10 Things I’ve Learnt Since Starting Uni.

Independance is a good thing. 

So this may well be the first time you’re going to be living on your own. Well, at least in halls with a bunch of strangers. It can be really daunting knowing you’re not going to have your family just downstairs or home cooked meals from your mum, but its also a great thing. You learn so much when you move out, you learn how to really fend for yourself. Its exciting and so much fun and you should really cherish every moment!

Making new friends is hard but you will definitely meet the BEST people.

Making friends was one of the things I was most worried about when I came to uni. And because of these it meant that I spent most of my first year hidden away and not really going out with anyone besides the people in my flat and a few people on my course. Now there’s definitely nothing wrong with that, but I really urge you to try and talk to as many people as you can, whether they are from the same living block as you, someone you met on a night out or just someone on your course. Surrounding yourself with people who are just as nervous and excited as you are makes things seem a little less scary!

The library really is one of the best things you could ask for. 

Don’t laugh, I’m being serious! I was allergic to the library during first year except for when I needed to print assignments off. But during second year, I was in there a whole lot more. It’s literally such a great resource thats been built specifically to help you and you should take full advantage of that. I know you might not want to spend your afternoon in the library when everyone else is in the pub but honestly it helps so much. Just remember that towards the end of term it gets super mobbed so I’d suggest either going early in the morning or a little bit later in the afternoon to get a table!

Joining a society is so important.

I joined about 4 different societies during my first year and I didn’t do anything with any of them. When you walk around the Societies fair during Freshers Week, its so easy to be tempted to put your name down for absolutely everything, but try not to. Really think about what you’re interested in and try to find something that will keep you interested all year. I loved writing so during my second year I joined an online student blog and absolutely loved it and found some of my best friends there. I also joined the student-run campus magazine, ‘The Demon’ and despite having never met a more rowdy and mad bunch of people, I have never felt so welcomed by a group of people in my life.

You will almost always feel a little bit behind with your course work.

And thats fine! Trust me. During first year everyone feels a little bit out of their depth. I do a Creative Writing and English course and I remember during my first week, majority of the tutors told us to forget everything we’d ever learnt about English and writing, which is scary. It does take a while but you will find your feet and no matter how much work you do, you will always ALWAYS find yourself feeling a little bit behind. But I promise, if you do all the reading, go to all the lectures and work hard on your assignments you’re going to be okay!

At some point your sleeping pattern will get screwed up.

There’s just no getting away from it. Whether its from too many late nights out or too many all-nighters, there will come a time where you’re suddenly sleeping the day away and are bright eyed when the moon comes up. Don’t worry. As soon as you go home and start living by every one else’s routines, yours will hopefully go back to normal.

It may be hard to keep in touch with your old friends but it’s so worth it.

With everyone moving to different parts of the country it can be very hard to stay in touch. But you should at least try too. I’ve had the same group of friends through most of secondary school and sixth form so we’ve been together for a fair few years and had the best times together. So if you don’t find the time to keep in touch while you’re at uni, at the very least try to catch up with them when you’re home. These people have been in your life for a long time and for a very good reason, try not to lose that.

Putting yourself out there is super hard but also super rewarding. 

I am not a confident person. I’m well aware of this, and after knowing me for a while, my friends become aware of this too. However, just sitting in your room on your own is going to get you no where, trust me. So offer to have a study session at yours, or a trip to the library, hell organise a visit to the pub so you can all moan about that one tutor everyone hates. Sometimes you have to be the one to make the first move, which is super scary but can be so so rewarding, you’ll find that you get along with these people and before you know it, you’ll have found your new best friends.

Asking for help is always going to be hard.

There’s no getting around this one. Asking anyone for help is hard whether its your tutors, your friends or you parents. But you shouldn’t suffer in silence. If you don’t understand the assignment, go and see your tutor and they’ll happily explain it and help you through it. I promise they aren’t as scary as they seem and they genuinely want to see you do well, so they are always happy to help. Asking your friends for help is hard but oftentimes can bring you closer and you’ll find out who your real friends are. If you need to ask your parents for some extra cash for your food shop, just ask. I can guarantee your parents do not want you to starve but they can’t help if they don’t know you need it.

You will, at some point, miss home.

I’ve never been one to get homesick and for a good few months after I started uni, I didn’t feel homesick at all. But the closer it got to the end of the first term, I realised just how much I couldn’t wait to get home and see everyone. This is completely normal. I still feel like this now, I invite my family to come up and stay with me as much as I can and speak to them on the phone at least a few times a week. There’s nothing wrong with feeling homesick and its completely normal, but you’ll adjust and soon you’ll be having so much fun you won’t have the time to be homesick but you’ll always find the time to call home.

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