Life Lessons at University
If I had an example of an experience where I’ve been thrown in the deep end, university would definitely be the first thing that comes to mind. Going from living at home, having meals cooked for you, relying on your parents for lifts, doctor’s appointments, etc., to managing everything by yourself can be a big challenge. There are a few things I wish I’d have known before coming to university, obviously everybody has a different experience but having spoken to a few other students and friends, I’ve narrowed down a few important lessons that students learn at university.
Manage your independance– this is definitely something that you will get better at throughout university but first year is definitely the hardest. So firstly cooking, before coming to uni try and cook a few key meals that you can either batch cook or ones that are quick and easy (e.g. pasta dishes, lasagne, curry). Managing your health, so when cooking my mum always says think about what vegetables you can put in it and always have fruit in the fridge. Also, managing your health includes mental/physical health! Register at the university health centre and always check in with yourself to make sure you’re dealing with stress or any issues healthily. It is good to know that the university has a free counselling service and group therapy sessions students can attend to help you cope at univeristy. Managing your time comes under this as well, so making sure you have a good balance of work life and social life, the best way I do this is spend most of the day working and make time in the evening for my friends and hobbies.
Don’t compare yourself to other people– university is very competitive, Warwick is not a Russell Group University for no reason! The standards are high and you are expected to put the work in and achieve the best you can. Students will definitely push the boat out with work and extra-curricular activities, because we are all thinking about what we can put on our CV. The best advice I can give you, is don’t compare yourself to other people. In your subject, class mates will constantly say things like; ‘have you started this essay’ and ‘I finished that last week’, so you can’t help but panic if you haven’t done the same. The best thing to do when this happens is think realistically about when your deadline is and how fast you work because everybody has a different work ethic, but if you are confident that you are up to date, don’t compare yourself to your friends. Also, in terms of part-time jobs and hobbies, some students will literally be involved in so many activities to bump up their CV. Obviously having a part-time job looks good (best time to have one is first-year but I’ve had one throughout uni so it’s not too late) and joining societies is interesting so I recommend to just take part in what you’re interested in and will enjoy but don’t do it for the sake of comparison.
Learn to adapt to different personalities- university is easily one of the most diverse environments you will ever be exposed to because it attracts people from all over the world! So don’t be suprised to find out that there will be people who are totally different to you and some people that you don’t get on with. In first year, this is more likely because you don’t have a choice over who you live. You will learn to adapt to new people and generally as the year goes on, you’ll drift towards certain people more than others but you might find that you don’t get on with anyone in your flat so finding friends on your course or through societies could be best. Also there are bound to be people that you don’t get along with and potentially argue with, but as long as you surround yourself with close friends you can avoid any drama!
Be yourself– the best advice is definitely to just be yourself! You’ll definitely hear this a lot, but university is the best time to invest in your hobbies and interests. If you are genuine then you will attract friends that are like you so don’t panic if in first year you feel like you haven’t found the right people, I definitely made closer connections in second year and also third year! This is the time to just be yourself and do the things that you enjoy so definitely make the most of university because coming from a third year, it goes really quickly and soon you’ll be graduating.
I hope this has been helpful to all you freshers and potential students! For me, Warwick has definitely been life changing in the sense that I have grown and developed so much as a person and in my abilities, I definitely would have regretted not coming to uni!
Any questions just drop me an email 🙂