I liked first year so much, I did it twice: A guide to surviving your first year at university.

If anyone is going to give you some good ol’ advice on uni, it’s a (Re)Fresher. I’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Starting university is terrifying! Don’t worry, nobody will judge you for thinking this because they’re all thinking the same thing. For many, this will be your first time away from home for more than a week or two. Just a heads up, you’re in for the time of your life – Get ready for one hell of a ride!

Here are my top tips for surviving your first year at university!

Do it because you love it

DONT go to university just because you want the social life or because all of your friends are doing it. If you don’t want to be there, you will not enjoy it. There are plenty of other options you can consider – jobs, internships and apprenticeships! The same applies for the course you have chosen. I did a whole year doing Comp Sci and it was horrible.  I was only doing it to please my parents and as soon as I realized that what I want comes first, I was so much happier and when I changed course, university just because so much more enjoyable for me.

Join Facebook groups and pages

There are plenty out there – Getting joining and get talking! You’re not going to be walking into this new environment alone, making friends beforehand takes away that original anxiousness of not being able to make friends in a new place.

Join a society

A big regret of mine from my first year was that I only really made friends with the people in my flat/block. This is something I find a lot of people tend to do. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! When I re-did the year, the first thing I did was join the History society. I made so many friends through this society (including my best friend) and I was also elected to represent first years which was a very fun experience. There are hundreds of societies out there – find the right one for you!

Keep in contact with your friends and family

They want to known how you’re doing, don’t be afraid to give them a phone call every now and then. Plan visits and skype calls. It’s very overwhelming moving to a new place and meeting new people, just make sure you don’t leave your old friends behind.

Don’t just sit in your room and watch Netflix

These will possibly be the best three years of your life – make the most of it. Yes, it’s important to have some quality ‘me time’ but it’s also important to make some unforgettable memories. Don’t just go out and drink with your friends! Go exploring, shopping, to the movies, for lunch, etc. Have fun!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

A lot of students go through university without speaking/or asking lectures for help – Don’t be one of them! Your lectures have email and office hours for a reason – they want you to do well. Don’t be afraid to ask where you went wrong and how you can improve. Your course mates are also there to help! Study groups are great especially during exam periods.

Try and avoid buying textbooks

 As a History student I read a lot and I mean A LOT! You don’t need to buy the books the lectures tell you to read. The library will usually have several copies and if that’s not the case there are papers you can read online. For the essential, core texts: Try buying used versions. They’re still the same, just cheaper! And what student doesn’t love a good bargain?

Stay Organized

Make notes! If you find you’re struggling to write them down on paper, take your laptop! Don’t worry about getting every single word they say down, usually every lecture will be recorded for you to go back and re-watch. So get the important stuff down and then go back and make more notes at another time. Reference as you go! The amount of times I’ve gone to write something in an essay and lost the quote, the book, or the author. Don’t just write the quote, get the entire reference down!!

♡ Look after yourself ♡

Eat healthy and try not to go the entire year on pot noodles and vodka! You will get stressed and cry and miss home but just remember there is always help if you need it. Make time for yourself whether it’s having a nice relaxing bath or having a PJ night watching Netflix. You come first! Remember this! University isn’t for everyone, and if it’s not for you then don’t stress – there’s so many more opportunities out there waiting for you.

Got any tips of your own? Or are you off to university this year? Let me know how you’re feeling in the comments!

With love,

Brooke xo


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