My thoughts on my first year @ Uni

My first year at Uni

With the 2016-17 uni year coming to a close I thought it would be a good idea to share my experiences as a fresher to ease the minds of those of you that may be starting this coming September. Uni is an exciting time where students learn what it’s like to live away from home as well as new experiences related to more challenging work and fun social opportunities so there’s a lot to look forward to!

The first month of uni is a scary but exciting experience and is different for everyone. For myself however I really enjoyed myself during freshers week; I was nervous to meet my flatmates but within minutes there was a mutual understanding that we were going to be living with each other for a year and so the awkwardness of meeting new people was lessened, having a night out to start our year together definitely allowed us to bond but it was the getting to know each other before that made us realise it wasn’t so bad meeting others as we all thought and conversation flowed better than expected. The first week was a blur and I felt like I knew my uni friends for years, lots of the friends I made in that first week I am still friends with but I also found that I made others throughout the first year and I didn’t have to rely on my first friends if we distanced.

Following on from fresher’s week I found it was a lot harder once I was settling into uni life and real lectures had started. Being someone who was always very independent and spent a lot of time travelling away from home and my parents I thought that I wouldn’t feel homesick at all but after about two weeks I struggled to accept that uni was my new home. I loved having my new friends around me but I really missed my parents and my friends back home and did honestly have thoughts about dropping out. After sticking this through I felt incredibly proud and thanks to the support from my friends at uni I pushed through it and now think of uni as my main home, that’s the main thing to remember – especially when work gets hard or if you feel homesick that it’s definitely manageable and if needed, extra help can be given by the uni.

One thing that is always said but I personally didn’t listen to is budgeting!! In the first term I ran out of money by the end of November due to attempting to live the high life in terms of partying and treating myself to food that even my parents would hesitate to buy. For the second term I didn’t learn from my mistakes and had around ten pence left for the whole of march, ending up borrowing money from a generous friend as well as blowing my overdraft. I admit that amongst my friends I was the worst in terms of looking after my money but its definitely something all students struggle with to a certain extent. Budgeting is really important to make sure you’re able to feed yourself throughout the year as well as making sure that you have money aside such as your overdraft for any extra unexpected expenses which could include your laptop breaking or going home with short notice.

In my first term of uni I experienced many challenges including lack of money and finding my course extremely hard which led me to have thoughts about dropping out but the pros of having my new friends for support and enjoying being an independent person away in a new area to explore definitely outweighed this and I will always be happy that I ignored those thoughts and stuck with uni. I expect to have difference experiences towards the end of the year and the rest of my course but I welcome them gladly as I know that they are all learning lessons that are shaping me into a more independent person.