The Student Room Group

First year of uni over- anyone else have mixed feelings?

Hello, just looking for a bit of advice or solidarity about my experience of first year at uni and whether I should continue.
I studied product design because I thought it would give me more purpose in creativity and better job prospects than fine art, which I love equally as design. Unfortunately I've felt quite creatively limited and uninspired at points this year, and I'm left wondering, where did all the time go? Having visited my friends scattered at other unis across the country, and seeing the community and experiences they've had, I feel a bit of a sense of regret about my choice, perhaps not in the subject area, but maybe in the subject of the course or the location.
Positives this year for me are that I've got a lot of independence and I'm good at looking after myself. I love cooking for one, organising my own space and schedule, and having my own adventures. I take myself on solo trips to the coast or pool or galleries and I love it, even if I'm sometimes nervous at first. I've made a really good friend who I see every week for an evening, I like the academic nature of study, I love research and checking books out of the library, I enjoy sketching class and design history a lot. I go to choir and a monthly print club, and tried out sports for a while.
I'm left with more regrets than I thought though: the main projects I do for my course just don't inspire me and I'm not proud of my work even though I worked really hard to do it; and my self esteem has taken a hit because of this. I've been lonely a lot, I'm not naturally extroverted and I don't fit in with my course mates (there's only 23 of us and not everyone turns up much). I really miss home and my family a lot, especially since one of my younger brothers is chronically ill and we're very close as a family unit. My flat mates in uni accommodation have been borderline antisocial, I feel I don't know them at all. I found out I don't like going out drinking unless I love the people I'm with, and I've struggled to open up to people well enough to enjoy their company.
I guess what I'm asking is, do I follow through with the degree even though I have regrets?I cried in front of the whole class again last week but haven't bothered to get in touch with my personal tutor about how I'm still overwhelmed. Yet I'm making plans to try new societies and try and get people to talk to me next year, in a different uni accommodation. I'm going to pass the year with good, possibly excellent grades, but I don't really care that I've done so well. Do I double down here, accept the problem is within myself and hope I feel happier, or uproot to pursue something different? There's also the possibility that my course will feel very different next year as I move on to live projects and getting a placement at a real company. I don't know if there's much prospect of me feeling like I fit in with a community here though. What would you do? Is anyone else still conflicted about their first year experience, or felt like this in the past?
Have read the full thread and emphasize what you're feeling.
Have you considered a transfer at all?
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
Have read the full thread and emphasize what you're feeling.
Have you considered a transfer at all?
Not really, wasn't sure if they'd be an option. Thanks for mentioning, I'll definitely be researching that more, really appreciate you reading my ramble!
Original post by Anonymous
Not really, wasn't sure if they'd be an option. Thanks for mentioning, I'll definitely be researching that more, really appreciate you reading my ramble!

Might help reassessing what it is you want to get out of the course and how the course might help you with your future progression.
I personally don't particulary enjoy my degree but have come to realize it's a stepping stone.

You might find it worthwhile to spend time doing other things to unlock the creative side eg poetry or theatre. Not everything comes from your course so you might need to fill in the blanks.

Might be worth getting a mentor. Super useful to get an outsider's perspective
Original post by Anonymous
Hello, just looking for a bit of advice or solidarity about my experience of first year at uni and whether I should continue.
I studied product design because I thought it would give me more purpose in creativity and better job prospects than fine art, which I love equally as design. Unfortunately I've felt quite creatively limited and uninspired at points this year, and I'm left wondering, where did all the time go? Having visited my friends scattered at other unis across the country, and seeing the community and experiences they've had, I feel a bit of a sense of regret about my choice, perhaps not in the subject area, but maybe in the subject of the course or the location.
Positives this year for me are that I've got a lot of independence and I'm good at looking after myself. I love cooking for one, organising my own space and schedule, and having my own adventures. I take myself on solo trips to the coast or pool or galleries and I love it, even if I'm sometimes nervous at first. I've made a really good friend who I see every week for an evening, I like the academic nature of study, I love research and checking books out of the library, I enjoy sketching class and design history a lot. I go to choir and a monthly print club, and tried out sports for a while.
I'm left with more regrets than I thought though: the main projects I do for my course just don't inspire me and I'm not proud of my work even though I worked really hard to do it; and my self esteem has taken a hit because of this. I've been lonely a lot, I'm not naturally extroverted and I don't fit in with my course mates (there's only 23 of us and not everyone turns up much). I really miss home and my family a lot, especially since one of my younger brothers is chronically ill and we're very close as a family unit. My flat mates in uni accommodation have been borderline antisocial, I feel I don't know them at all. I found out I don't like going out drinking unless I love the people I'm with, and I've struggled to open up to people well enough to enjoy their company.
I guess what I'm asking is, do I follow through with the degree even though I have regrets?I cried in front of the whole class again last week but haven't bothered to get in touch with my personal tutor about how I'm still overwhelmed. Yet I'm making plans to try new societies and try and get people to talk to me next year, in a different uni accommodation. I'm going to pass the year with good, possibly excellent grades, but I don't really care that I've done so well. Do I double down here, accept the problem is within myself and hope I feel happier, or uproot to pursue something different? There's also the possibility that my course will feel very different next year as I move on to live projects and getting a placement at a real company. I don't know if there's much prospect of me feeling like I fit in with a community here though. What would you do? Is anyone else still conflicted about their first year experience, or felt like this in the past?

