A bit of a different one from me today, I'll admit. With my first year of uni rolling into a close tomorrow at 4.30pm with my last exam, I thought I'd share with you my experiences and advice, whether you're off to start uni in the coming September or if you've already gone through these experiences..
I should explain a little first of all about my halls of residence. I am in the cheapest of the cheap accommodation. Shared bathroom and toilets and kitchen between about 20 people. It sounds worse than it actually is. So here are my top tips and advice for uni life in first year.
1) Don't expect to sleep. Seriously.
Don't expect to sleep much in the first couples of 'Freshers Week'. Naps will be you're friend during this time. Don't fall asleep in a public place- you will be abused.
I was the unfortunate person to have the bedroom next to the kitchen so noise was an issue for me. Halls, by law, have to have fire doors. That slam. Loudly.
And you will be woken up by your drunken flatmates returning from nights out. But you will probably do the same another night.
2) Expect to be ill.
At least once within the first semester. For most people, it's the dreaded 'Fresher's Flu', the burn out after 2 non-stop weeks.
On the other hand, learn reheating techniques. You will learn a lot in regards to what you can and cannot reheat. If not, you will, like me, learn the hard way with food poisoning...
3) Your food is not safe.
Unless it's locked away. But that's effort and we all know it. If you leave it out, it will be eaten. Top victims are: milk, butter, tea, mayonnaise, ketchup, and cheese. Generous offerings of cake or biscuits disappear within seconds.
4) Washing up and laundry will suddenly become harder than doing a degree.
I'm not joking about the washing up. No one does it. Fortunately for you guys, I don't have photographic proof of how bad our kitchens get, especially on the weekends. Keeping a friendly relationship with the cleaner has definately been a struggle.
5) Expect banter and boozing
I live in mixed halls. Recounting of drunken mishaps the morning after will be performed to banterous standards, especially if they are particularly embarrassing. Banter also includes frape on a regular basis. You will never come out as gay as much as than in the your first year.
And no uni experience is completely without the copious alcohol. Just accept it. However, I can add that with a lot of my friends, especially girls, their tolerance to alcohol did gradually improve. But lightweights will always be lightweights unfortunately.
And students will still happily spend money on alcohol supplies than food.
6) Teaspoons make excellent doorstops
7) 9am is too early
Even if you are an early riser, no doubt uni will slowly turn you into a lazy lazy student. Suddenly getting up for a 9am lecture feels like getting up at 5am and you'd be odd to be out of bed before midday on the weekends.
8) Don't stress.
You will make friends. Definately don't worry about that! There's always something going on and there's always someone knocking round that's equally bored as you. Bond.
And yes, you will have exams and deadlines but in the end the first year doesn't count towards your degree, it's a trial run. In the end, you only need an overall mark of 40% to pass the year. So enjoy it for all its worth!
I hope this has been useful/informative and at least entertaining to read. Please leave me comments of your first years experiences, I'd love to read them!