Pride will pretty much go out of the window
Holding back the hair of a flatmate you’ve known for about 8 hours? Counting out the last of your 20 pences to see if you can afford a loaf of bread? Having serious arguments about who’s turn it is to buy toilet roll? All of it becomes perfectly socially acceptable. I made one of my best friends in first year by him knocking on our door and saying ‘Please can you come out with us, we don’t know anybody.’ Before University, I wouldn’t have dreamed of asking someone to be my friend. But that’s basically what you have to do. The point is: everyone feels lonely, everyone’s broke and no one cares if you turn up to a lecture in your pyjamas. Swallow your pride. It’s worth it to have fun.
No matter how many times you tell yourself ‘First year doesn’t count’ it will still be a lie
It’s really easy to slip into the mindset of thinking that you don’t need to worry about trying too hard. ‘First year doesn’t count,’ after all. That’s rubbish. Okay, so it might not technically go towards your final degree, but its still important that you pay attention at least most of the time. First year is when you learn the skills that you’ll carry through the rest of your time at University. Take it from someone who did an entire year of an English degree without finishing a single book: playing catch up is not fun.
You don’t have to party like Jay Gatsby just to fit in
Before University, I was under the impression that partying every. single. night. was just part of student culture, and that you just had to go along with it. For about half of my first term, I kept it up. Spoiler alert: it did not end well. Sure, it’s fun at 11.30 when you’re dancing away without a care in the world. But come the next morning, when your head hurts, your bank account is empty and you grades are suffering, it becomes a real nightmare. What’s more, it ended up being really detrimental to my mental health. The point is: going out is fun, but you don’t need to do it all the time just to feel like you fit in. It’s even okay if you don’t want to go out or drink at all. I promise, no one will mind if you’d rather stay home with a cup of tea and a book.
It won’t always be sunshine and rainbows
Before University, you’ll have voices coming from all directions (friends, parents, teachers) telling you ‘University will be some of the best year’s of your life.’ For some people, that’s exciting, but for other its a lot to live up to. What if you don’t love University straight away? Is there something wrong with you? Does it mean you’ve failed? Of course not. Sure, Uni is great fun, but its not a miracle cure for all your problems. You might not settle in straight away and you’re still going to have times when you feel down. It’s normal and you’re not alone. If you don’t feel happy all the time at Uni, it doesn’t mean you don’t belong there, it just means you’re human.
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