Hello, its that time of year when people head off to university, and its left me feeling quite nostalgic and eager to share things i wish people had told me before i went off to Liverpool. I graduated in July 2014, and honestly University was the best three years of my life, i just wanted to share my experience and offer some advice to all you lucky Freshers, 2nd years and even the dreaded 3rd years! (my 3rd year of uni was my best, so its not all bad and scary!)
- If you are going into your third year, and are doing a dissertation start your research and planning now! I seriously regret leaving it all until after Christmas, i could have done a lot better, writing 12,000 words in 3 weeks after all my research was done was not ideal!
- Freshers Week: Oh as a first year, this week is so exciting at useful, even if you're a shy person, try and socialise with your flatmates, people on your floor, in the building and especially on your course. I found a girl off my course on a website called YouGo and she was from Liverpool, she came round after my parents dropped me off and showed me around, i was so grateful because being left in a new city can be very daunting, and I'm quite a confident outgoing person, yet i was still so overwhelmed. Anyway, yeah my point is speak to everyone, be the most welcoming person ever, ha. The first few weeks at university can be lonely and i did get quite homesick, having people around you who feel the same is quite comforting.
- Oh make sure you go to The Freshers Fair, so many free things! LJMU gave out free dominos slices, yum! It's not all about free food, highlighters and condoms, usually most of the university societies are there looking to sign up new people. Join a society, i never did but one of my housemates joined Girls Rugby and it seemed like so much fun, i really wish i had joined a society!
- Induction Day: Don't miss it being hungover! You get to meet people on your course, your lecturers, get to know the building and be told what your course entails. One thing i learnt after first year was you do not need to buy every book on your reading list, the library usually has them all! I studied history so you can only imagine what my list looked like!
- Please DO NOT leave your work until the last minute, i was queen of this. Sometimes i would do really well and other times really badly, it isn't worth the gamble, i wish i planned more and took more time in order to do my best. Try not to miss lectures too, you're paying a fortune for them and at the end of the day you are there to learn.
- One thing you should never scrimp on is FOOD, and learn to cook. I was a food snob when i started university and it took me a while to warm to the likes of Aldi, Home Bargains and Poundland, but honestly the food is just as good as any leading supermarket and your £££'s go a lot further!
- Try and budget, i was so bad at this and still am. I'm still in my student overdraft by well over £1000, and I'm struggling to pay it off. I know that student loans and overdrafts are a novelty, i certainly never had that much money in my account before, and i guess i got a little carried away (ok a lot), i wish I'd budgeted and stuck to it and maybe I'd be in a better financially situation now.
- Finally, it will be the best time of your life, have fun and enjoy! There will probably be a food thief, someone who doesn't know how to wash up and maybe even someone who seems to think music blasting at top volume at 3am is ok, but its all part of the experience :)
I genuinely loved my time at university and I'm sad that its over. I met some amazing people, did some wonderful (and stupid) things, made some amazing memories and i would not change my experience for anything. Lastly, university taught me a lot about who i was and it also taught me a lot about other people, in a way i was quite naive about people before i moved away and essentially grew up.