What my first year at university has taught me

Is anyone else just a little confused about how it’s May already and apparently the whirlwind of first year is almost over? It seems like an age ago I arrived at university; naive, shy and equipped with a dust pan and brush that I am yet to use. Skip forward eight months, past missed 9am seminars, hangovers and numerous vodka influenced decisions and here I am at the final stretch. Only a series of exams stands between myself and summer, before the chaos begins again for year two, but in hindsight first year has taught me a great deal. I suppose I am agreeing with the cliqued notion that university indeed teaches ‘life lessons’, despite the £8,500 a year price tag.


1.)    People are just as weird at university, if not more than those at home.

As I mentioned earlier I arrived at university incredibly naïve. I assumed that everyone I’d encounter would be mature, interesting and able to hold a decent conversation. Alas, that was not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some amazing people that I’d consider friends for life but equally I’ve met some that I’d rather forget. The bottom line is people are idiots and that is probably the best life lesson you will ever learn.


2.)    Save your loan

So after months of living of turning down nights out simply to feed yourself and fund your very existence, your loan makes its long awaited appearance. For once your bank balance is in the four digit zone and to put it simply you feel like you are ballin’. By all means have a mad one in Topshop but don’t overdo it. By the end of the month you’ll be having toast for dinner and the chances are that bread will not even be branded, but Tesco Value. Budgeting is the key!


3.)    You kind of have to get a grip and do things for yourself

Unfortunately that huge pile of clothes due for a wash will not go away nor will someone else do it for you, unless you’re keen to blow your loan buying new clothes to avoid washing your old ones (don’t do that, there are better ways to waste money) you need to get yourself down to the laundry room. And a word of advice, Colour Catchers will be your best friend! Additionally you have to cook for yourself, do the washing up and tidy your room. It’s a hard life  on top of ignoring that 2000 word essay you also have to do but embrace it, you are independent woman (or man) and all that, perhaps playing some Destiny’s Child will get you into the hang of things.


4.)    Never, ever, turn down free food.

Remember that budgeting thing I was on about earlier, well accepting free food, in fact, free anything is a great way to ignore the piece of advice. If you’re getting something for free this basically means that extra bit of money you were saving to keep in line with your budget can be spent elsewhere. In other words, you’re going to have a night out this evening.


5.)    I can handle my drink.

Ha, that is a funny one…..but seriously, know when to stop. It’s first year so being drunk for a good 50% of it is sort of socially acceptable however one flatmate of mine has built himself a reputation of puking and once you obtain that title you are never going to lose it.


6.)    Your parents were probably right

I hate to say it, but believe me my mum knows everything. Do yourself a favour and just take their advice.


7.)    Eating dinner at ten past three in morning is perfectly acceptable.

It is a fact that during university there is no concept of a ‘sleeping pattern’ of ‘early night’. That 9am alarm you set for a really productive day? Yep, that won’t happen, instead you’ll sleep in until 3pm and perhaps if you’re really efficient be dressed by 6pm.

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