As my first year of uni has really come to an end and everyone’s going home for the summer, I know there’s a lot of people who are eagerly awaiting their results and trying to figure out if uni’s everything they want or already packing up their stuff so they can move in as soon as possible.
So I picked some key topics of things that I was worried about and things I’d like to have known this time last year and wrote about them. Hashtag blogging?
As a first year now confirmed to pass into the second year, I thought I’d be qualified to talk about what my experience of first year was, I’m trying to be helpful, so if you’ve got any comments or questions, please do let me know and I’ll try my best to help!
So I’m a first year multimedia journalism student finishing first year with a 2:1. Multimedia journalism is what you’d expect of a journalism course – writing headlines, finding stories, knowing how to write something enticing but honest and true (whilst most people assuming journalism is all blatant lies, that’s just bad journalism) but the multimedia aspect means that photography, video and radio are all part of my course too. Just to give you a bit of background on where I’m coming from!
Before I moved into uni, I was certain I wasn’t going to get into uni, I had no faith in myself, I’d cut off some really toxic friendships, I imagined uni being somewhere I would listen to everyone else go out while I sat in my room on my own every day eating pot noodles and crying – it was a bad time and a bad place.
When I got into uni I was lucky that it all seemed much simpler than that – I got the grades I needed, my accommodation was sorted on results day and I started talking to the people that would be in my flat on Facebook before I moved in. But I still expected that uni would be a really lonely place for me.
The day I moved into halls, my mum helped me get everything up to my room and then she had to get the car out of the car park and I cried when she left – I was really doing this, I was going to have to start being independent and it’s scary, so scary. But I picked myself up, carried on unpacking and spent the evening with the guy who was to become my boyfriend (how ironic).
After moving there was freshers week – for those who don’t know, freshers week is a week of big parties and events and a lot of first years getting totally wasted. Alongside, getting like a ‘taster week’ of uni and meeting all your tutors and lecturers. I didn’t go out at all during freshers week and it didn’t have a negative impact on me at all – first major point: don’t force yourself to do something that will make you uncomfortable because everyone else is doing it.
To my knowledge, most courses have six units throughout the year and you have assessments and assignments for each one. I didn’t have any exams on my course (which is a big reason why I chose it!) but I had a lot of assessment deadlines – it was a lot of writing and video editing and photography portfolios and going out to get news day stories but it works for me because it kept me busy a lot of the time and I like being busy. But it’s about finding what’s right for you – the course you want might have exams and less contact time and it totally depends what you’re studying too. If you’re studying medicine and have no exams I’d be somewhat concerned.
Another thing that a lot of people do at uni is join societies – I joined the dance and cheerleading society (that no one knows that there’s actually dance teams – I’m not a cheerleader!). Personally I found there was far too much focus on going out and partying when I really wanted more training so I could dance more, to be honest. But also, even though I didn’t go out I met some amazing people and made some really great friends and fully intend to (hopefully) join the dance team again next year (if I get in, that is!). I fully recommend joining a society – I’m going to join the film society next year, so I get to help run the uni cinema so I can see more films. Societies are fun, I thoroughly recommend them.
Money is a tricky thing – budgeting is hard, especially in your first year when you’ve never really had to handle your own money before. I got too excited and spent a lot of money in the first semester and I got better at budgeting for food but I still did too much clothes shopping in Primark and buying off Amazon Prime.
Second year will be better.
Be careful with money kids!
Time management is another thing that I took time to get the hang of – remembering to start cooking a little bit before I’m starving and not doing an assignments the day before they’re due in. It’s something that a lot of people do get the hang of on their own time, but if you’re more aware of it being an issue than you have more time to prepare yourself.
Lists, organisation, I have written many blog posts – have a read. Bullet journalling is a thing a lot of people are suggesting!
Cooking is something a lot of people get nervous about and a lot of other people don’t master it, but I wrote a blog post about it so have a read of that here!
Homesickness and worrying about being independent are things a lot of freshers get nervous about and you have every right to be, but see it as a new start and a chance to start again. Learn to do your washing, cook and look after yourself whilst you still have a chance to fall back on your parents and help. Halls and first year or whatever you’re doing especially in your early life is a little bit like practicing and now I feel ready to go live independently in every way except financially.
But even then I’m working on that – I’ve got a job now for over the summer so I can start having my own income and being less reliant on my parents and I feel like I’m taking a step to being more independent and growing up, but that’s for a different blog post entirely!
Making friends came far more easily than I expected – I made a really really solid set off friends really fast and I’m so lucky to have these amazing friends still now.
Conclusion: uni is great and I thoroughly recommend it if you think it may be the path for you.
Thank you for reading,
Uni blog: http://sophieannblogs.blogspot.co.uk/