After nearly completing my first year of uni (!), I thought it may be good to reflect on my experience and give some tips for anyone starting next year:
1. You will meet some great people
One of my major concerns about going to uni was about whether I’d find friends and people on my wavelength. Happy to say, there are so many people in a university that you’re more than likely to find people like yourself. Don’t worry if it takes a bit of time, or if your friends change over the first year – you’re still getting to know these people and finding your feet!
2. There will be (a lot of) work
Misguidedly, I thought I would have significantly less work than at A-level, as at uni I’m doing only one subject. Sadly, this is not true! As well as doing work to prepare for seminars, you’ll have a lot more independent work to do, and, of course, a lot of reading!
3. You’ll probably be more adventurous than you were at home
Certainly, in my own experience, I found going to uni made me more willing to try new things and meet new people. Whether it’s going out or learning to cook, I found I was more willing to be experimental and more open to doing new things.
4. Your days will be quite unstructured
This is certainly true of a humanities degree. Gone are the days where you had a fixed number of lessons and frees during a working day. At uni, you’ll have different numbers of lectures on different days, sometimes you’ll have a seminar, sometimes you won’t. Getting used to this less structured daily routine was quite a challenge for me; I would recommend getting a diary to make sure you turn up to the right lectures at the right time, and sometimes planning how you will use your time can also be helpful.
5. There will be a lot of new opportunities
From singing to sailing, at uni you can find a society for pretty much anything! One of my regrets for this year was not signing up to as many societies, because I feared it would negatively impact on my work. But joining societies can be a great way to meet new people from different courses and years; I’ll definitely be returning to Freshers’ Fair next year!
6. From time to time you’ll miss home
Although it can be assumed that if you’re at uni, you’re automatically having a great time, that isn’t always true. I really missed home and my family over this year at uni, and speaking to friends, it was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt like this. Reaching out to friends for support helped me to feel less lonely, and if you’re able, going home sometimes can be helpful.
Overall uni is a great, crazy, intense experience – make sure to look after yourself and enjoy it! It is a time to try new things, learn more about the subject you’re passionate about and just have fun!