My first year of university

July 15, 2016

It seems like it was just yesterday I was opening an envelope containing my A Level results. I was panicking so much that I started crying before I’d even opened the envelope, I was convinced that I’d failed. To my surprise I actually did a lot better than I thought and managed to get the grades to go to university!

The summer of 2015 was a massive blur. I spent the majority of my time working as a sales assistant for minimum wage. Although I did have some good times, like spending a crazy week in Zante with my friends and going to Reading festival for my 18th birthday. Very quickly I found myself in September, packing up my room and saying goodbye to my friends and family. I was off to university!

Freshers Week

Where do I even begin! Freshers week was complete and utter madness. Once I’d moved all my stuff in and awkwardly met the people I’m going to be living with for the next year, the drinking started. There was an event on every night so I ended up spending a ridiculous amount of money on alcohol and greasy take-away food. I’d actually just gotten out of a really long relationship so I was rebounding a lot. I wouldn’t advise this as it made me feel pretty crap. I lived in a student house for my first year because all the campus accommodation was full. At first I was a little miffed because I wanted to live in halls and have the full 'uni experience'. But I soon adjusted to it and after hearing some of the things about halls, I'm glad I got the house. Plus, I made friends with my next door neighbours cat!

Apart from all the drinking and clubbing, I had to learn how to live without my parents. I found this easier than other people as I was pretty independent when I lived at home anyways. I’d cook my own meals, do my own washing and buy my own things. But I did feel really homesick, I was just so used to having my mum there when I needed her. Thankfully, this feeling didn’t last too long and I became close with some of my housemates and neighbours.

Assignments & Lectures

My attitude to my assignments and lectures was good at first but it rapidly declined after Christmas break. I started to fall asleep in lectures, leave assignments to the last minute and neglect my studies. My mental health took a bit of a wobble as I began to be unable to control my anxiety. I started having panic attacks again, getting too anxious to attend lectures and I began to lose focus on why I was here. 

I’m so grateful to one of my housemates and my neighbours who really helped through this rough patch. I came home from work one day and they'd bought me flowers and gorgeous caterpillar cake to cheer my up. I am really am lucky to have found such great friends. 

Fortunately my lecturers were really understanding when I explained to them what was happening.  At the university I attend, there is loads of support for people struggling with mental health problems. I find it’s always best to talk to people rather than struggle on my own.

Friends & Housemates

I thought I wasn’t going to make friends at university. For some bizarre reasons I imagined myself being on my own in my room, watching everyone else have fun. Thankfully, it didn’t turn out like this. I made some lifelong friends in my first year of university and I’m going to be living with them in my second year.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get on with everyone. Living with new people and having to adjust to their habits and personality is a big challenge. I did argue with some of my housemates, this was usually about the cleanliness of the house and their lack of contribution when it came to cleaning. I was brought up to clean up after myself and respect other people’s belongings. I guess I was a little naive to think that everyone thought the same. I did learn to stand up for myself though, I used to shy away when it came to confrontation but not anymore. Some of my friends have said that I have ‘zero chill’ since going to university but I just think that I’m more confident and I’m not going to take crap off people. There’s nothing wrong with standing up for yourself!

What I would differently & Advice for new Freshers

  •          Do not spend all your money on alcohol and take away food
  •      Do a weekly budget of how much you want to spend. Don't be afraid to shop in 'non branded' stores, you'll save so much money!
  •          Give yourself plenty of time do your assignments
  •          Talk to people if you’re struggling
  •          Make a list of everything you’ve brought into your house/flat. This way you know what is and isn’t yours when it comes to moving out
  •          Stay in contact with your family and friends from back home
  •          If your housemates really begin to intimidate you, tell someone! You’re here to get a degree, not to be bullied by ego-maniacs & drama queens
  •          Join a club or society. It’s a great way to make new friends and it can open up a lot of opportunities
  •          Look after yourself. University life can be incredibly busy and draining so make sure you make time for yourself
  •          Make your room your own space. Decorate it to make it feel more homely
  •          Ignore people who tell you ‘it’s a waste of time and money’. My ex-boyfriend really thought I was an idiot for going to university and that I was wasting my time and getting myself into unnecessary debt. If you’re passionate about your degree, don’t let peoples negative, misinformed opinions stop you from achieving
  •      Enjoy yourself and have fun! As much as you’re here to get a degree, you’ve got to enjoy yourself and make some wonderful memories

am so excited to be going into my second year in September. I’m going to be living with some pretty awesome people and I can’t wait to decorate my house. My new landlord is so lovely and laid back so I’m not going to be living in fear of getting fined to the smallest of things. Feel free to talk to me about questions and worries, even if you’re not going to university.

    I’ll write soon xox

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  1. this is really insightful into the common mistakes we as students make like spending all our money and leaving assignments till the last minute. good luck with the rest of your studies

    1. Aw thankyou so much, I got a 2:1 in my first year so I managed okay in the end. Not gonna make those mistakes again!

  2. I admire you and your writing style. Glad you loved your first year.

  3. Thankyou that's really made me smile. I'm pretty new to blogging so it's great to hear words of encouragement like that! xx


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