I guess today’s post kind of came into my mind last week,
when lots of you lovelies were tweeting your A Level results.
1st thought: I feel OLD
2nd thought: There are so many things that I wish
I knew / did in first year, so I thought I would share them with you today!
Cue the embarrassing, bad quality (probably drunk) iPhone photos.
Join Every Society
Obviously not every
single one but you get what I mean. This is something I really really
regret. I only signed up to two societies. One didn’t do an awful lot at all,
and the second one – I only participated in activities until about the November
of the first year.
Societies are a great opportunity to meet like-minded
people, kind of like blogging. It depends what University you end up going to,
but luckily the University of Leeds had SO MANY, why didn’t I use this to my
advantage?! Going into 4th
year this year…. Better late than never I suppose…
You can meet friends for life in these societies. They don’t
have to be sporty ones, chess, journalism, whatever floats your boat, but I
found the sports teams to be really close. I lacked these friendships; I had
course friends and housemates, but didn’t really have a huge opportunity to
meet anyone else.
JOIN ALL THE SOCIETIES.
Go out. MINGLE your little heart out. This week is that week where everyone is really chirpy, chatty and probably all very eager to meet people and make friends. THIS is the BEST time to meet people.
ALSO TAKE ALL THE FREE STUFF. That is all.
Work Hard, But Don’t
Stress Yourself Out
It is an exciting time. SO much is going on, it really is
quite hard to take it in. The life skills you learn in this year are
Oh and what? I still have to study? Noone really mentions this part of first year! At my University the
pass rate for the first year was 40% and it doesn’t count for my final degree
classification (kinda wish it did
actually…..) I worked myself silly. All nighters, tears, and lots of trips
to the doctors. I look back and I do question why. But yes, work hard, do the
best of your ability, but don’t overly stress yourself out if you get a 58%
instead of that 62% that you wanted ok?
Take Advantage Of
That First Shop
Sorry parents. But SO true. This doesn’t apply to everyone,
and if it doesn’t apply to you I am sorry 🙁 But if you are lucky enough to be driven to University in first year, and your
parents / grandparents / loved ones take you for a food shop, I can’t stress
anymore. USE IT. It is your chance to
grab those BRANDED items. Otherwise say hello to your new best friends Smart
Price, Value and Basics.
It’s funny that I still remember this day but. Me and my dad
went to Asda and we didn’t have a pound for the trolley, so we had to go for a
basket. We didn’t pick up a lot and it meant I really wasn’t as prepared in the
food department compared to my housemates. However as long as you pick up your
5KG of pasta and your HEINZ ketchup I am sure you will be fine. But do guard your
ketchup like a hawk. Where does all the ketchup always go?
Make a REALISTIC Budget Plan, and Stick To It
I will admit my budgeting skills in first year were pretty good if I must say so myself. I literally lived off Smart Price. If you looked in my first year cupboard it was all so green and white.
Each year has slowly gotten worse, but I do advise making a budget plan. It will de-stress you and generally make University life feel smoother. When I say make a REALISTIC budget plan I mean what I say I mean. Make it realistic to YOU. NO point in making it unrealistic and then feeling annoyed at yourself each week. If you want to factor in like £10 a week towards cosmetics and things, you do that, you still have to treat yourself sometimes. That is how the human mind works. If you deprive something you only want it MORE. My friends have made spreadsheets in Excel and things like that. I fully recommend! Plus, with the spreadsheet you can see if you even reached your budget that week and either save it for another day or go spend spend spend!
Buy Pretty Decorations and Print LOTS Of Photos For Your Wall
There is no beating around the bush here. University rooms can be so UGLY. The carpet and curtain choices are often horrendous and you are blessed if your furniture all matches. What does help is buying pretty things to put on your wall such as Paperchase postcards, I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
I was like the only girl in my halls that didn’t print out lots of photos for my wall in first year. I got some printed in second year and they just make the room SO MUCH BETTER. Plus University is a weird experience, it is so so exciting but you do have those times when you just feel really quite homesick, and having photos of your friends and family on your wall is really nice!
A few little extra
tips that I am thankful that I knew / did (some sound nuts but TRUST ME):
1) Buy distinguishable EVERYTHING in regards to the
kitchen. Particularly cutlery. I had cute cutlery with pastel coloured handles,
and it really helped in knowing which was mine. I lived in a 16 bed ‘mansion’
in halls, so my kitchen experience will be a lot different to most freshers,
but really… silver cutlery pieces literally all look the same. They probably are
all the same set from wilkos or IKEA
2) Olive Oil. It will be your best friend, in both the kitchen and out. I will
share a little tip with you… (this is the nuts one) Being the Graphic Design
Student that I am, I often have quite a lot of late night cutting and sticking
sketchbook sessions. With that, comes Blu Tac, lots of it and it will probably
get stuck in your carpet. If this ever happens to you FEAR NOT. (I know you
want your deposits back) Grab a bowl, some olive oil and a cotton bud. Pour
some oil in a bowl, and dip your cotton bud into the oil. Then use the cotton bud
to dab the selected carpet area, and honestly it is so magical, it gets the Blu
Tac out. Please don’t ask me the science behind it!
3) Weekly food shops. They will save your life and
money, but maybe not your arms carrying it all. But SO worth it. Me and my
bestie actually really enjoyed our weekly shop sessions… we found them fun. But
you can also do online orders, or befriend the person with the car… wink wink.
Hope you enjoyed this post lovelies, I am aware it is quite
long, but I had a lot that I wanted to share. GOSH I feel all emotional now. I really wish I could do the
University first year experience again, it was literally the most exciting
moment of my life so far, and I am sure a lot of bloggers can relate to this.
Take every opportunity that comes your way that YOU feel
comfortable with. Remember it is a chance to have a fresh start, a new you, you choose how you want others to perceive you. Relax, have fun, soak up all knowledge, meet amazing friends for life;
it’s going to be a beautiful adventure.
HI CHLO! PS HALLOWEEN IS AMAZING AT UNI, start getting that costume prepared now
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