Welcome back everyone, to part two of my University series, ‘What I Wish I’d Known’. This time round we are hearing from four current university students, including myself (yay)! I hope this post reigns true for some of you out there. Especially those of you who this morning have just found out if you’re going to University in a month or not!
I am so pleased with the response to the first part, just remember that as well as this post there are two more confirmed for the series. Some more Graduates and Open University students! Hopefully we can help just one person feel more confident with their university experience.
Are you ready to meet the Students?
‘What I Wish I’d Known’
Millie is soon to be a 3rd year Law Student, who also works part time as a waitress, freelance blogger and portrait photographer. Millie did do one year of study of a history degree at a different university before dropping out as well.
What Millie wishes she’d known:
I dropped out of the first year of my history degree, before changing to Law in my hometown. I feel like “dropping out” isn’t as scary as it sounds. If you’re struggling because you dropped out, or are toying with the idea of it: you haven’t done anything wrong. University is hard and it’s not for everyone.
The lifestyle also isn’t for everyone and Uni may or may not be what it’s hyped up to be, socially. I for one have never been a party go-er, and I don’t really socialise with my “uni friends” outside of Uni. This knocked my confidence at first, because I felt like I was doing something wrong by not being able to make friends. I didn’t get into the swing of going out until 4am every night either. I think me struggling to settle in and make friends was definitely one of the reasons I dropped out of University of Sussex. I’m now at my home town Uni (University of Kent) and I don’t feel the pressure because I have my old friends very close to me.
What she’d do differently:
I went to a school that was very academic and put a lot of pressure on going to University. We weren’t told that it wasn’t mandatory. I honestly didn’t realise that not everyone went to Uni until after I’d left school. If I could do it all again I’d allow myself more time out, to take it all in, weigh up my options and really make a decision on what University and course was right for me, if any at all.
The social aspect isn’t really important at all and my advice would be to not make a snap decision, don’t be afraid to change your direction if you need to.
My name is Jessica and I’m 20 years old and have currently just finished my first year. I study Film at Roehampton University in London (which is located 20 minutes away from Waterloo) and I will be graduating in the summer of 2020.
What Jessica wishes she’d known:
I wish I would’ve known how stress free and exciting move in day and meeting everyone would be. Before starting university the days leading up to move in I was I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t have to worry because on the move in day everyone makes you feel so welcome and looks out for you. I’m so lucky that I got an amazing flat rep who really looked after me. You’re all in the same boat when you first move in to your flat, you’ve all just left your families and you’re in a new and scary place. My flatmates and I didn’t all properly talk for quite a while and we had a “flat meeting” and we all just stared at each other. It was so awkward!
I wish I would’ve known not to buy so much and have some money in your bank! When I started I turned up with so much stuff and I didn’t use majority of it! I had everything you could ever need, I had every kitchen appliance, piece of stationery, item of clothing it was crazy! So I would say make sure you prioritise and think about what you’re actually going to use.
What she’d do differently:
Having known these things I would’ve relaxed more about everything and just enjoyed myself more. The first day of freshers, everyone is so excited and it can get repetitive going ‘My name is ____ what’s yours’ etc but you make so many friends. Some who you will only know for that week and some who will stay your friends throughout the year. I’d also have brought less stuff with me, it would’ve been a lot easier when it came to moving out! I would say make sure you have money in your bank as in freshers week I was surviving on £30 till my student loan dropped.
Enjoy uni and make the most of every second as it really is the best experience of your life.
I’m Sophie Sandberg, a 22-year-old Swedish girl who moved to the UK (London) on my own when I was 18. I am about to start my third year at De Montfort University (Leicester) where I study journalism.
What Sophie wishes she’d known:
Not only did I, like everyone else, start university without knowing what to expect but I was also starting university as an international student (even though I had already been living in the UK for almost two years).
What she’d do differently:
If I got to restart my university experience I would’ve wished that I was more aware of the university culture that in some aspect is a part of university. I would also know not to get involved and trust people I shouldn’t. Not everyone is out to actually be your friend and will leave you whenever you’re not ‘valuable’ anymore.
The second thing I would like to tell people who are about to start their university journey is that it’s okay to go your own way. Don’t do things just because your friends do it, like missing lectures just because your friends don’t want to go to theirs. It’s so easy to get caught up in the exciting nightlife and new freedom you might experience. However, remember that you’re paying £9,000 a year to be there and that should be your main priority.
Starting university is going to be different for everyone. You don’t know what to expect and that’s part of the charm of going to university.
Now, I know you already know about me but I just want to input what I wish I’d known before starting university. I’m starting my third year of BA English at the end of September. I’m so close to the end of my university experience.
What I wish I’d known:
There’s so much pressure to make friends in Freshers and the first few weeks of uni, that I panicked thinking ‘Oh no, I’m going to be lonely now’ as I didn’t make loads of friends right away. I wish I’d known that I shouldn’t have worried though. I now have loads of friends and am happy! I’m both excited and nervous to start back in September but hopefully I will continue to improve on my grades and have an amazing time too.
If you want to read more in depth on my University experience then you can here.
Being yourself is the best advice I can give you, don’t feel pressured to be anyone or do anything you don’t want to.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this latest installment. Leave me a comment down below if you enjoyed it or if these stories helped you in any way! If you got into your dream university let me know down below. I’d love to congratulate and celebrate with you all!
See you next time!
Make sure you check out the other posts in the series and in relation to university:
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part One)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Three)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Four)
Fresher’s Week, Friend or Foe?
University, 9 Years Ago; An Interview
University, 13 Years Ago; An Interview
University Alternative, MOOC; An Interview
University Saving Tips and Tricks, Part One
University Saving Tips and Tricks, Part Two
University Bookshelf Tour
My University Experience So Far