How To Survive Your First Semester at Uni

Basically Everything I Messed Up on in the First Semester That I Should've Done Differently

"Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present"

Having only been at uni for one semester, it seems a bit pointless to write something like this as I am probably just as clueless as people who haven't gone to uni yet, but I know that if I had read something like this there would definitely be a few things I would've done differently.

The first thing I learnt was that making friends with people can be SUPER easy, and SUPER necessary, but you need to put in the effort. Ninety percent of people going to uni won't already know someone in their flat/course and will want to make new friends, just like you, so they will be willing to talk! Make sure you go to your induction week if your university has one, or go to any taster sessions—these are such a good way to get to know people on your course and make friends. I found that going to lectures knowing I had a group of friends to see and have fun with made it a lot more bearable getting myself out of bed. Chances are the people in your course will have a lot of the same interests as you, so starting a conversation will be super easy! Also, making friends with people in your accommodation is INCREDIBLY important. There's nothing worse than being sat there on your own in your room with no one to talk to, especially when you're miles away from home. If your accommodation puts on any events, GO. It's the best way to make friends with people you live with, and having friends who are living with you makes the whole experience of university so much more special.

Another thing I learnt was budget. BUDGET BUDGET B U D G E T. I have managed to land myself in the minuses (most people will LOL) because honestly, I just spent spent spent. It got to Christmas where we started looking for a house and needing to pay a deposit, and I have now landed myself in a situation where I am frantically looking for a job to make sure that I can keep my head above water. Make sure you plan your food shops so you have enough food in so you don't have to keep buying takeaways (this was my biggest mistake, I DREAD to know how much I have spent on them this first semester, wow). I think it's incredibly important to enjoy yourself, let loose and make friends during the first semester, and people that I know who have had jobs have felt incredibly secluded from people and haven't enjoyed themselves. If you can go a few semesters where you don't need a job, then this is perfect. You will be able to do this as long as you BUDGET. 

Thirdly, keep on top of work. Don't use the whole "but it's OK because first year doesn't count" line. I know people who used this line all the way through first year, and have left essays until the day before they are due then were incredibly disappointed when the results that they got weren't very good. We were set assignments that weren't due in for a month and a half, and I thought, "Great! I don't need to start them for ages!!" Nope! Do NOT think like this! Start them ASAP, even if it's getting things like a few references together. Start off with that and work on it a little every day. Trying to write a whole essay in the space of a day is doable but not always your best work. It also makes you INCREDIBLY stressed and ratty, which people don't really seem to appreciate. 

This just applies for life in general, but I found that at uni I tried to please and help other people so much that I neglected myself. This had a massive impact on me. Put yourself first. Don't try and always please other people. Your mental health is so incredibly important to ensure that you have the happiest and best life you can live, and if you spend your time trying to please other people, then you just won't make yourself happy. Moving away and starting fresh can be an incredible experience, especially if beforehand things haven't really gone your way. It can be brilliant to make a whole new group of friends and start again, so if anyone is bringing you down before you go to uni, just remember in a few weeks you will meet some truly incredible people and you just simply will not need these toxic people in your life. As much as it is incredible to be there for people, make sure you take time out for yourself. Treat yourself every now and then to some clothes, or a nice meal, have some time to yourself to pamper yourself, and de-stress. 

The main thing is ENJOY YOURSELF. I have learnt that no one has the perfect first semester; we're all still learning and adjusting to this new version of life, and it can only go up from here, I guess! If you're thinking about going to uni soon, or if you've just had a nightmare of a semester and want some reassurance that you're not the only one, I hope this post has helped! I honestly cannot wait to see what the next three years bring me at uni. 

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How To Survive Your First Semester at Uni
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