Today I wanted to bring you something a little bit different on my blog. Three years ago I was just an adventurous 18 year old looking forward to the next chapter of my life. I moved into halls and started a drama degree. Fast forward three years and I’ve graduated with a First and I’ve been thrown out into the big, wide, adult world. Now I’m watching so many younger friends start their journey and I thought I’d give all you students-to-be some advice that helped me get through the most amazing experience of my life.
Make your uni room a home
This may seem like a weird choice for my first piece of advice, but I think it’s really important. Whether you move into halls, switch houses every year, or stay put for your full course, you will spend more time at university than your family home. You’ll live there, make friendships and relationships, do your work, cry, laugh, and succeed all in that room. It’s the little touches that can make the room yours and it’s easy to find cheap ways to do it up. Fairy lights, cushions and photos are all small ways to make your room cosy. Plus, it’s huge amounts of fun to be allowed to decorate your space however you want.
All-nighters really are not inevitable
Before you go to university there’s always a group of people who tell you to prepare for the all-nighters, sleepless nights and endless refills of coffee and energy drinks. The reality is, you don’t have to stay up to complete an assignment. I never once did an all-nighter in the whole three years I was at university. If you are organised, plan your work, and start with enough time you will be able to complete your essay to the highest standard and get a good night’s sleep.
I know what you’re thinking, of course you’ll get involved at university, you only get to do it once. But you’d be surprised the amount of people who don’t. Whether you join a society, volunteer in the community, or just organise a weekly social between your friends, it’s really great to do as much as you can. You’ll meet so many people and gain some amazing experiences that set you up for life. Always remember, this will be the only time you go to university (unless you’re really lucky or possibly mad enough to do a Masters) so make the most of it.
Don’t be afraid to be sad
Everyone you speak to will tell you that university was the best experience of their life. They’re not lying, but once you’ve graduated you do remember the good and forget the bad. Just like normal life, university life can have its ups and downs too. You live independently for the first time, you live with a variety of people, you’ll get stressed with assignments, fall out with friends, have your heartbroken. I would be lying if I said my experience was perfect, but all of these moments helped me to grow and become who I am, and they truly did shape my time at university alongside the best, most happy moments of my life.
Explore your new city
Most people move away from home when going to university which means they get to live in a completely new place. This is one of the most exciting things about uni as you get a new city to call your home for three years. Try out all the weird and wonderful clubs and bars, go to the most popular tourist attractions, walk for miles to see what you can find. You’ll never get the chance to do everything, but you sure can learn to love your new city.
Obvious, I know. You’re paying a lot of money to be at university and you’ve picked your course to help you advance in your career so you want to try your hardest. Lots of people think that the workaholics do nothing but work, but it’s really not the case. Organise yourself and you’ll be able to work hard and have fun. Make lists, check your course syllabus, research early, and you’ll get your assignments done and still have time for the weekly student night.
This is another piece of obvious advice but when you’re at university the three years go within the blink of an eye. Make the most of every moment. Take thousands of photos, you’ll love to look back on those even a week after you’ve finished. By the end you’ll have met lots of people and worked hard but it’s all the little things in between that truly make your experience. Go to all those parties, spend lots of money on coffee at the SU, support your friends in sports and shows, celebrate birthdays. University really is an experience like no other.
Good luck to everyone starting university in the next week or two! It’s a wild ride but it’s one to remember. I wish I could rewind time and do it all over again!