First Year – Where I went wrong, and where I went right. – OurWarwick
OurWarwick

First Year – Where I went wrong, and where I went right.

Maya Surprenant Russian Federation (the)United States of America (the)
Maya Surprenant | Biomedical Science with Industrial Placement Contact Maya

Hi everyone. I’m not usually a huge written blog person, but I’ve been scrolling through all of my first year memos, and I’ve come up with this idea to share my thoughts on how my first year went. I’d like to share some of my best moments, but also some regrets that I’m hoping to improve myself on in my second year.

So to start things out on a happy note, here are a few of my absolute favourite moments from this year, both in my personal and my study life at Warwick 🙂 These aren’t in any specific order, just what came to mind.

  • I met some amazing people, both from my course and from my accommodation, who have all ended up being really good long-distance friends this quarantine 🙂 (I also met my boyfriend 😊)
  • I got to dissect a mouse! This was my first dissection ever since I moved schools so much before and always managed to miss it in Biology class.
  • I discovered that writing a lab report is actually quite a simple task, you just need to know the layout and have an idea about what you’re studying.
  • I got to try so many good foods in different places in Leamington Spa with amazing company! If you are a foodie, or even just like trying new foods, find yourself at least one person in the same boat as you!
  • And on that note, I discovered the wonder that is CREAMS!!!
  • I had some of the best nights of my life, both in and out – with my flat in the kitchen at every hour of the night, and with my close friend in a club a couple times (Both SOBER!)
  • I opened up my first personal UK bank account (Keeping in mind I’m international), so this was quite exciting for me.
  • I became a Warwick SLS Ambassador, and even though I only got to do one open day this year, due to strikes and later COVID, I can’t wait to do more starting this autumn, and continuing through the next few years 🙂
  • I really loved the walks to and From Gibbet Hill through Tocil Wood. The woods are lovely, and especially early in the morning or in the evening when there are hardly any people, it’s so peaceful!
  • I passed the first year with a first, which was a relief and made me smile since all of my hard work really paid off 🙂

All that said, there were a couple of things this year that I wish I could’ve avoided/done better. So here’s a list of those, along with a bit of an explanation to them.

  • I didn’t go out at ALL during my first term. Then I went out TOO much second term. 🤓💃
    • I was very very strict on myself first term, and in turn, I missed out on a lot of great social opportunities. The workload of my first term was very manageable and there were more chances to explore the nightlife with my flat and other friends.
    • The second term, I felt like I had missed out the first term, so I had a lot more late nights. In the end, I had some serious financial problems midway through the term, this completely screwed with my sleep schedule, and I had a kind of unhealthy second term in terms of sleep, meals and exercise. I felt pretty bad for a while, but I realised the issue and stopped going out so often.
    • Overall, I really think it would’ve been better to have had a balance from the start. Knowing when I was available and financially able to go out, and understanding that it doesn’t need to be every week, but it also doesn’t need to be once a term. Going out is a part of UNI, but knowing when to vs not to go is a part of growing up.
  • I ended up missing a few lectures because of my poor time management. ⏳
    • I didn’t think it would be too big of a deal at the time, since we’ve got lecture capture and all the slides available on Moodle, but this very quickly came back to bite me in the back. Studying for tests was harder because I had to catch up, and I ended up behind in a couple of modules by a few lectures, so my notes were quite messy, and I’ve spent the summer trying to reorganise them.
    • A lesson to take away? GO TO YOUR LECTURES! It will save you so much time in the end, trust me 🙂
  • I made the mistake of thinking I could learn to budget in the moment as I went along. 💸
    • My finances had never been something I had had to look out for before uni because I’d been living abroad, and I’d only ever worked to save up for Uni, so I never spent what I had earned on myself.
    • This really made budgeting difficult. I had to really carefully calculate how much I actually needed to be spending on things like grocery since it was just for myself now.
    • I found myself with a large amount that I had saved up at the start, and I made the mistake of thinking that that would last. No matter how much you have, it’s important to set a monthly budget. If you need to go over it, you take it out of next month, and if you go under, you have a bit more next month, but living like you have it all today is NOT it.

Okay, I think that about covers the main pros and cons of my first year. With all of this, I’d like to close with a takeaway message for everyone who’s bothered to read this far down the page 🤭

Your first year of university is all about figuring out who you are, how you manage your time, how you study, meeting new people, having new experiences and most importantly, learning new things, both course-related, and about yourself or the world.

First year is a great opportunity because you are being given so many tools to help you find a direction, a path to follow down for the next few years. There are going to be a number of lessons that you will have to learn, about people, about yourself, some nice, and some unpleasant. The main thing to keep in mind is to grow with your experiences. Take away the best parts of every moment, and don’t forget to enjoy your first year!

Maya Surprenant Russian Federation (the)United States of America (the)
Maya Surprenant | Biomedical Science with Industrial Placement Contact Maya

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