If you are about to leave for University or considering applying, here are seven things I wish I’d known before starting university! Please learn from my mistakes.
1. Your pet won’t forget you.
This is number one on the list for an important reason, it’s what made me cry the most and what worried me most about leaving home, what if my cats thinks I’ve abandoned them. They won’t. Yes, I still receive the silent treatment for the first day I’ve returned home but after that it’s like nothing ever changed. If you have patient family members that can help you FaceTime your pet that helps too, but if not trust they will be there to over-excitedly welcome you when you return home.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask, about anything.
I spent my first two terms at university not knowing how to use the printers. This was ridiculously inconvenient and when I eventually asked a friend to show me it turned out to be a ridiculously easy process. Not being able to use a printer is one thing but if you are finding yourself really struggling, all universities have facilities and people that can help you with anything from family troubles to mental health issues. Often asking for help is the scariest part but remember your university wants to help you so don’t be afraid to talk to someone about your wellbeing.
3. You’ll find your people.
Don’t panic if on your first day you find yourself surrounded by people you don’t think you’ll click with, the people you’re living with aren’t necessarily going to be the people you spend all your time with. You’ll meet people in the same accommodation as you, through your course and whatever societies you join, then one night before you even realise what is going on you’ll be buying each other rounds of jagerbombs unknowingly forging the bonds of friendship.
4. It’s okay not to talk to your home friends every day.
No doubt in freshers week you’ll be in constant contact with friends from home as you rely on them for reassurance and repeatedly tell them how much you love and miss them on nights out. However, once you start you start to settle and adjust to university life it’s okay if you feel a little distant from your old friends. You’ll be amazed how from seeing each other every day to only at holidays starts to feel like the norm, but with true friends when you eventually do see each other it feels like nothing has ever changed.
5. Don’t over think everything.
I spent weeks before starting University perfecting every outfit I would wear in fresher’s week but honestly it goes by in such a blur that no one will remember what you’re wearing, I couldn’t even tell you one outfit I meticulously planned and wore. Not over thinking applies equally to any embarrassing moments your intoxicated self may have created on nights out, that girl wont hate you for spilling a drink on her but your friends will remind you of how you fell off the sofa dancing.
6. Don’t believe the housing rush.
If you don’t have a house before Christmas all the good ones will be taken, false. Housing companies will make you believe that you need to find accommodation for your second year as soon as possible, this is simply not the case and as a consequence you will end up deciding to live with a group of people only to find your housemate soul mate a few weeks later.
7. It’s okay to feel like you live between two different planets.
The first time I came home from university I was struck by how home could feel so comfortingly familiar and at the same time completely alienating. University and home begin to feel like two separate planets and it takes a little time before that feels like a positive, but it is, as you always have the other planet there when one begins to stress you out. Often you’ll find yourself missing home when you are at Uni and missing Uni when you’re at home but learning to move successfully between these two planets is a great start to the solar system that will be your life.
So, there are my top seven things I wish I’d known before starting university. All in all, relax, look after yourself and enjoy what are bound to be the best years of your life. You won’t believe how fast your time at University will go by so make sure to make the most of every moment.