First-Year Reflections – OurWarwick

First-Year Reflections

NigeriaUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
I love anything creative. I act, dance, sing, play instruments,…
Find out more about me Contact Mine

The end of term is looming closer than I dare to think about, but sometimes I can’t help marvelling at how incredibly quickly first-year has gone. Before we know it, we’ll be in the exam term and my year group will no longer be Freshers. After speaking to many people and doing some introspection, I’ve realised a few things and taken them to heart about being at university.

It’s no secret that university is a lot. Distractions hide in every corner, whether that be friendships, society stuff or other things. It’s so incredibly easy to be distracted from the central reason as to why we came here in the first place. I would often tell myself – as I got behind on my work, didn’t really study for tests, or didn’t do them at all – that it was fine because first-year didn’t count, (for PPE anyways, it’s different for each degree), and that I should spend this year enjoying myself.

Now, as much as that’s true to a certain extent, the first year of university is designed in such a way so that we can make mistakes, get accustomed to the system and bridge the gap between a Sixth Form mentality and method of working to university one. It doesn’t count towards our final degree this year (for PPE) so we can be ready for when it does next year. This is something I didn’t really take seriously when I first arrived and something I intend to do better on – to better balance the enjoyment/extra-curriculars with the main reason that I’m here. Because personally, I think regret is such a horrible feeling. Knowing I could do better if I did this or if I didn’t do that or get distracted by that. You’ll be on the path to excel when it counts if you don’t take first-year for granted.

I also noticed how easy it is to feel imposter syndrome here; to not feel good enough at a variety of things, but especially the degree you’re studying, as you’re surrounded by hundreds of people that somehow feel so much smarter than you – unreachable even. This is especially emphasised if you’re behind on some of your work and feel like you’ll never catch up. I know it does for me.

In times like these, I just have to re-affirm my self-worth: that I’m where I am for a reason, not by some miraculous magic. That I worked hard and got the grade requirements I needed and more. So if I could do all this before, why can’t I do it now? If I was all that before, why can’t I be it now?

I can say with full confidence that you are where you are for a reason, that even if you don’t feel good enough at this moment, so many other people think you are. If you take every opportunity that you are given to grow, even you will be surprised at the person you become. This stands regarding your course, and any other aspect or area.

On my last note, I want to say that it’s most essential to prioritise you. I’ve said this before because it’s so crucial: many things will demand your space and time but you are just one person with their own needs. When you’re too busy or preoccupied, and there are too many people vying for your attention, it’s fair to cancel arrangements or ask to be left alone for a while. You are not somehow lesser if you are not continuously surrounded by people; I know this is something I sometimes need to hear too. When I leave space for me, I can also do my degree – upskilling to realise I’m where I deserve to be.

So as exam season approaches, as a chapter of our lives comes to an end, I want to be able to look back and say I did my best. I balanced my enjoyment with my education and am ready for what comes next. I want to be able to say I made the most of my time here because I knew when to put me first and realise that I am not an imposter. Perhaps you have different reflections from first-year, but I still hope you were able to resonate with this in some way and have grown, as I hopefully have, because of them for the years to come.

NigeriaUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
I love anything creative. I act, dance, sing, play instruments,…
Find out more about me Contact Mine

Leave a comment

   or Log in?

Ask a