Anon,

I typed out an answer and lost it. Aargh! I will try and remember most of what I included in my original post.

Do try and spend some quality time with the people who you are close with (the people you have been visiting at university) and family. It’s difficult if you are an extrovert to keep putting yourself out there, so do make the most of the opportunity to enjoy time with the people who you naturally feel more comfortable with. (People who you can talk to and share with, where silences are not awkward and where conversation flows easily.) It is important to feel valued and accepted and this naturally makes people feel more confident so do invest in these relationships. Try also to think about how you can maintain close relationships when you return to university, perhaps with a weekly phone call with friends or family.

It sounds like you have been doing a lot of the right things (!), joining different societies and exploring the area around you. Perhaps you can join societies next year where you naturally have to talk with people. With some societies you can turn up and go at the end but not necessarily talk that much, so maybe there’s societies that you can go to which would encourage more conversation and help you get to know people better. You could also try inviting people on some of your trips so that you have company to make it easier to get to know people. You might even like to start a society for those who might not be as brave you. I think you might find a lot of international students would come! Perhaps, you can work with the International Office on this.

Creativity can go and up down and this can be affected by confidence and wellbeing, so well done for doing as well as you have done this year. Art block is real (!) so do try and see some great artwork over the summer. (I recently went to see The Last Caravaggio exhibition and loved it!). All being well, next year with fresh projects you will feel more inspired and if you can build more of a community at uni, I think you will feel better about things. It is demotivating when people don’t show up, so do try and build friendships outside of your course. Invite people to come and eat lunch in your studio space or to hang out with at the library.

Hope you have a great summer!

All the best,

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by Anonymous
Hello, just looking for a bit of advice or solidarity about my experience of first year at uni and whether I should continue.
I studied product design because I thought it would give me more purpose in creativity and better job prospects than fine art, which I love equally as design. Unfortunately I've felt quite creatively limited and uninspired at points this year, and I'm left wondering, where did all the time go? Having visited my friends scattered at other unis across the country, and seeing the community and experiences they've had, I feel a bit of a sense of regret about my choice, perhaps not in the subject area, but maybe in the subject of the course or the location.
Positives this year for me are that I've got a lot of independence and I'm good at looking after myself. I love cooking for one, organising my own space and schedule, and having my own adventures. I take myself on solo trips to the coast or pool or galleries and I love it, even if I'm sometimes nervous at first. I've made a really good friend who I see every week for an evening, I like the academic nature of study, I love research and checking books out of the library, I enjoy sketching class and design history a lot. I go to choir and a monthly print club, and tried out sports for a while.
I'm left with more regrets than I thought though: the main projects I do for my course just don't inspire me and I'm not proud of my work even though I worked really hard to do it; and my self esteem has taken a hit because of this. I've been lonely a lot, I'm not naturally extroverted and I don't fit in with my course mates (there's only 23 of us and not everyone turns up much). I really miss home and my family a lot, especially since one of my younger brothers is chronically ill and we're very close as a family unit. My flat mates in uni accommodation have been borderline antisocial, I feel I don't know them at all. I found out I don't like going out drinking unless I love the people I'm with, and I've struggled to open up to people well enough to enjoy their company.
I guess what I'm asking is, do I follow through with the degree even though I have regrets?I cried in front of the whole class again last week but haven't bothered to get in touch with my personal tutor about how I'm still overwhelmed. Yet I'm making plans to try new societies and try and get people to talk to me next year, in a different uni accommodation. I'm going to pass the year with good, possibly excellent grades, but I don't really care that I've done so well. Do I double down here, accept the problem is within myself and hope I feel happier, or uproot to pursue something different? There's also the possibility that my course will feel very different next year as I move on to live projects and getting a placement at a real company. I don't know if there's much prospect of me feeling like I fit in with a community here though. What would you do? Is anyone else still conflicted about their first year experience, or felt like this in the past?

