We are coming to the end of the first month of the uni term. For those freshers amongst you, your life has probably changed in more ways than you count.
‘IT’LL BE THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE’… ‘APPRECIATE EVERY SECOND’… ‘IT’S ALL DOWN HILL FROM HERE.’
Do you ever feel like freshers isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Well, you are not alone.
After my first couple of weeks at uni I was feeling quite tearful and confused. Sure, the club nights were alright and the people seemed nice enough, but I felt that by not loving every single second I was somehow letting myself down.
My wonderful friend, Poppy, gave me a call and said something I’ll never forget. ‘Look Rach, I’m gonna tell you something that the rest of us are keeping on the down low… Don’t tell anyone I told you yeah? Sometimes freshers is a pile of crap.’
What a relief! It was good to hear that I wasn’t a freak or a loser for not liking getting smashed every night for 3 weeks. That having mould growing in my saucepans pissed me off, or that eating toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner got old pretty quick. I missed my home, I missed my true friends who I could trust deeply.
I didn’t like some of the people I lived with and realising that this wasn’t a reflection on me as a person was such a liberating moment. Halls is such a lottery, you get thrown together with people you don’t know, with different backgrounds, opinions and experiences and have to make the most of what can be a communication MELT DOWN. Inevitably, some of the people you meet are going to prats. That’s okay! And inevitably, not everyone will be mad about you (though they should be, am I right?!)
Freshers is a life changing experience and overall I’m so pleased I’m at university, wouldn’t give up for the world. But sometimes, I really hated it.
Here are just 5 things you can do if freshers isn’t doing it for you:
Join Societies – universities have hundreds of things you can get involved in. From sport to political groups to outdoors and most things in between. My uni even had a quidditch team! They put broomsticks between their legs and play ‘quidditch’ in the park. (I AM NOT KIDDING) There will be a society for you, and almost all of them encourage total beginners. Now is the time to take something up and you will inevitably find people you have something in common with.
Move House – my gorgeous best friend Ruth was really unhappy at first. Her house mates were rude snobs who didn’t appreciate or understand her. I think this is MAD because she’s one of the best and most interesting people I’ve ever met. She moved into my halls in December and never looked back
Apply for a Job – Getting a job can give you a new circle of friends, extra cash and helps you balance your time. Keep it to a couple of shifts a week and it shouldn’t get in the way of your studies. I found working at the Union Bar an amazing experience, and if you work in the Union they tend to be very flexible around exam and holiday time off. Why not stick your head in and ask around?
See the big picture – Remember why you are here. Why do you want to study this degree? What do you want to achieve in 5 years? Thinking about the big picture can help you get through the more challenging weeks and see the pettiness for what it is.
Leave – You don’t HAVE to stay. Graduating from university does not make you a better person than someone who hasn’t. Perhaps your course isn’t what it’s cracked up to be after all. Leaving uni takes a lot of bravery and you should be sure of your decision, but if you really aren’t happy then you have every right to step away and focus your PRECIOUS LIFE on something that makes you happier.
I really encourage you to hang on in there and stick it out if you can. Freshers has only just begun and there’s so much for you to discover. Join a society, get active, meet new people. I know it’s an intimidating time in your life but finding that perfect balance takes time and effort. Anyone who says they loved every moment of uni is lying to you!