Friday, 28 July 2017

20 Things I Learnt in my First Year at University

I've finished my first year at University. And as cliché as it may be, it's flown by, I literally cannot comprehend just how quickly time has gone over these past 6 months; and how much I've learnt. 

I've compiled together a list of the most important things I've learnt whilst being in first year at university... 

1. Making Mistakes 
Making mistakes is okay, as long as you learn for them. We will all make mistakes, and there are many we must make ourselves, it's a learning curve, it will happen. Don't punish yourself for it, take it on the chin, learn from it and move on. 

2. Homesickness 
Being a family girl, I knew I would miss being at home with my family, despite the fact I'm only an hours drive away. Having lived away from home, I've learnt to value what's important. 

3. You Can't Get Along With Everybody 
We cannot please everybody in this world, much like not everybody will please us. Learning to be polite, and to accept others as who they are despite your differences is one of the most important lessons someone can learn. 

4. Independence is Liberating 
Although embracing your independence can be daunting, once you get into the swing of things, being independent becomes a privilege - at the moment I don't have to worry about etc. but being able to control your own life is a powerful feeling 

5. A Love Of Learning  
Having always been passionate about school, I knew university would strike interest. However, the whole. "experience" has been a massive learning curve. Everything from the lectures and seminars to experimenting with cooking. Learning new things and new skills is a huge passion. 

6. Listening to Your Body 
Learning to understand what your body wants and needs is something I have definitely discovered since being at university. When under the weather, or feeling stressed, listening to what your body is telling you is the best way to heal. 

7. It's Okay to 'Not Fit In' 
Being 21 when starting university, I didn't think I would 'fit in' at university. When truth be told, there is such variation in age at university. Being true to who you are, and not altering yourself to 'fit in' with the crowd is perfectly okay. Saying no, to social events is totally okay - there will always be another pub crawl, or another 'sesh'. Just because you may not be into the 'uni lifestyle' of going out every week and getting absolutely mortal, is fine. It's okay to be different. 

8. Living Alone Can Be Great 
If I want to lie in bed an eat a whole tub of ice cream, a bucket of popcorn and two meringues whilst binge watching youtube videos, naked, smothered in coconut oil - then I can totally do that. My space is entirely my own. Although this can cause great discomfort and is not highly recommended, there are days when I just fancy a good ol' fashioned "stuff yo' face sesh". 

9. We Can't Like Everyone 
In my university career, I've met people I absolutely love, and consider a part of my university family. And I've also met people I've struggled to see eye-to-eye with. This, is totally normal. It is impossible to like everybody, and it's impossible for everybody to like you. It's life. Be polite - but don't get bogged down by them. 

10. Don't leave work to the last minute. 
I may have learnt this... but actually learning my lesson from leaving everything to the last minute is a whole different story. Assignments and revision. Find out the due date, and work towards it as soon as you can. Better to be prepared, than last minute rushing and scraping by. 

11. Embracing University Life 
When going to Uni, the idea of this social "experience" came across really daunting, and in the first couple of months, I avoided it. However, once I got into the swing of things, and started to settle in, I realised that I'm never going to get another opportunity to get away with the things I've previously got away with as a first year student. Embrace it. It's fun.

12. Have fun. 
This leads off of number 11, there is no point being at university if you aren't enjoying it. It's a lot of money, so make it worth your while. Enjoy your course, if the course you are on does not live up to your expectations in the first couple of weeks, speak to someone about changing it. It's a faff, but as a UK student, I'm paying nine grand a year to be studying, the cost is going up again this year! Enjoy every aspect of university. The social life is a plus, not the majority. 

13. There will always be another 'night out' 
Putting it frankly, there will always be another 'sesh'. It's never ending. If you aren't feeling the vibe to drink your body weight in alcohol, have every member of the club through their vodka lemonade over you, or to shove on a load of slap. Stay in bed. Plenty more boozy nights are to come. 

14. Engage during seminars 
I found this particularly difficult during first year. Having been out of the educational loop for a couple of years, falling back into the habits of a classroom was strange. make sure you do the required work for the class at least, if you're not confident enough to speak out. Because there is nothing worse than turning up to class and your lecturer finding out nobody has done the reading. And trust me. They will know. And they will be pissed. (Not in the fun way) 

15. Taking Naps 
The magic of taking afternoon naps is a new concept to me. Nothing screams revitalisation like a good nap does. 

16. Chat to people 
"Everyone is in the same boat" 
Honey, that is so cliché. But so god damn true. Don't be afraid to talk to people. You can bet your bottom dollar they will be relieved to have your company. And if you don't end up being life long friends - you can at least consider them a familiar face around campus. What have you got to lose? 

17. Experiment with cooking 
I have made some really great meals at uni. And some real awful ones. My housemate lived off of chicken goujons and potato waffles all year. All year! Get healthy, or simply make whatever the hell you goddamn like because your mumma ain't there to tell you no! 

18. You will appreciate home more than you ever have 
Living alone will make you realise just how much your parents have done for you, everything from cooking your own meals three times a day, to washing up, to doing your own washing, to scrubbing the bathroom. And that doesn't even cover the emotional support your family give you 24/7. When you're home, you will appreciate the little things much more. 

19. Be you. 
Going to university can be a chance for you to reinvent yourself. Start new, wipe the slate clean. Great! But always remember to be yourself. 

20. Time flies when you're having fun 
After finishing first year, I've realised just how quickly it's gone, and that the rest of my university experience is going to go by just as quickly. Enjoy every second, and make the most of it!  

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