First year at uni – Forever fresh

My first year of uni is over. I honestly didn’t think it would be over so quickly! I’m a third of my way through uni life and to be honest I don’t want it to end! I would love to stay a fresher for ever – I know it sounds cheesy, but I would! I have had such an amazing year, the thought of it ending is heart breaking.

The best part of university life, without question, is the people. I have met some truly amazing people this year. The people I have lived with really are my family now, and I love them all to pieces. We are all so different, yet all so close. I feel so comfortable around them, more so than I do my own family. I know many people worry about going into halls when at uni, I mean I would too – you’re away from your family for the first time, with people you have never met before. What are the chances of you all getting along? Well to be honest, I am still yet to meet someone who doesn’t love uni, someone who feels alone, or hasn’t made friends. Everyone I have met loves uni, and loves the people they’ve met. For those of you who don’t know, I never actually lived in halls this year.

I applied to uni wanting to live at home, but to be honest I have spent more time there than at home. Before going to uni I wanted to live at home because I am a family person, and the thought of living away from them all was upsetting, but since being at uni I have learnt to grow. I started talking to a girl on my course before going to uni and my, was that the best decision I have ever made in my life! We got along instantly, and still do now! I love her to pieces, and always will! She’s crazy, funny and just plain amazing! I cannot thank her enough for this year, because to be honest, it is all down to her. Had I not met her, or spoken to her at the start of this year, it wouldn’t have been anywhere nearly as amazing as it was! Through her, I met the rest of her flat. They are truly inspirational people. I love them all ever so dearly. Each one of them brings out a different side to me that I never knew existed. I get on with them all in different ways, but love them all so much! I’m actually going to live with them next year, and words cannot begin to explain how excited I am for that. I think I will finally feel at home when I’m with them all in September, but until then, I have to get through the summer without them. And as sad as it might sound, it’s actually going to be hard. The thought of not seeing them all really is hard! I’ve got used to having them around, hearing their jokes, listen to their stories, it’s going to be weird not to have them so close by! Anyone that’s worried about living at uni, or living at home – don’t be. I can honestly say that I have had the best of both worlds this year. I’ve got to meet an amazing group of people, managed to have the social life any student would love, as well as being close to my family if I ever needed them. It truly has been a life changing year, and for that I will always be grateful of them all!

I’ve also met a lot of people through friends, on nights out, just uni life really. All of the people I’ve met at uni, I’ve stayed friends with throughout the year. Everyone’s so open, and willing to make friends that everyone just gets on. I know it’s hard to believe, but its true. I think its probably because, at uni, you’re away from your friends and family, therefore have to create new ones so are open to everyone and anyone you meet. Also, university is a chance for people to be themselves and not be judged by it. Everyone I’ve met is so honest with themselves because there are people of all kinds and interests at uni, but there aren’t cliques like there were at school. It generally is a much better atmosphere mostly due to the fact that everyone wants to be there! As I said, I’ve met many people on nights out, and although I met them drunk, I’ve become friends with them since, and it’s these people that too, make uni life fun. I’ve met people that are in first, second and third year, and thanks to people like these, they’ve given me an insight into uni life, and have given me more advice than I ever thought I would receive. Thanks to them I know what to make the most of whilst at uni, and what to not take for granted. It is weird to think though, that the friends I’ve met in third year I will never see again.

That’s the part of uni I don’t like. Everyone gets on like a family when they’re at uni, but due to people being from different parts of the country, and in some cases the world, when they go home, the friendship quickly drifts apart. I know its to be expected, but its weird to think it goes from being so close to so far away!

My view of my course so far is different to what I thought it would be. While I do love my course, it is great fun, and I’ve met some great people, it wasn’t what I expected. First year, while I know it doesn’t count, feels kind of wasted. I’ve learnt a lot, but not as much as I thought I would. That aside, I still feel like I needed the year just to get used to uni life. I kind of got the feeling that they would pass people for the sake of passing them if their attendance was good? I might be wrong, but as I said, I still loved my course and wouldn’t want to change it! The lecturers on my course are also very inspiring. This is why I chose Portsmouth University. When I went to uni open days, Portsmouth’s lecturers were more than excited to have new students, whereas other university’s felt reluctant to be there. Both the lecturers and university itself has been very supportive this first year more so than anyone has been before. It truly is a great university and I would recommend it to anyone!

Before going to uni, I had never been drunk. I had been tipsy, but not drunk. I had only ever been out clubbing a few times and never realised just how much alcohol people consumed on a night out, but I can safely say that since joining university this has changed. Admittedly, if you don’t want to drink much you don’t have to, its your choice, but university night life is pretty heavy with most nights being a blur. Next year I don’t want to get as drunk as I have done this year, but at the same time, I have thoroughly enjoyed it! Socials at university are heavy. No matter what social it is, if they go out on a wednesday night they are all guaranteed to be ridiculously drunk. I never joint a social in first year mostly due to the fact that I’m not sporty, I do kind of regret this. I wish I had tried new things just to see what it is like. Socials are a great way to meet new people, but saying that, I’ve tagged along with socials for nights out because they are always more than happy to have new people to join! Freshers month at university was definitely a blur, but was something I would recommend to anyone joining uni. It gave me the chance to meet new people, and make friends, most of which I still talk to now. It’s a great way to boost your confidence and really understand just what the university has offer. However, we brought the bands for freshers month, but only used them once. While it did only cost £40, and did form a safe blanket for me as I thought once I had it, I could go anywhere not having to worry about not getting in. But we didn’t go to any of the events just the ball, this was due to other events happening at the same time which were more appealable to us. But saying that, I would recommend people getting the tickets just so that they have something to fall back on, but I can guarantee – everyone is in the same boat as you, they’re all worried about what to do in the first month of uni because no one wants to get left out. But trust me, you’re not alone!

I didn’t think I would spend as much money as I did. This is something that I definitely need to sort out next year, especially as I’m living at uni properly so need to afford rent and food! I would recommend anyone starting uni to create a budget plan and keep it near by, whether you use it or not, just seeing it should make you care for your money a bit more. When creating it, think logically, don’t put silly amounts down. Try and work out just how much is spent on each item and how much money you have, that way, you can make time for the things you want to do as well as the things you have to do.

My advice to anyone starting uni:

Be yourself – don’t hide who you are, people will except you, you’re all in the same boat!

Don’t hold back – do what you want to do, no regrets!

Get as involved in uni life as you can!

Any chance to meet new people, take it – the more friends you have at uni the more comfortable you will feel!

Budget your money!

If you need help or support don’t be afraid to ask for it – there are people there to help you!

Make sure you have a close group of friends, that if anything was to happen you have them for support – basically a second family.

On nights out, plan your way home – in most cases its a whole new city therefore you wont know your way around. 

Any advice you’re given whilst at uni, take it and think about it, it could come in handy!

Don’t worry or over think things, I can guarantee that every other student is thinking/thought the same at some point, if in doubt, ask someone for help!

Most of all, just enjoy it!

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