Looking Back – My First Year At University

Looking Back

Wow. So, this time last year I was moving away from home for the first time to go to university. Now I’m waiting for my second year to start.

I had never lived away from home before so I was terrified, but excited at the same time. It was something new and different, mostly I was looking forward to meeting new people. Once I had moved my things into my room and settled, I was instantly trying to meet up with the people I had already spoken to online. Everyone was so friendly and I was invited to many ‘pre-drinks’ (a concept I had never heard of before). That night was my first clubbing experience – which I hadn’t been looking forward to, I was never really into parties and I don’t drink. However, it went much better than expected.

As much as I was enjoying settling in during Fresher’s Week, I just wanted my lectures to start so I could get into a routine. After going through Secondary School (11-16) and Sixth Form (16-18) with having three two hours lessons a day, it was very strange to only have one hour lectures and seminars! I quickly realised I didn’t mind the lectures but hated the awkward ‘seminar silence.’

Many people say that university is the time where you try new things. In my first year I didn’t really join any societies but I still got to try new things regardless. As I mentioned, on my first night I went clubbing for the first time and over the year I got to do a lot more. I also went to some book festival events (and plan to do so again this year); went ice-skating for the first time in eight years; attended my first carol service my friends performed in; saw a show in London for the first time in twelve years; sat alone by a lake and just read… Now, these are all the fun things – there were a lot of mundane ‘firsts’ as well. Like… Cooking all my own meals; staying up until 3am writing an essay because I suddenly felt motivated; doing my own washing; finding a house to live in with friends; I had to make and organise my own appointments and budget… I even burnt myself the first (and last) time I attempted ironing.

I must admit – I didn’t think I would settle into university as quickly as I did. I really loved my first year at university and can’t believe that it’s over already. I’m really looking forward to what else uni life has to offer me over the next couple of years.

I didn’t have a totally smooth uni experience – especially in my second semester. A couple of weeks before Easter break I managed to fall over and seriously hurt my ankle, which left me unable to walk for around ten days. When I could finally make it to lectures again, it wasn’t long before I managed to get a disgusting virus in the last week before Easter break. On the Monday I dragged myself in to give an assessed presentation and didn’t make it in for the rest of the week – putting me further behind in my studies. I was adamant about staying at uni as the Great Gatsby Ball was on Saturday and I was hoping I’d be better (even though I wasn’t sleeping; throwing up; hardly eating and drowning in tissues). I made it until Thursday before surrendering and going back home. I had the virus for the whole of April. As I couldn’t do anything due to being ill I tried to catch up with work, I also thought about my degree as a whole – and it made me realise the Creative Writing aspect wasn’t for me (I love writing, but I just found it hard to motivate myself to do it for the seminars). So as soon as I got back, I met with my tutor and swapped from English Literature with Creative Writing to just English Literature. I’m pretty certain I made the right choice.

This is just some of what I experienced in my first year. Obviously, everyone’s experience is different – for me things were fairly straightforward, I’ve met some lovely people and I had a fantastic time. I was lucky, for others it’s not that easy. However there is always help available to you if you need it. Try and make the best of it and just get involved in things that interest you, it’s the best time to do it!

If you’re a Fresher check out my Fresher’s Advice! And if you’re not let me know about your experiences in the comments! 🙂

Rosie xx

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