First Year Handbook: What I Wished I Knew in First Year.
Welcome to the summer before university!
It is an exciting time for you, I’m sure. You’re getting ready to duke it out for yourself on campus, taking care of your own needs all by yourself.
Yes, I mean everything. Cooking, shopping, studying, living, partying, etc. It’s all on you. You have independence (and added responsibility) to do your own thing.
It can be amazing, but also daunting. I came to the UK as a scared teenager, just turned 18, who didn’t know what to make of the new country that would now be his home for the next three years. To say that it was daunting would be an understatement.
Well, I won’t say that I can share any wisdom, but I can sure tell you what I wish I’d known in my first year at university.
So, I’m gonna share my top three tips with you.
Listen close, and listen true (I have to be dramatic, I can’t help it XD).
Firstly, take in the experience.
For most cases, the first year has less of an impact on your degree. Take your time to get used to study at university, and take in the experience of all the things university has to offer.
Personally, I wish that I had travelled more in first year. The UK was a new country for me to experience; apart from the staple London sights, I had not had the opportunity to experience the landmarks of the United Kingdom.
And, I STILL HAVEN’T DONE THAT. I still beat myself up for it. Ugh.
Apart from the staple London sights, I had not had the opportunity to experience the landmarks of the United Kingdom. I STILL HAVEN’T DONE THAT, and I still beat myself up for it.
It may be something else for you. You may be wanting to get into public speaking, music, a sport, or something different altogether. University is the best time for you to explore the avenues. Especially in first year. You may not have the opportunity to dedicate as much time to it in later years.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
Like really, don’t.
In first year, i was afraid to put myself out there, in any way whatsoever. I thought I had to blend in, and assimilate into the British culture and expectations that rested on a British university student. Going out every other day, and then dedicate all my time to study, with a society to work for on the side; I thought I ticked all the boxes with that.
When really, there were no boxes to tick. None whatsoever.
You shouldn’t be limited by a list with boxes to tick. Feel free to explore.
In second year, I joined a dance society. I went to eclectic events, exposed myself to a different community on society, and made tons of new friends.
I managed to do this because I tried to move past my reservations and put myself in an uncomfortable position. Trust me, it really is fun!
Thirdly, don’t filter yourself.
Don’t be afraid to put the true version of yourself out there for the world to see.
You may feel like you need to hide some parts of yourself (big or small) in order to jell better with your new friends at university. I totally understand, I did the same thing for a while.
However, realise that your friends don’t really get to know you truly unless you show them who you are.
Unless you show your friends the little quirks that make you who you are, you never know how they will perceive the real you to be.
Don’t be afraid of what people think about you. More often than not, you will attract like-minded people to your circle of close friends; they should have no problem with any aspect of your personality. If they do, you can always make new friends too!
That’s it for me today. Really not much in terms of wisdom, but I would have really benefitted from these if 18-year-old me had known about these. Then again, I may not have had the experiences I did have, so there is that.
Anyways, I hope you guys can benefit from this.
What’s the thing you’re most excited about at university? Tell me in the comments!