Thursday, 9 July 2015

What I've Learnt From My First Year At University

It's getting round to that time of year again when a lot of you will be preparing for your first year at University, so I thought there was no better time to write a post all about my experiences during my first year at the University of York. Hopefully reading this post will give you a few tips and tricks on what to expect when arriving at Uni.

The first, and one of the most important things that I can not reiterate enough is socialise!! I know that University is also about the degree, I mean you're not paying £9,000 pounds a year just to socialise, but getting involved and putting yourself out there, is in my opinion, vital during your first term and first year at University.

When I started Uni I was very shy, largely due to having social anxiety, and rather than push myself out there and get involved, I decided to stay in my room and study. I ended up taking studying too seriously. I've been left feeling alone and isolated after my first year, and although I ended up getting good grades, I have little friends, and I didn't take up any of the vast opportunities that were offered to me. So go out during freshers week, if you're not the kind of person who's into parties your Uni will have other events for you and other like minded people, or you could even just invite your flat out for a quiet drink at the pub.

The second piece of advice I would give all the soon to be Freshers out there is related to the first, and that is get involved! Make the most of your Freshers Fair and sign up to as many societies and clubs as you can. The majority of societies will offer a free taster session within the first two weeks, which can allow you to whittle down all those clubs you signed up to to the ones you really ended up enjoying. Not only are societies a great way to meet lifelong friends who have similar interests, but getting involved in the committee or in societies such as volunteering societies will look great on your CV!

That leads me on to my third piece of advice, and that is find your thing, your groove, something that you really love. Don't just stick with something because you have a FOMO (yes, I used FOMO). You're much more likely to find lifelong friends, and people you really get on with if they truly share things your passionate about. Sure, University is all about trying new things and meeting vastly different people and and experiencing new cultures, but don't stick at something you hate just because you don't want to miss out on anything, or you think it'll look impressive.

University is also great for those long summer holidays, where you will often have 4-5 months off between May and September, and it can be tempting after a year of studying and partying just to kick back and catch up on all that Jeremy Kyle you've been missing. But I urge you to resist (I still haven't seen a single episode of Jeremy since returning from Uni, its been tough, but I've held strong), and look for internships/work experience. It may seem a bit early to be looking for internships or work experience whilst in your first few month to March. Getting an internship or work experience will not only help you occupy your time during those long summer months, but will also help you keep up with the competition when you eventually get round to applying for those sought after graduate jobs. Take it from someone who left it too late, no matter how hard you study at Uni, there are others just like you, who also happen to have 2 months work experience in a top law firm in London, have climbed Mount Everest, and have a famous Aunt in the media industry, and if you want to compete with these lucky and gifted people when your three years at Uni are up, you're going to need some solid work experience under your belt.

Finally, have fun! University, although about learning and getting a degree, is also about discovering yourself, who you are and who you want to be. University is a whole life experience, not just an academic experience, so live it and love it, don't stay inside studying like me, or you'll end up with little to show for it. So good luck! I know you will all have a wonderful time whatever you end up doing.


  1. This is such a lovely post - congratulations on your first year at uni…it's wonderful to see people achieving good things and going for what they want!!

    Well done to you and I can't wait to see more! :)

    Layla xx

    1. Thank you Layla for your kind words, it means a lot to me! H xx


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