Take it from a 3rd year…..
So often I find that I have a list of things that I wish I could go back and tell myself. Or things I wish I could tell the current first years. So, here it is. Take it from a 3 year, this is what we want you to know.
- BE YOURSELF! I cannot emphasize this enough. I remember coming to university wondering if people would like me, or if I would fit in. Slowly but surely, I realised the more I stayed true to myself, and found where I felt like I fitted, I just found myself enjoying life more. Now I have so many incredible people surrounding me, and plenty of amazing memories of me just relaxing and realizing that the best life I can lead is the life where I stay true to myself.
- Push yourself to try new things. This is your chance to give things a go – are there any random life skills you’ve always wanted to acquire? University is the time to have a complete fresh start – so much is accessible to you even with no prior experience. I started things like aerial at university, and now I absolutely love it. So please, see this as a chance to give it all a go, and to find what you really enjoy.
- Don’t let the bad days put you off the good days. There will be days where you’re tired, or you’re not feeling well, or it just isn’t going well. This is natural. We all have off days. This is not the point to throw in the towel, or to let it all go, or to get frustrated with it all. Instead, ask for help. Talk to people about how you’re feeling, see what support you can get. You are not alone, these things happen to everyone. The important matter is that you get through this, and that you keep going to find the good days as well.
- REALLY Don’t burn your toast at 3AM. I really hope I don’t have to explain that one, it’s really not a great way to make friends. If it does happen, then don’t stress yourself about it so much, just try and prevent any and all fire alarms being set off – I advise opening windows and turning the extractor fans on to full power.
- If it seems hard, that’s because it is. University will be academically challenging sometimes – it’s meant to be. It’s the next level in your educational journey, and it is pushing you with more advanced ideas, theories and examples. This is where doing your own research, your own work around classes, and doing any prep work/consolidation work set will help you out. Plus, there’s always staff office hours to go and visit them to ask any questions you may have about different topics. Alternatively, you can drop staff an email asking if they can help you find different resources on a topic, or if they wouldn’t mind going over something with you again. They’re here to help you succeed. Things should be challenging, but trust me, the feeling of finally understanding them is incredible.