Things I Learnt In My First Year Of University


With my first year nearly finished with 1 more assignment to go, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on how it went. I can't believe I'm a quarter way through my undergrad degree. I arrived at my university halls, September last year with no idea what to expect but ready to take on my new found independence. First year is a roller coaster ride filled with different emotions, experiences, and responsibilities.


Studying Creative Writing and Journalism has encouraged me to be braver with writing, and not being afraid to tell a story. You can find inspiration anywhere. You never when can come out when you write, it can be therapeutic. I felt that because of my hearing impairment that I'd struggle a lot more and despite that being true if I didn't make to jump to university - I wouldn't be learning so much about myself.


1) The washing machines in halls are the worst, either your clothes are still as dirty as they were when they went in or just not clean enough, with £2-3 down the drain.

2) Some people don't know the meaning of quiet when it's 10 pm and all you want to do is sleep 

3) It's ok to miss home, hugging your mum and beloved pets and missing the home cooked food.

4) If you cry three times a week, that's ok too.

5Stand up for yourself; you'll always be your biggest advocate.
6) Always call your mum or nan, it will make their day or their week. They miss you just as much as you miss them.
7) Learning is more valuable than grades
8) Always do your best
9) There's nothing wrong with needing a nap, in fact - if you want one, take it.
10) Don't be pressured to do anything, you don't want to do.
11) Give yourself some me time
12) Try to be organised (this one is taking a lot of practice)
13) Your tutors are there to support you
14) Take time to explore your university's city
15) Don't overwhelm yourself
16) Homesickness is real
17) Remember you are still learning and growing.
18) Make use of the university mental health services, they are there for a reason.
19) First year really does count (kinda)
20) It's ok to cuddle with your childhood teddy for comfort.
21) Pasta is a lifesaver.
22) Embrace your quirks.
23) People will ask about your hearing loss and some questions will be a little stupid.
24) The world is your oyster.
25) Living in London is a tad expensive (but fun).
26) Choose the degree you know you will enjoy studying, it makes the university experience a lot better.
27) You will learn more about yourself than you did before.
28) Enjoy being able to visit family when you can.
29) Partying isn't everything, having a night in is just as fun and frankly, more affordable.
30) Pace yourself, you are only just getting started. 
31) You don't magically transform into a new person.
32) It can be stressful but you CAN (and WILL) overcome it.
33) Fight for what you need and what you are entitled to.
34) Your first year will be what you make it.
35) It’s OK to say no. You have to make decisions that are best for you, which sometimes means letting people down. You have to find strength in your right to not say yes to everything.

You don't need a 5 or 10-year plan. You have a while yet to decide what path you want to take, so enjoy the university experience. It may become the best time in your life where you make lifelong friends and become a whole new person. I still have 2+ years of my degree and I can't wait to enhance my writing. I'm determined to have the time of my life at uni and that includes embracing the good and bad times.

If I could tell my young self one thing, it would be this: I knew you could do it! Keep going and keep on thriving for greatness. Love, Future Simone xox  

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