Things that I would have loved to know before/during my first year
Starting university is an amazing experience. However, everyone reacts in different ways. Some people enjoy the freedom of university life, being independent for the first time but it is easy to find a balance between responsibility and independence, having fun and taking care of yourself? I have heard so many different experiences, anecdotes and I am sure everyone laughs at the end.
Year 1 is the period to learn, to ensure you are ready for living alone, for the adult life that follows the 3 years of university. At least for economics students, Year 1 does not count for the final score of our degree but this does not mean you do not have to give your best. My mum taught me, since I was young, that I can be the best, that I can achieve everything I want if I give my best effort because there is no effort unrewarded. I always give my best, probably because I enjoy my degree, I love all the economics modules I took during year 1 so I was interested in learning more and more about each topic.
I learnt to cook a while ago during the pandemic basically because I needed it for university. Delivery and restaurants are quite expensive and more if you are an international student like me. I always try to save money and it is possible if you cook! One of the best things about buying food in the UK is that there are many vegan/vegetarian options at good prices (at least the prices were quite less expensive than in my country, Peru). Near university, you have a Tesco and Aldi. Aldi is cheaper but Tesco has more variety of products. I bought in both places and do not forget to get your Tesco Clubcard to get all the discounts! I love Tesco discounts! Furthermore, on campus, you have rootes grocery store. It is in the piazza and so near to my accommodation Whitefields. Sadly, It is more expensive than the other places but they have some good discounts and you can always go there if you want to walk/have no time. I used to go to Rootes quite often, almost daily for a drink, snack or cookies.
On the other hand, One useful thing is research about spring weeks/internships. The first time I heard about spring weeks was at a career fair of Women Societies Alliance (now I am so glad to be Co-head of newsletter and Research in that organization). Firms like PIMCO, Berenberg and Jefferies talked about the different opportunities that we have as women in the financial sector nowadays! Finance has always been a male-dominated industry; however, this is changing and I love helping women to break into finance!
You can find a lot of information about spring week on the websites of the firms. Also, you should join some societies because there are always many events about internships and advice about the application process! This was vital for my applications and success.
Do not be afraid to join societies! Year 1 is to try new things, to find what you enjoy the most and to meet new people.
Go for it! You can do it! Don’t forget that there are always problems but you will be able to overcome them!Enjoy uni and have fun!