Student and Graduate Publishing

Five Things I Wish I Knew before I started University

Sunday, 17 November 2013 20:37

- By Eve Stanger.

If you are thinking about heading to university? Stop! Read this first.
1.Taking up extra-curricular activities is genuinely important: Throughout first year I was bombarded with others to start volunteering or join the Nick Cage Society. At the time these seemed irrelevant. But at the end of my first year I was left asking myself, what have I done to make myself stand out? Nothing. Don’t make my mistake - Get involved.

2.People want to know YOU: First day, as your parents drive away you’re thrown into a new world. Here you’ll live with 12 strangers, cook your own meals and argue over who’s turn it is to take the bins out. It’s a fresh start, perhaps an opportunity to be whoever you want to be. Be you and you’ll have nothing to regret.

3.Do your reading: I did not take this advice, despite knowing it would take up 1 hour of the 168 in the week and would make my essays and exams stand out. It seemed like a good idea, I had one extra hour to stalk the Facebook profile of the mysterious person in the room next door, who only ever emerged to disappear at 2am and come sneaking back at 4, but come exam season I saw my mistake.

4.Want to do a year abroad? First year may count: In the first few weeks I yawned my way through every year abroad lecture. As I made my way through the year, I slowly became aware of my desire to travel and study abroad. These schemes are highly competitive. They don’t want those on the bare minimum, they want those leading the hockey team to victory, with the 2:1 and the charity bike ride.

5.University isn’t everything: It’s easy to get wrapped up in the bubble of university life but step outside those grounds and you’ll remember you have friends, family and pet rabbits waiting for you. Though they won’t expect you to be in constant contact, don’t forget them. Equally, they have their own lives and changes too so may not want to hear you endlessly talking about that night Jon threw a trolley through the kitchen window! Keep the balance right and you’ll keep them close.

Good luck! Get involved, be yourself, read, keep your options open and remember the world outside the Students’ Union.