Advice For My First Year At University


Firstly, I would like to say that University isn't for everyone and it is perfectly OK to decide against going and just do your own thing. That was exactly what I intended to do, I was already applying for full time jobs, eager to just get on with life and stay comfortable in my little bubble.
The day of A level results came round and I wasn't bothered at all until my favourite teacher, shout out to Miss Rock, said that I had the results to go and actually sat down with me and called the University of Lincoln and got me in! I had never been to one of their open days and I had picked the uni on a whim during one of the UCAS classes the school made us do. When I walked through the door with my results in hand and said to my mother 'I decided to go to uni after all and we have 3 weeks to organise everything.' She was both proud of my decision and also wanted to kill me for giving her such a tight turnaround to help me. Come mid September off I trotted as a Fresher at the University of Lincoln and 3 years later I graduated with a 2:2 BA Hons degree in Advertising and Management. Those were the best 3 years of my life and the best decision I have EVER made. Although my first year of University began a long time ago, I wanted to share some tips that I picked up along the way, and may help those of you starting your first year this September. 

1. Join a Society.
This is one thing I regret not doing. During the Freshers Fair you will be introduced to a whole world of societies that the University has, joining one is a great way to meet new friends and do something that you enjoy!

2. Relax in First Year
In the first year it is mainly a taster for all the subjects in your genre, it allows you to change your degree if you want to but also you usually need 40% to pass the year. Of course it is important to work hard and get great marks but don't put too much pressure on yourself to do well. Second and Third year are really where it counts. 

3. Decorate your room
Halls of residence are usually very basic rooms with breeze block or blank walls. Something that helped me to settle in to my new life is by decorating my room, I put pictures of my friends on my wall, covered most surfaces in fairy lights and took my childhood teddy. Make it a home away from home.

4. Don't buy your text books
Don't rush in to buying text books for your course, you can find second hand copies on University forums and you can put a hold on the key books at the library. The books are ridiculously over priced and you can usually find the books online in a readable PDF format for free. 

5. Be prepared for Fancy Dress
Be prepared for all manner of fancy dress, I have dressed up as anything from a burglar, pub golf, Snow White, vampire, Santa, Formula 1 girl, cat woman, school girl, police officer and my all time favourite a character from the Incredibles. 


6. Keep £5 hidden on a night out
A friend's mum gave me this solid advice and it has stayed with me ever since, also saved me on many a night out. she said; 'Stash a fiver in your bra so you know you can ALWAYS get a taxi home.' 

7. It's OK if you don't like it
This is an important one, it's OK if after the first few weeks you don't like University life. I saw a couple of people drop out over my first year. Everyone will tell you to give it until Christmas but the sooner you make a decision the sooner you can stop your student finance and reduce your debt. But don't let that put you off, it may just be the wrong course for you, I changed my course after my first year from Human Resources to Advertising and Management.

8. Neil's Tool Box is a lifeline
Harvard referencing is a nightmare to get right and tutors are quick to pick up when it is wrong. That is when I found Neil's toolbox, simply add in all the details and the website will generate your referencing for you. www.neilstoolbox.com

9. Keep coins for the washer
Always keep a place in your room where you can keep 50p's and £1 coins for the washing machine, then you will always be prepared for clean clothes. 

10. Freshmen 15 is a thing
It is highly likely that in your first year you will gain 15lbs, a student diet usually consists of pizza, pasta and sugary alcohol. It is always worth learning to cook some simple meals, batch cook meals and put them in the freezer. I started uni with no idea how to even cook a pizza, and with the help of my flatmates I learnt to cook so much more better foods! Bloody love those guys!

Of course there are things that you may not even consider such as, always drink water it's cheap and keeps a hangover at bay. However, if you forget your water, a bottle of Lucazade and a carton of Ribena will get you through your lecture the next morning. Also, Pro Plus and jelly cubes will get you through the all nighters. And lastly, take a pack of cards, you will need them for a variety of drinking games. 

Good luck my little freshers :)

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