Hey,

Sorry to hear how you have been feeling. It is good that you are opening up and not bottling it up - it can be good to write your thoughts out and get other perspectives. Know your not alone in questioning your degree/ study choice - one thing perhaps to mind is that first year can be more broader and that it may be in later years that you will be more creative and that courses and structures do differ across all unis. What is the right choice for someone may be the wrong for another. I would suggest reaching out to your tutor and discussing your thoughts with them in regards to your course, work and creativity as they will be able to advise on what opportunities might be and what is in store throughout the rest of your degree. Engaging with them sooner than later may hep to put you at ease/ help with decisions and also gain their support in the future.

It is great that you feel there are positives and it sounds like being at uni you are getting a sense of who you are and what matters. Becoming more independent is a big part of growing up and going to uni and it sounds like you have adapted. Sometimes it can take time to find 'your people' and try not to compare with others as it isn't always greener on the other side. Hopefully those close to you / uni tutors can help your decision and allow you to decide what is best for you.

Best wishes - Catherine ( University of Strathclyde Student Ambassador)
Original post by anonymous
Hello, just looking for a bit of advice or solidarity about my experience of first year at uni and whether I should continue.
I studied product design because I thought it would give me more purpose in creativity and better job prospects than fine art, which I love equally as design. Unfortunately I've felt quite creatively limited and uninspired at points this year, and I'm left wondering, where did all the time go? Having visited my friends scattered at other unis across the country, and seeing the community and experiences they've had, I feel a bit of a sense of regret about my choice, perhaps not in the subject area, but maybe in the subject of the course or the location.
Positives this year for me are that I've got a lot of independence and I'm good at looking after myself. I love cooking for one, organising my own space and schedule, and having my own adventures. I take myself on solo trips to the coast or pool or galleries and I love it, even if I'm sometimes nervous at first. I've made a really good friend who I see every week for an evening, I like the academic nature of study, I love research and checking books out of the library, I enjoy sketching class and design history a lot. I go to choir and a monthly print club, and tried out sports for a while.
I'm left with more regrets than I thought though: the main projects I do for my course just don't inspire me and I'm not proud of my work even though I worked really hard to do it; and my self esteem has taken a hit because of this. I've been lonely a lot, I'm not naturally extroverted and I don't fit in with my course mates (there's only 23 of us and not everyone turns up much). I really miss home and my family a lot, especially since one of my younger brothers is chronically ill and we're very close as a family unit. My flat mates in uni accommodation have been borderline antisocial, I feel I don't know them at all. I found out I don't like going out drinking unless I love the people I'm with, and I've struggled to open up to people well enough to enjoy their company.
I guess what I'm asking is, do I follow through with the degree even though I have regrets?I cried in front of the whole class again last week but haven't bothered to get in touch with my personal tutor about how I'm still overwhelmed. Yet I'm making plans to try new societies and try and get people to talk to me next year, in a different uni accommodation. I'm going to pass the year with good, possibly excellent grades, but I don't really care that I've done so well. Do I double down here, accept the problem is within myself and hope I feel happier, or uproot to pursue something different? There's also the possibility that my course will feel very different next year as I move on to live projects and getting a placement at a real company. I don't know if there's much prospect of me feeling like I fit in with a community here though. What would you do? Is anyone else still conflicted about their first year experience, or felt like this in the past?

Hey,

First off - I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing some difficult feelings in regards to your first year. I think the first year of university can sometimes go by so quickly that we don't always fully process it at the time, so it's understandable that you may have some regrets here and there.

