truly happy with. However, the main issue I had and part of me wishes I had experienced was Halls of Residence. My Uni has a very small amount of accommodation which I did not get into, I think the main issue with that was I didn’t get the chance to mix with people from other courses as I went into private accommodation with one other person, which turned out to be one of my besties on my course! For the next year coming I have moved into a more student area so I am still hoping the social element will be extended further next year! So my advice would be to try and socialise with as many people as possible and go for other courses, once you know one person, you know their friends and then their friends etc. but also don’t worry if you don’t, things will fall into place if you let them.
There have been times I have thought about if I made the right decision taking Photography and wondered how my experience would have changed if I were to have gone to a different Uni and chosen my other (more academic option) of Psychology. However, my advice here would be, choose something you’re genuinely interested in, I have caught myself a few times in lectures or workshops really enjoying myself and thinking how I don’t feel like I have to learn I’m there because I want to learn and I know it will be fun.
Another piece of advice I would give is don’t expect to be besties with people you live with straight away. Although me and my flatmate got on when we moved in, I almost expected us to be sharing milk, bread and eggs and cooking wonderful planned meals together on the first night and this obviously isn’t going to happen. It just takes time, it comes naturally as you begin to learn each others routines. For example a few months into Uni me and my flatmate would be food shopping and suddenly question why we were both buying six eggs so from then on alternated who bought them. Just silly things like that which can make your life easier happen over time.
I think my next pieces of wise advice is repeated to every budding student ever but still I forgot to adhere to it, and that is to take pictures of everything when you move in somewhere, especially if its private accommodation, as when your tenancy terminates they will try and charge you for every mark they can find in that place and if you have no proof it was there before you moved in, well you’ve got a problem.
Student Loan tip now for ya’ll. What I personally found really useful was when the money came in I would move it all over to a separate account and then each week move over the amount I had allocated myself a week (this is also something I would definitely advise, have a sit down and split your student loan up into the number of weeks you need it for and from there you can roughly work out how much you will actually need for rent, food, bills, and nights out.) By only giving myself the weeks amount I could clearly see that was only what I could spend, whereas when there’s a grand sitting my bank account I end up going on a shopping spree and living off pasta for 3 weeks.
Ok, so for now this is my reflection and tips of my first year at Uni, overall I had the most amazing year and had so many new experiences. Oh and don’t worry if freshers doesn’t go to plan because you can always go again in second year when you don’t have any lectures that week and you know the best clubs!
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or tweet me!