Life as a First Year

My first year at university has been a complete roller-coaster ride, I’ve had some amazing times and I’ve had times I’d rather forget. I took to twitter to ask if you wanted me to do a post on my first year and the main response was yes, so I’m going to tell you all about my first year (and it will get extremely personally) and how it’s changed me into the person I’m now proud to be. When I discovered that I had earned a place at my first choice of university I was over the moon as it meant I would be living in London and be studying the one thing I loved more than anything. Dance. I attended auditions at three universities and got offered a place at two of these.  The thing that excited me most about moving to university was the fact that I would have a lot more freedom and have access to a lot more things than what I do at home, plus also the fact that I had an en-suite room. I wasn’t scared or upset about leaving home because I knew I was welcome home whenever I wanted, and since it was only an hour and a half train journey away it’s not like I had to travel far.

I loved the fact that I could make my room my own little personal space, and the fact that it was quite small made it feel even more comforting because I wasn’t overwhelmed by the size. My room experienced many movie and pizza nights with friends, pre-drinks and the occasional visit from someone of the male gender for a night of drunken cuddling. Let’s not mentioned a number of times I’ve stumbled into bed after a night out only to wake up the next morning completely confused as to how I even got into bed, let alone how I managed to change into my pajamas. It wasn’t just a place to socialise it was also the place in which I completed a large majority of my university (only spending a couple of nights in the library) and one thing they don’t tell you before going to university is the fact that if the work seems easy you’re probably doing it wrong. Luckily I have managed to complete all my work for the first year and I passed everything first time (not always to the level I wanted, but hey the first year doesn’t typically count). I spent many stressed out evenings where I locked myself in my room so that I wouldn’t get distracted and decide to take a trip to Hammersmith or Putney.

However, university wasn’t all fun and games for me, although I adapted quickly to my surroundings I quickly found myself struggling to manage everything that was going on and slowly my mental health started to deteriorate but I refused to acknowledge it. I thought that if I ignored it then it would get better or just go away, however, this wasn’t the case and one night after one too many drinks, and an intense argument I hit rock bottom. after thinking I was able to keep in control I realize I was unable to manage by myself. On the outside, I’d seemed like such a happy and cheerful person but behind closed doors, I was struggling and no-one knew…not even my best friends. Since this night though I received counselling, as well as being put on the medication I need, I’m also due to start CBT once I return to uni in September.

Now that part has been mentioned let’s go onto the happier moments, and there were a lot more. I discovered I was a massive fan of cocktails, so I experience many tips to Bar at One with two of my best friends…often ending up in them helping me home (oops). Don’t think I’m a party animal though because I was also more than happy to miss a night out in order to have a cozy night in, order pizza or Wagamama and watch a film while having a gossip. Being in London there is obviously a lot to do, but being students we didn’t want to spend too much money so going to museums is always the number one choice and since being at uni I’ve visited the V&A and National History Museum (both located in Kensington) and the National Portrait Museum (located in Trafalgar Square) While being at university I’ve also attended one of Dave Giles‘s gigs in Camden…and if you’ve never seen Dave live I highly recommend you do because he’s an amazing singer-songwriter but also a sweetheart and lovely to have a chat to. Another thing I was lucky enough was to spend the afternoon hanging out and drinking cocktails for one of my biggest inspirations, Gabriella Lindley at Brixton Beach Boulevard on sunny Friday. London is probably one of my favourite places ever and the fact that I get to live here from September through till June is amazing because as a small town girl I never get bored and have nothing to do, there’s always something new happening and going on. Also the fact that it is literally so easy to travel around London never fails to amaze me, 24-hour buses, uber taxis, and tube services literally mean navigating London at any time of the day is as easy as a walk through Hyde Park.

Since being at uni I have literally met some of the best friends I could ever wish for and they’ve been there supporting me through everything, from creepy guys hitting on me in a bar to being in my hospital bed, to filming me singing musicals at the top of my lungs when I’m completely smashed out of my face. I couldn’t wish for a better group of friends and sure my friendship group has changed throughout my time at uni so far, mostly due to the fact that we were all busy and so it became harder to meet up with each other, or we just generally grew apart. I have plans to visit the people I’m still close to over the summer, one of which includes flying over to France! something I’m extremely excited about because I haven’t let the UK since I was 9. I highly recommend to anyone that is thinking of attending university to go for it, because if you discover it’s not for you then you can always leave and get an apprenticeship or even transfer somewhere else if you find the university you thought was going to be amazing isn’t. It is a big jump going to college to university but with the aid of freshers week and many other social activities you quickly settle in and soon you find yourself missing uni when you take a trip home, more so than you miss home. You’ll also develop into the person you’re destined to be, rather than who you are around family.

Just a bit of advice for if you start university this year:
1. Learn how to cook quickly! 
You might think you can live off noodles and pizzas but trust me you can’t you quickly get bored of them and it works out stupidly expensive plus you’ll find yourself getting sick more often than usual
2. Pound coins are more precious than you realize
The washing machines and dryers at my university only take pound coins and it costs £3 for a wash and dry so whenever I get pound coins I put them in a pot to ensure I have enough to do my laundry rather than trying to use the change machine (which more than often is broken) or trying to convince one of the on-campus cafes to exchange your change for pound coins
3. Learn your alcohol limits
You might have drunk before uni, but trust me drinking at uni is a whole different game, it’s very easy to drink an entire bottle of spirits at pre-drinks and think you’re fine to go out, only to get refused entry and someone has to bring you home (I’m talking from experience, you don’t want to be the friend that has to get taken home before the night has even started) Also just because the alcohol is cheap doesn’t mean it’s weak always check the percentage on the label as you might find you’re getting ripped off in the corner store…also shots are never a good idea…neither is spinning a wheel of shots…never do that unless you’re prepared to spend the night hugging your toilet and the next day laying in bed feeling like death
4. Attend as many social events as possible
Sure you’ll make friends with your classmates and the people you live with but it’s always good to have a large group of friends so try to attend as many social events as possible, freshers week is a good to place to start, but also keep up with your student union.

Hope you liked this brief look into my first year, trust me this post could have been an awful lot longer but I didn’t want to bore you.

Love you lots like jelly tots x

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