Things no one tells you about university


Hello! September is upon us..the month of the back to school stuff. So I am here to shed some of my experiences and things I learnt in my first year, which will hopefully help you guys. I know all too well of the stuff they don't tell you in college, that will happen in university, seeing as they tend to concentrate on pretty much only the academic side!

Social Life | Making friends at uni is no different to making friends in college or in any other work place. However, there are so many more ways to make friends..from; flatmates, people in your lectures, clubs, bars, night out and even through other people. The main thing is to not be afraid, everyone in their first year is pretty much in the same position as you, so try to make as many friends as you can. It is also helpful if you make some extra friends on your course, because then you can help each other out in regards to uni work! Don't be afraid.

Being Alone & Living on your own | Of course you have to live on your own at uni (with the exception of your flatmates of course), but sometimes it can get lonely and it is very different to living at home seeing as you are usually surrounded by family and you can go chill in your bedroom or the kitchen or the living room. At university you generally get your own room and a communal kitchen, and these are the two places where you will be spending most of your time.

Cooking | Can any of us actually cook? Well I recommend for you to bring some cook books if you can. Seeing as now you don't have your parents hounding you on how you're cooking everything wrong, ha! But, come on now, we all can't live off burgers/pizzas for a whole year. Also, you should plan your meals, or even make batches of meals in advance and freeze them. This way if you're busy with work, you don't have to worry about taking an hour or two out of the working schedule to cook. It is surprising how important preparing food, eating food and cleaning up is, plus it is quite time consuming.

Work/Work Experience & Internships | The workload in uni is quite different compared to college, as the years go on, the less and less they 'spoon feed' you, so it is helpful if you start taking the initiative in the first year. If and when you need help, remember to ask your lecturers because you are paying them £9000 a year! Especially if they are unhelpful in the actual lectures, however they should be more than willing to help. However on some occasions they can be quite mean and sarcastic but not all of them are like than. At the end of each academic year, there is generally a survey which you have to take to evaluate how you found the modules you have taken, so please remember to fill them in.

Sex | Yes, lets talk about sex. Even though some people may think going to uni implies that everyone sleeps around, it is very untrue. A lot of people at uni are even virgins, I know shock horror. So, do not feel pressured into anything and don't feel like you have to say or do anything that you don't want. Stay safe kids!

Fresher Flu | You may be exclaiming 'psh I am not going to get freshers flu!' Well you're wrong. Even if you plan to stay in your room for the whole of freshers, you are still likely to get it from your flatmates and friends and basically everyone! The way to avoid freshers flu is to not go to uni, ha Im joking. Freshers flu is usually the result of going out every night in the cold with no jacket, screaming/singing songs at the top of your lungs, not getting enough sleep, not eating properly, not getting your needed vitamins, being around new people etc. Just get enough sleep and your much needed vitamins, and hopefully if you do contract freshers flu, it will be gone in no time!

Staying in your room all the time can be quite boring so I would recommend going out a bit more, make more friends, don't decline every invitation people give you to go out, work in different environments (to keep you from being stuck looking at the same four walls). You can also decorate your room so it is more cosy.

Sometimes it can be hard with all of this change and feeling like you are helpless and the inability to talk to anyone, but going out and hanging out with new friends will help you take your mind off things (even if it is just going food shopping at 1am, or talking in the kitchen til the sun rises). If you really start feeling sad please talk to someone! Most universities have helplines and people who will specially take care of freshers (e.g. Nightline or Fresher Rep/ Resident Assistant) if you need to talk to someone.

Remember you are never alone!

Also, even though it is only your first year, you already need to start looking at work experience and internships. Some of them are only available for first years and second years, so if you leave it too late, it is most likely that you will not get a chance to apply for work experience/internships. This is extremely important if you want to get a job after leaving uni, seeing as experience is very valuable, and you will have an advantage over the other candidates who do not have relevant work experience.

Anyway, I understand that this list does not cover everything but it covers the main things! I hope for you guys who are getting ready for uni will have a great freshers week! <3

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