Saturday, 18 July 2015

SURVIVING FRESHERS YEAR

I noticed that A Level results day is coming up soon (I apologise if you're freaking out and didn't want reminding of that!) so I thought I would talk a little bit about my uni experience and share some tips with you Freshers out there...


I'm going into my second year of the Illustration course at Northampton, so just a heads up that these tips are coming from an art student and my experience will be different to someone studying a more academic course, however these are just general tricks I've learned at uni so far, so they should be some help to you at least!

First of all, before I start, I just want to say how important it is to ask yourself the following questions before you even consider going to uni:

Do I enjoy the subject I'm going to study?

Now this doesn't mean 'Oh yeah, Maths is okay I suppose, I'll study that' and it also doesn't mean 'I'm dead good at Media I got a good grade at A Level, I'll study that'... No, it's absolutely essential that you feel passionate about your chosen subject. Obviously good grades are important, but theres a difference between being good at something and genuinely enjoying it, and it'll be a massive waste of time and money if you don't enjoy what you study because you won't do very well!

Am I willing to challenge myself?

Moving to uni was possibly the biggest challenge I have ever set myself, and I'm so glad I took the leap. You've got to be prepared to be taken out of your comfort zone, and if you're not comfortable with this then uni probably isn't for you. That being said, it's completely normal to be nervous about it!

Okay, lecture over (ha ha!) let's talk about some tips and tricks I learned as a Fresher.

1. Go into halls for first year
Halls are accomodation that is run by the university. I know you probably find it scary the thought of moving into a flat of strangers but trust me, there's no better way of making friends than being in a tiny little flat with no idea what you're doing, you'll help and learn from each other, therefore creating friendships (you're all in this together and all that). Also, find a Hall that's relatively close to your uni campus where you'll be studying, you'll be thankful for this when you sleep in for a lecture and for the extra money you'll save on travelling to uni every day.

2. Don't take every single thing you own
You think I'm joking, but some people take so much stuff I wouldn't be surprised if they had to hire a moving van! Remember you've got to get it all in the car and then move it all into your little uni room (they're smaller than you think! Here's what my room looked like) so take only the essentials. It will probably help to get some, but not all, of your stuff when you actually get there, you'll be able to work out what you actually need as you go along and won't be left with useless kitchen utensils or stuff that takes uploads of room. Obviously you'll need bedding, clothes, cutlery and dishes though.

3. Freshers Week
I'm going to be honest here, my Freshers Week was pretty full, I wrote a post about what I got up to here. I was out (almost) every night and in uni every day for welcome talks and such. My advice for Freshers week is to embrace it, go with the flow, but don't do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Suss out your surroundings before you start drinking and make sure you're in a state to get yourself home when you need to. Also, there's nothing wrong with not drinking either! Freshers Week is about socialising and making friends anyway, but I would advise going to at least some of the events even if you don't drink while you're there to break the ice a little.

4. Don't worry about getting on with your flatmates
Here we are, the big one: getting on with your flatmates, my biggest worry before starting uni. Sure, getting on with the people you're living with would be great, but it's not the end of the world if you don't I promise you! Most people get on with at least some of their flatmates but it's important to remember that not everyone's going to like you or be your kind of person, and that's okay. What's important to bear in mind is that there's loads of opportunities for making friends on your course, joining societies or even just visiting your Student Union.

This was a rambly post so I apologise for that, I definitely haven't covered everything though, I might do a post of what I'm actually packing before I move back to uni too. If you have any more tips that you learned while at uni please share them with me! Also, if anyone's got any tips on starting second year that would be great too as I start in September.

I hope this helped,
Emily x

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