Things I wish I had known before starting University
It’s that time of year again where everyone’s going back to school or college or maybe even starting University! With this exciting time in your life also comes a lot of anxiety. It’s a big thing going to Uni, moving somewhere new, with no one you know. All on your own probably for the first time in your life and of course working hard independently. BUT it’s also the best time so remember that for when you may be feeling down, overwhelmed or homesick.
This blog post is all about a few things I wish I had known before I started University and hopefully this will put some of you who may be feeling anxious (which is completely understandable) minds at ease.
1. You’re all in the same boat
Everyone has moved away from home and are living independently for the first time. Not to mention starting a degree they have never done before. Everyone being at a level playing ground when starting university actually makes it easier for you to make friends. You already have so much in common! Especially your course mates, you’ve all picked this course for the same reason, you have a great interest and want to learn more in that subject!
While on the subject of friends, talk to everybody! You never know who you may click or bond with when starting university. Whether that’s people on your course. Not on your course. People you meet on the bus, at the library, events or anywhere, give everyone a chance. I think it is especially important not only to be with friends with people on your course but, other courses too. It widens your social circle and you never know you may learn a thing or two from them.
3. Events and Societies
Go to as many events as you possibly can, especially in freshers week. The tickets may be expensive or you’re not so much a social person but, you’re only a fresher once! Make the most out of it and have fun. Societies are great ways in order for you to socialise with people who have similar interests as you but aren’t necessarily on your course. It also allows you to maybe pick up a valuable skill.
4. Pack a fancy dress wardrobe or get creative
Most events and parties normally have a fancy dress theme so make sure you pack everything you own as it can get a little expensive! However, if you don’t want to spend £20 on a costume you’re probably only going to wear once, then why don’t you get creative? Make something out of cardboard boxes or invest in some face paints which you can use over and over again to create a variety of costumes.
5. Work Hard
I know in first year it goes around a lot that ‘first year doesn’t count’ and yes in terms of grades it kind of doesn’t. But, first year is the building blocks that are going to set you up for your second and third year. And guess what if you don’t pay attention or turn up, then you may struggle for when it actually does count. This leads me on to …
6. Get to know your lecturers and make sure they know you
Uni isn’t like school or college, everything is marked internally and then a slight percentage of work from each grade is adjudicated externally. This means it is normally your lecturer giving you your grades, so don’t get on their bad side. In fact don’t get on any of their bad sides because you may never know who may be given to you in third year! You also want to make sure that they know who you are so they can help if you need it. If you never turn up or engage with them asking for help could become a bit harder.
As well as living independently most of your work will require your own independent study and with this comes will power and motivation. You’re not spoon fed like you are at school or college, you need to force yourself to sit down and put time aside to actually do work. For me I did this by going into Uni from around 10-5 everyday. This was so that I was forcing myself into an environment where I couldn’t just sit there and watch Netflix all day. Everyone’s different, you may find working in your room is absolutely fine but, for many it can be a struggle.
8. Have fun!
Most importantly have fun! Most people only go to Uni once. So make sure you make the most of it and have as much fun as you possibly can before you have to get a real job and be an adult, boohoo.
I hope you enjoyed this post on things I wish I had known before starting University. Other posts you may find helpful are: Graphic design interview advice, What it is like being a graphic design intern, Absolute graphic design internship experience, D&AD New Blood festival and Top tips for graduation.
Lots of love, Melissa x