I would definitely get in contact with your personal tutor to talk through the situation, as they might be able to give you a better insight on the upcoming degree projects you're going to be asked to complete throughout second/third year. Sometimes first year projects can be more focused on letting you adapt to the university grading/assignment system, so although this year's material might not have inspired you much, future material might. Your personal tutor should also be able to point you in the direction of any university support systems that can help you through these feelings of overwhelment.

You've made some real progress in your first year in terms of living independently and joining choir/print club, so try and remember all the things you've managed to achieve so far. 🙂 You're also taking all the right steps to improve your next year of university by finding a new accommodation and joining some more societies, so regardless of the decision you ultimately make, you're heading in the right direction.

Best of luck with next year,
Eve (Kingston Rep).
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by Anonymous
Hello, just looking for a bit of advice or solidarity about my experience of first year at uni and whether I should continue.
I studied product design because I thought it would give me more purpose in creativity and better job prospects than fine art, which I love equally as design. Unfortunately I've felt quite creatively limited and uninspired at points this year, and I'm left wondering, where did all the time go? Having visited my friends scattered at other unis across the country, and seeing the community and experiences they've had, I feel a bit of a sense of regret about my choice, perhaps not in the subject area, but maybe in the subject of the course or the location.
Positives this year for me are that I've got a lot of independence and I'm good at looking after myself. I love cooking for one, organising my own space and schedule, and having my own adventures. I take myself on solo trips to the coast or pool or galleries and I love it, even if I'm sometimes nervous at first. I've made a really good friend who I see every week for an evening, I like the academic nature of study, I love research and checking books out of the library, I enjoy sketching class and design history a lot. I go to choir and a monthly print club, and tried out sports for a while.
I'm left with more regrets than I thought though: the main projects I do for my course just don't inspire me and I'm not proud of my work even though I worked really hard to do it; and my self esteem has taken a hit because of this. I've been lonely a lot, I'm not naturally extroverted and I don't fit in with my course mates (there's only 23 of us and not everyone turns up much). I really miss home and my family a lot, especially since one of my younger brothers is chronically ill and we're very close as a family unit. My flat mates in uni accommodation have been borderline antisocial, I feel I don't know them at all. I found out I don't like going out drinking unless I love the people I'm with, and I've struggled to open up to people well enough to enjoy their company.
I guess what I'm asking is, do I follow through with the degree even though I have regrets?I cried in front of the whole class again last week but haven't bothered to get in touch with my personal tutor about how I'm still overwhelmed. Yet I'm making plans to try new societies and try and get people to talk to me next year, in a different uni accommodation. I'm going to pass the year with good, possibly excellent grades, but I don't really care that I've done so well. Do I double down here, accept the problem is within myself and hope I feel happier, or uproot to pursue something different? There's also the possibility that my course will feel very different next year as I move on to live projects and getting a placement at a real company. I don't know if there's much prospect of me feeling like I fit in with a community here though. What would you do? Is anyone else still conflicted about their first year experience, or felt like this in the past?

Hi there,

Sorry to hear you have been feeling like this this year. University can be hard and it is tough when you feel like this.

I would say to definitely schedule a meeting with your personal tutor! They can be really helpful to talk to you about how you are feeling and if you have one it is worth utilising this and talking to them. They can also help you to think of what your options are moving forward. You could look into transferring university, or transferring course at you university if there is another one you think you might like better. If you would be happier, you could look into going to a university closer to home so this way you will be close to your friends and family, as you have said you are close!

It's good that you are looking into joining a society, I would say to do this! It's a good way of making friends as you all have a common interest and you will see them fairly often. It's also good to make sure you are getting out of your flat to do something fun and potentially active (depending on what society you choose to join) which can be really good for your mental health! The socials are also fun, and there are usually socials where you don't go out drinking too if you think you would prefer to do this.

it's also good that you are planning on living in a different accommodation - I hope the people there are more social and want to do things with you! If not, you could alway message others who are living in the same accommodation, or go down to any social areas that your building has and meet people that way! I would look on Facebook before you go and see if there is a group for the accommodation as this is a good way of making friends!

It's also a good idea to talk to your university wellbeing team if you are struggling. They are there to help you so if you are really struggling, it is a good idea to talk to them and keep in contact with them if you need to so that they can help you and be there for you!

I hope some of this helps,

Lucy -SHU student ambassador.

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