June 14, 2017, by Lucy

What First Year Has Taught Me

Fresher’s friendships exist

During Freshers’, I met loads of lovely people and automatically assumed that each and every one of them would be my friend for the duration of the course. However, as soon as the workload began to pile up, I learned that people changed and that a presentation of someone formed within a week of knowing them may not be a complete, realistic picture of them. As sad as it may sound, it is natural for the manner of friendship to ebb and flow.

…But they can last too

Saying this, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all friendships forged within the first week are doomed to fail. From my personal experience, my best friends were made within days of being at university: perhaps I’m lucky, or perhaps it’s the idea of being in such close proximity to other people, Freshers’ can be the start of intense friendships. I mean, quantity doesn’t inherently equate to quality.

Nothing you do will ever compare to what your mum does

University for me was the first time I’d been away from home for longer than a week. During my quest to become a strong, independent woman, I stumbled across the realisation that either I am incapable of adulting, or mothers are a breed of superheroes. Somehow simple tasks become tainted by the idea of never being completed the way they are at home; even boiled rice is just not quite the same as it was.

Tesco is both a blessing and a curse

Hungry? Tesco. Bored? Tesco. On the verge of a mental breakdown? Tesco. Living in Beeston meant that Tesco became the pinnacle of student living, with it providing answers to practically all of life’s big questions. Nevertheless, this resolution to problems was not welcomed by my bank account since all of my disposable loan was lost to the big men at Tesco. The root of my heartbreak at uni was the closing of Tesco at 4pm on a Sunday, you always want something that you can’t have…

Own brand isn’t too bad, but forget about the bread and gravy

To counteract some of the issues raised in the previous statement, I took an approach with my shopping in which big name brands were out and own brand was in. As someone who will eat pretty much anything, this attempt to get as much with my money as possible wasn’t too difficult. Just as those food TV shows about saving money demonstrate, cheap food is often as good as household faves. You could say that first year has just been a continuation of one of these shows minus the embarrassment of claiming to know what food is which only to have this thrown in your face. This ‘social experiment’ (ahem, lifestyle) has taught me that pretty much any replacement will suffice, with the exception of 40p bread and gravy: paper thin bread and salty gravy isn’t worth the savings.

Errors aren’t entirely bad

As big as a problem or mistake may seem at the time, chances are that the action or outcome will not be detrimental to your first-year experience. As a self-confessed perfectionist, I am obsessed with doing everything to a T and spending every hour of every day completing a task until it matches my fantasy expectations. However, I soon discovered that first year, and perhaps university, is not about perfection, but is rather about finding yourself and developing your passions and interests. Although grades are extremely important to me, mistakes and feedback are the best way to move forward and discover yourself compared to a percentage on a piece of paper.

Posted in Lucy