First Year University Experience

by - Thursday, July 14, 2016

Good Morning Everyone!
If you are like myself and the thought of University makes you want to scream, then this post might make you feel at ease a little bit. So many people said it's fun, but then the majority of people said they were so graduate from university because by their last year, they were ready to leave and didn't like it one bit. There are also them people who give you the three ground rules; "Don't drink too much", "Beware of freshers", "Bring a door stop". Thinking of university and applying for university can be quite scary and nerve wracking but you don't really know what it's like, until you experience it for yourself.

Just a quick disclaimer; I'm not studying at a live in University, I chose a small university centre which is part of a larger university, but it's located somewhere else. Therefore I travel to university on the days I need to be there and I go back home again afterwards to sleep in my cosy warm bed with my dogs. I haven't been to the university parties etc etc, and I haven't been drunk but that is my personal choice and I didn't want to experience that part of the University world.
So, let's get too it!

1. Things cost money (what a shocker!), but seriously; they do.
I'm one of them girls who would rather purchase every single book I am going to need instead of going to the library and having to carry heavy bags back to my car, or on the train to then go home. Ebay and Amazon however are a great place to purchase books for University, especially if you find the lowest price ones too. I also use facebook groups where people tend to sell their university books on there too for quite a low price compared to Amazon. However, you are going to have to spend money on books and stationery, paper and all the other tiny little things you will be using throughout your first year. The most amount of money I spent throughout my first year was actually on travel getting to and from university using the train. I passed my test a couple of months after I finished my first year so I was spending £18 a week on travel which does add up eventually. If you're not travelling, you'll be using this money on rent if you're living at the University or even nearby. Spend your money carefully!

2. You need to be organised (to the point) and self-motivated.
Something many people lack throughout education is self-motivation and organisation and this is something I actually got bullied for throughout school and college because I have always been organised and motivated to get on and do my work and finish it as quickly as I can but to the best of my ability. However, now being at University, I'm really glad I've done this for pretty much half of my life, because it really comes in handy now being OCD with my organisation and having such high self-motivation. You're not going to have the work handed to you by your tutors. If you miss a lecture, you are going to have to find a friend to get them notes from and then work your bum off to catch up. If you leave you work till the last minute, you're going to be the one spending every weekend amending your work to make it pass. Get into the habit now of being organised. Buy a diary, highlighters, colourful pens. Something which will motivate you and help you organise your time and you work and get motivated. Set yourself goals and achieve them before the deadline. You will not get through University without organisation and self-motivation, trust me.

3. Everything constitutes a social life.
Sorry if you don't like socialising with people, but you're going to have to. I found in my first year, we were forever having to talk in pairs, or do group work just to write your own essay or complete a presentation and then share it with everyone else so they had information about your theorist to save your tutor a job of teaching it. You are going to have to talk to people, even the people you don't like. You will see them in your lectures, you will see them in the library, in town, in fast food restaurants. You're going to have to talk socialise and meet people even if you don't want too. I am a very shy person so this was so nerve wracking throughout my first year, but that's okay. My confidence is now a lot higher than what it ever has been and I can talk to people now without any issues. More good things come from socialising than the bad things so don't worry! Smile and talk, it will be okay.

4. You're not going to get along with everyone.
Obviously, everyone is different, even if you are doing the same course as 20+ other people, depending what University you have gone too, this could be 200+. You are not going to get along with everyone. After the first day of my first year, one girl said the wrong thing and that was it; this was the first disagreement between a lot of people on the course. You need to make a good impression so don't go into your first lecture with the biggest frown and attitude as this won't make you any friends. Make a good impression, be polite, smile at people and if after a few weeks maybe a couple of months you still don't get along with one person or a few people, then fair enough; that's going to happen. Don't go into your first lecture thinking everyone is against you though, you're all in the same position and you will help each other get through University without killing each other. I have people I don't get along with on my course, but then I have my closest friends and people I'm so glad I met; this is life and it's okay to not like someone.

5. You first year doesn't matter.
So, once you are at University you will hear this quite a lot; your first year does not matter. Oh my god, you will get so sick of hearing these six words. You will put blood, sweat and tears into your essays and then be told "This mark doesn't matter, don't worry, you did great". Ignore them, you work your hardest regardless and you ignore what they say. 40% was my pass mark and I pushed myself to get higher than this because I knew I was capable of doing so. Getting 50% and being told it doesn't matter was a complete heart breaker but they don't want you getting high marks in your first year, so don't be disheartened; but don't let it stop you from working to the best of your ability because you still want to pass, right?

If you're going to University this September, good luck! Let me know what University you are going too.

Thank you for reading

Kimberley Jessica.

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