As many of you following my various social media will know, I’m currently studying at university and have just finished my first year which means I’m a third of the way through my course! It has been a bit of a whirlwind and has included many first time experiences and been a learning process. Over the year I’ve learned a few things That I’m going to share now.
1. Get out and see your new city early on
Depending on how far you’ve moved, you might not know the area you live. For example, I moved from the Midlands down to London. I’d only been there a couple of times before moving so I didn’t know much about it and it was an exciting time to experience a new place and go exploring. The first things you should try and figure out are how public transport works (at home I have a mango card for buses and in London I have an Oyster card), where your local food shop is (the first shop I did was at the Co-Op at my accommodation, but I’ve found it’s cheaper to get the free uni bus to town and go to Tesco there), and find some fun places you can visit throughout the year! Living in London it was very easy to find places to go as I’m sure you can imagine, but a quick look on google maps should help you find local days out wherever you are.
2. Don’t force friendships with people you live with
This is an interesting one because it’s different for everyone. For me, when I first moved in to my flat I tried to get along with everyone, but you’ll soon realise which personalities you work with and which ones you don’t. In my flat of 8, the girls formed a bit of a clique early on which I wasn’t part of, but eventually I realised how critical they were and it wasn’t worth my time trying to be friends with them, and I became much happier. There are others in my flat who have become my best friends and then those who just do their own thing. I think it’s an important lesson to learn that you are going to be thrown in with random people and it’s unlikely you’ll become best friends with all of them. The earlier you know this the happier you will be as you can accept everyone’s differences and get on with your own lives.
3. Find your friends
It can be a bit daunting going somewhere that you don’t know anyone, but over time you’ll find your friends. Do t worry if you don’t find them straight away, as freshers can be a bit of a free-for-all with people clinging on to anyone they can and you may find that these friendships fade over time as everyone gets used to their new surroundings and find people they are comfortable around. As I said previously, when I first moved in I spent freshers with my flat before realising I got on much better with people from other places such as mine and my friends’ courses. One of the best ways to make friend is as simple as spending time with people and inviting them out. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to spend my year with some great people going to things like Chinese New Year, the theatre and various museums, and exploring the city in general.
4. Find your balance between living at university and at home
I’ve heard a lot of people saying not to go home or you won’t get used to living away, but I think it depends on the person. Some people enjoy spending time at home seeing family and friends and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think that so long as you’re not forcing yourself to stay at university because you feel pressured to, or as long as going home a lot doesn’t make you enjoy living away any less, then you should do what makes you happy.
5. Live in the moment
One of the most important things to do when you start university is to enjoy yourself. It’s easy to get weighed down trying to make friends with everyone or do your work when you get it or event just keep up with managing a home routine if you haven’t had to do the washing up or your own laundry before. Let yourself chill out for your first year and focus on saying yes to opportunities and doing what makes you happy. That being said, if you enjoy doing your work then you may as well make the most of that!
See you soon!