How To Smash Your First Year at Uni

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


Oh hi May, you crept up on us fast...

So as my first year of uni is coming to an end, (I know, where did that time go?) I thought I would write a few tips I’ve learnt on this mad journey. For those of you who don’t know, I’m studying a Journalism and Media Communication degree, and I absolutely love it. My degree is so varied, often having lectures relating to the realms of politics, history and law - no two days are ever the same! 

With this being my second time at university, I figured I could give some credible tips for finally surfing first year… 

1. Get involved!

If I could have given myself one piece of advice, the first time around at uni, I would have told myself to get involved. University can be a scary, and lonely place but getting involved with societies, sports teams and volunteering can create great friendships, and important experience. I’ve had a recent love for cheerleading, and joined my university cheer team - and I’m so glad I did. I’ve made the best friends, kept fit and bloody loved winning a National champ title. 

For those of you who are less sporty, there will be plenty of societies to join from cocktail making to Marxist society - there will be something for you. Take the plunge, and challenge yourself. 

2. Don’t be complacent 

For those of you who will be studying a degree where first year doesn’t count overall, this ones for you. After speaking to lots of different people from various courses, a lot give the same advice: ‘Enjoy first year, it doesn’t count!’.  Although this is true, please enjoy first year - but don’t leave your work to the last minute, with minimal efforts. First year is a stepping stone to the second year, and the quicker you pick up good studying habits, the better it will be for you for the rest of your degree. 

3. Ask for help

Moving away from home to a new place can be incredibly daunting, but everyone around you is in the same boat. Universities are equipped with staff who are trained to help students settle in to university life. If you fin yourself struggle, reach out to the student support services at your university. I recently received a few counselling sessions from the wellbeing team, and found this incredibly beneficial for my mental health. Sometimes, just talking to an impartial being who isn’t a friend or family member can make you feel so comforted. You’re not alone, and even if you are struggling, please do not be scared to ask for help!

4. Try something new

Similarly to getting involved, university is all about trying something new. It’s the time to discover things about yourself, your likes and dislikes. University offers you endless experiences and opportunities. For me, I’ve taken a TEFL (teaching english as a foreign language) course alongside my degree. The course was heavily subsidised, and the university paid for most of it. This course enables me to teach English all over the world - opening avenues that I never considered even considered before university! 

5. Self care 

Freshers flu is not a myth. Freshers ‘fifteen’ is also not a myth. Looking after yourself is incredibly important through first year. It’s probably your first time being away from home, and you’re coming to terms with cooking for yourself. Make sure to learn a few standard ‘healthy’ recipes to cook, because soon those takeaways and Dominos will take a toll on your body. Also, taking some time aside of all the night’s out to chill and pamper yourself is important. Paint your nails, watch some netflix and just have some ‘me’ time. 

These are a few things I’ve tried this year and I can honestly say this year has been amazing. My mental health has improved dramatically, I feel great about myself and I’m looking forward to working over the summer - to survive second year! 

Let me know if you have any questions about university, I’d be happy to help!

Thanks for reading gals!


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