Congratulations! Why are you being congratulated you may be thinking? Well, you made it through the first few weeks of university and trust me – that is definitely something to be congratulated on.
Why in the hell is there no Step-to-Step manual?
I wish there were a step-to-step manual on how to get the most out of the first few weeks of university. There is so much pressure on having to enjoy university, people all around you saying that ‘this is going to be the best time of your life’. Of course, this is the case for some people but for the majority of people, the first year of university is met with an immense amount of pressure: making friends, going to lectures and doing work and trying to cook without burning the whole campus down! For me the task of balancing time did not come naturally,
The All-Important Six S’s
My Mum told me before starting university that it is only possible to do two out of the possible five Ss in a day at university (sleep, sport, socialising, societies and arguably the most important – studying!) Conversely as the year went on, I was able to manage my time significantly better, as I became more comfortable with the word no. It is so easy to be people pleaser (especially at university), you may not want to let people down and this inevitably made socialising exceedingly difficult to manage. At university, there is an intense pressure to make friends and be liked – especially when you see everyone else around you in big friendship groups. However, the more comfortable you become with the word no, you will find it much easier to prioritise you time; I realised myself that I am not going to lose friends if I turn down plans every once in a while.
Finding what works best for you
I’m sure by the time of reading this, you’re probably emotionally and physically drained. Whether it be trying to remember the names of the many people you’ve just met (especially on nights out) or perhaps you’re reading this whilst battling through freshers’ flu – asking yourself whether it’s acceptable to pre-drink lemsip before a night out. All I can say is that you’ve got this! Be kind to yourself, I know self-care is more than just lighting a candle or putting a face mask on every once in a while. But taking a step back, reflecting on your day and feeling through your emotions are just some simple ways to look after yourself. Self-care comes in every shape, size and candle that you can think of, however, it is not how it looks like but how self-care makes you feel and what it does for you. Self-care is what you make it, what makes you feel the best, especially at university.
If you’re gonna take anything away from this…
Look after yourself in every single way possible. I cannot write and say that your first year will go perfectly, yet what I can say that the challenges you may face will certainly help you flourish as you find out more about yourself. You will experience both the highs and the lows – as like anything in life! For me, going through first year and coming out the other side, I can personally tell you that if you are having a bad day, it will get better (however cliché it may sound!) You never have to live the same day twice, I’m sure someone next door to you is feeling the exact same – university is a really big thing but talking about it with someone can ease of the stress whilst opening the opportuning to create a great friend. But try not to put too much pressure on yourself, we are like flowers, we may experience rain every once in a while, but rain is vital in our growth. I’m sure by the end of first year, you will look back and realise that you have grown into a beautiful flower.