First year of uni. Your life will be full of alcohol, friendship and the exhilarating sense of independence. After just finishing my first year at uni and surviving Freshers’ week, I have learned numerous dos and don’ts to help you in September.
DON’T: you will be bombarded with so many ‘freshers’ Facebook events and groups to join. These are not usually affiliated with your university, they are extremely irrelevant to your life and just give you annoying notifications about joining other groups – don’t waste your time.
DO: Freshers week is the most important week of your university social life. Fact. Whether you like drinking and partying or not, there is something for everyone, don’t be that person that stays in over freshers’ week alone, because you will regret it.
DON’T: be that person that gets too drunk in freshers week. As much as it is fun, you don’t know anyone and being known as the person who ‘can’t handle their drink’ isn’t the best first impressions. You still have the rest of the year to get slaughtered to the point of no return, take it steady for now.
DON’T: During freshers week you will meet so many people. Don’t worry about making these your ‘lifelong friends’, people will come and go throughout your first year; you still have 2 more years to find your BFF’s!
DO: Joining a sports or society will make your university life 100% better. Not only do you meet tonnes more people, from all years, but you are also doing something that you enjoy. Naturally, as part of this, you will be that person walking home at 3am on a Wednesday social night, face paint galore, contemplating whether that last tequila shot was necessary or not. Have no shame, it happens to the best of us.
DON’T: Don’t be that person who stays up until 2am blasting out music. You will irritate everyone on your floor/flat and the surrounding people, you will not be popular, don’t do it.
DO: be that person that looks after themselves, cleaning and washing your pots will take 20 minutes of your life – maximum. Your popularity in your flat/hall will be minimal otherwise, this is a stage of maturing after all.
DO: remember why you’re at uni in the first place. Attending lectures and doing work is important…You will have a lot of people use the generic “you’re only first year” and “it’s first year, it doesn’t count ” as a persuasive device to make you go out when you have a 9am lecture the next morning. But just remember, this isn’t true for everyone. The things you learn in first year bring everyone up to speed and provide a foundation for forthcoming years. Although you just need to pass, if you don’t have high attendance you won’t be able to re-sit if needed.
DON’T: be ashamed about being homesick. There will be points of first year where you feel like you ‘can’t do it’ and want to give up. Being away from home for the first time is a massive thing but you do get over it. Not watching a film with your housemates and skyping home is sometimes necessary, don’t be embarrassed, everyone needs it!
DON’T: be that person that goes home every weekend, especially if you decide to go to university close to home. As much as it is nice to have someone else wash your clothes and have food that doesn’t taste like plastic, people will begin to forget you. Weekends are usually the time when no one’s working and you can spend all day with your friends, you’ll miss out on so much, your family aren’t going anywhere!
You may think A Levels/Btec or your access course results are the most important things in your life right now, but make sure you have a work-play balance sorted. You’ll get to uni and realise you’re all in the same boat and have no clue how to be a successful uni student whether you got an A or a D. First year is the start of your adult journey, put yourself out there and make the most of it; thrive off your drunken regrets. It will be the best year of your life to date.