I thought it would be a good idea to write a post directed those of you who are heading to university this September. Seeing as I am about to start my second year, I thought some of you would find it a useful to give you a little insight in to how I found my first year.
Firstly I have to say that I am doing a course which requires me to be in uni or placement for 40 hours a week, whereas some of my friends courses only had 12 hours of teaching. So it all really depends on what you are off to study. I would also like to add that I am at a University which is quite small but is still in a city and I also live away from home. However where I am, it is not a huge party town where there are student nights every night and there are tens of thousands of students. Nevertheless, I would still like to share my experience as some of you may be heading on a similar journey to me.
Moving out - For some of you, you will of chosen to stay at home and travel daily to your choice of university as you felt it was the best option for you. For others moving out of your home into an unknown place with know body you know can be a very scary thought. I am not the most confident person and I was scared at this thought out of leaving my familiar settings at home, but honestly I think it was the best decision I could of made. Everybody is in the same boat when moving out, and everyone is having the same feelings as you even if they are not showing it externally there are differently thoughts whizzing round internally. When you arrive you most importantly just need to be yourself. I took a bit of time to myself once my parents left, to just process everything that had happened. I then just went and introduced myself to everyone and it is the biggest relief ever once you meet everyone and you start to realise that everything is really going to be okay.
Making friends - Once again like moving into your new accommodation you may be scared about approaching people and starting a conversation. But, I can assure you that everyone's thinking the same thoughts as you. Its great because I have friends who I lived with, and friends on my course making a whole new friendship group is great and will differently making you feel more settled in. Your never going to get on with everyone its just not possible, but there will always be people who you find have similar interests/hobbies as you which you find makes conversational talk very simple and easy.
Freshers Week - I am a girl who likes to go out and party and have a great time with my friends, meaning Freshers was something which I was really looking forward too. I know Freshers can be daunting and not everyone's cup of tea, but it is a great way to make friends and socialise in that first daunting week of starting university. I had a fab time in Freshers, it runs for 1 or 2 weeks mine was for two weeks. I did not go out every night as my lectures starting straight away so I was in uni 9-5 most days, however I did enjoy myself and headed out when I could especially at the weekends. If you are living in university accommodation it creates a great buzz around your new flat mates, and you get to know everyone a little bit more by the end of the week. I honestly loved it and can't wait to sneakily join in this year again. If Freshers is not your thing then no problem, there are loads of other events going on around uni for you to join in on.
Your course - I think it can be very daunting thinking about scary it is realising if you have made the right decision to firstly go to university, and most importantly whether you have chosen the correct course for you. Luckily I love my course and I definitely certain that I made the right decision for me to go. For my career, university is the only option which I am actually glad about. But I think it can open many doors in the future post graduation and it can make you realise what you really want to do with your life.
Being independent - Once you have recovered from Freshers and the real work begins, being organised is definitely more important than ever before. You need to know where you need to be and what time, lecturers are not there to direct you constantly you have to stand on your own two feet and be responsible for yourself. It can be overwhelming in those first few weeks getting back into a routine after such a long summer break, but being organised will just make life a lot easier. I think you learn how independent you really are when living on your own, actually having to look after yourself. You will meet some people who can not cook and wash but it is all in the fun off moving away from home.
Dedication - Now I am no way saying don't go out and have a good time, but the fact is you are there to get a degree. Most of you going off this September will be paying £9000 a year to go, therefore more than ever it is imperative that you actually put time and effort into what you are studying. You will definitely meet people who you find are there for the wrong reason, as they didn't know what else to do and came to get drunk every night and create as much chaos as they possibly think they can. But do you really want to be one of those people who looks back and thinks I could of achieved so much more at university.
Enjoy! This is the most important point I think out of everything, you have gone to university because you want to better your future. So go and make the most of your experience the months fly by and before you know it, it will be summer and your second year will seem scarily close. I hope this post has just given you just a glimpse into what to expect, like I say this is my experience and everyone has their own.