If you’re starting University this September, it’s totally normal to be nervous. You’ll be in a new place, with new people, and it might even feel like a new life! Having now completed my course, I thought it would make sense to write my final ever blog post about the topic of starting University for the first time. This way, I can hopefully impart some pearls of wisdom from my ancient mind to the fresh young saplings of tomorrow. In other words, here is my advice for those of you just starting University this year!
Find your flatmates early
Ah, the wonders of social media. Back when I started at Plymouth in 2014, I was lucky enough to be able to connect with the vast majority of my flatmates on Facebook before we even began University. Due to Facebook groups and group chats, we got to know each other a little bit virtually before meeting in real life, which helped break the ice a bit early on. It also helps you sort out the boring organisational things, like making sure everyone doesn’t bring a whisk so you have 10 whisks and nobody ends up whisking anything with any of the whisks for the entire duration of the year.
Make the most of it
Your first year will fly by so quickly, and you will reminisce fondly of those times. Do enjoy them while they last, make the most of them, and take plenty of cringey photos to look back over when you’re older (you’ll regret it if you don’t!). What is life but a collection of memories, eh? Something you’ll likely hear from many a student is that they wished they took advantage of more societies and clubs, me included. They’re a great way to meet new people with similar hobbies to you, and they remain accessible to you throughout your whole course. They are there, and some of them are free (or at least cheap), so use them!
This point is multifaceted. First of all, do not rush into things. For example, you do not need to sort out your accommodation for your second year of University straight away, not even necessarily before Christmas. Friendship groups can change a lot over even a few months during your first year of University, so think about who you might like to live with. Secondly, take care when selecting elective modules. Pick whatever looks interesting and valuable to you, but also think about what work will be involved, i.e. if the assessment format is one that you’ll cope well with.
These are just some of the basic pointers for how to approach your time at University. Everyone’s experience is likely to differ greatly, so take these with a pinch of salt. Hopefully, they’ll be of some help in framing how you think about things. I suppose the main takeaway concerns your use of time. You do not need to rush into big decisions, but your time should also be used efficiently and enjoyed immensely. Time is your greatest resource, but don’t forget to allow yourself a quality of life in first year. Make friends, make memories, and make your family proud!
Thank you to anyone who’s been reading my posts (if anyone has!), it’s been a pleasure, and I wish you the best of luck with your endeavours.
Goodbye for now people!