By Rachel Shapiro
If you’re starting uni in September, you’re probably feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness right now. I know—I’ve been there. When I was about to start uni, I was worried about a million different things and had a ton of questions. Here are six things I wish someone had told me when I was first starting uni.
1. You don’t have to figure everything out in your first week
Freshers’ week is one of the busiest weeks of the year. It’s packed with societies fairs, meetings, and events. It may feel like you have to figure out everything you’re doing in your first year that week. But that isn’t true—freshers’ week is a very small part of your entire university experience. Don’t feel pressured to sign up for everything that week. You’ll have plenty of time later for that.
2. It takes time to make friends
It can also feel like if you don’t make friends during your first week or two at university, you’ll be doomed to be alone. But what will most likely happen is you’ll make a few friends during your first week, and then as the semester goes on, you’ll gradually meet new people. You’ll make friends in your classes, in societies, and in your halls. Don’t be worried if you’re sitting alone in the cafeteria your first week—there are plenty of people out there for you to meet.
3. Your professors are there to help
The first time you to have to ask your professor for something can be nerve-wracking. But if you have a question or you’re unclear on an assignment, don’t hesitate to talk to them or email them. They’re there to help you, and most of the time, they’re very willing to talk through any problems you may have.
4. Time management is key
Your university life can get busy. Even though you usually don’t have more than a few hours of classes a day, on top of that, you’ll probably work and be involved in activities. Creating a schedule will help you keep up with all your work while still having a social life. Blocking out time to do work will make you feel much less stressed, and it will help prevent all-nighters.
5. Don’t over-extend yourself
Many first year students feel like they have to do everything. They join twenty societies and attend all the events, even ones they’re not interested in. These students may have a packed CV, but they’ll also burn out fast. Instead of trying to do a little bit of everything, it’s better to really commit yourself to a few things that you’re passionate about.
6. Enjoy your time—it goes quickly
University can be stressful at times, but it's also amazingly fun. You'll get to learn new things, you'll meet interesting people, and you'll have life changing experiences. And it goes by incredibly fast. Before you know it, you’ll be putting on your cap and gown and getting your diploma. So be sure to enjoy your time in university. It may be a cliché, but it's true: university is one of the best times of your life.