• Things you wish youd known before starting uni

Heading to uni? Read this first



Ah, hindsight. That thing that makes you go "Oh, if only I hadn't forgotten/done/bought/eaten that..." A wonderful thing, apparently. Only trouble is, by the time you've got it, it's far too late.

Far better, then, to learn from the newbie mistakes of others. We asked TSR's legion of former freshers to share the benefit of their own hindsight and tell us, if they were starting uni all over again, what they'd do differently.

Read, learn, forget all about it, then come back in a few weeks - when you're a grizzled student veteran - and share your own hindsight with us...

Be yourself
Don't panic if you are not a massive party animal or drinker. That isn't the be-all-and-end-all of university life. Don't make a big deal about it. Just be yourself and don't do anything you are not comfortable with. Anyone who tries to force you to do anything you don't feel like doing isn't going to make a very good friend. Just talk to people and relax around them. tea_loving_girl

Don't worry
It's normal to be very nervous, and also normal to decide you 100% don't want to go. I'd planned a full alternative life for myself, which just sounds stupid now. xoxAngel_Kxox

Enjoy it!
Although you won't believe it now (even though everyone will tell you), the three years at uni will go very quickly and lots of people do miss it when it's over. Enjoy uni while you can. MagicNMedicine

Love your learning
Go to the library. Smell the books. Find your way in to your course - find that book or poem or painting that you love for some inexplicable reason - and then find out why you love it. That's by far the nicest way of getting a first. Go to office hours and talk to your lecturers and don't be afraid or intimidated, because however brilliant they are, you have something they don't - a completely fresh perspective untainted by the years of scholarship that can sometimes cloud vision. That perspective helps them just as their brilliance and knowledge helps you. cinosia

Keep your perspective
Do not let other people dictate what your university experience should be like. Whatever you want to do, do. Do not be deluded into thinking freshers' week is the best week of your life and if something doesn't live up then it's necessarily a disaster. Aeschylus

Dress up!
If you have any fancy dress costumes at home - bring them!! Fliq

People change
Some who you meet in freshers are not the same by the time reading week hits. A lot of people see university as a fresh start and a chance to reinvent themselves. Sometimes this falls flat and they revert to a past self, or sometimes they find that the time [away] from home and the new self-reliance is doing them some good. Either way, by the time second semester hits, it's not unusual for friendships to both deepen and lessen. ilex_

Do the work
Go to all your lectures and seminars. You're paying for them. Don't be one of those people who moans all year about how difficult the course is or how all the lecturers irrationally hate you, when the reason you find it difficult is because you don't actually do any work and never come to class. Tefhel

Stay focused
Don't take the saying 'first year doesn't count for anything' too literally. It [might not] count for anything in terms of academic marks, but if you skip lectures and are lazy during your first year, then the next two/three years you'll struggle. First year is there so you learn the basics of your course and the other years build on that knowledge. Iron Mask Duval

Skip the bus
You can walk everywhere easily. That 50p a trip will add up! TurkeyProphet

Don't rush
Be careful who you decide to move in with for second year. In halls, there is typically a big panic around Christmas as people worry about where they'll be living next year and group up quickly with friends to find a house off campus before all the good ones go. Choose your housemates carefully - bear in mind you only met these people a few months ago, so not everyone's true colours may have come out. Don't make the mistake I did and move in with a control freak! Also, don't believe the hysteria - there will be loads of houses left after Christmas...don't rush it! katy_j87

Think things through
Do not let someone feed you neat vodka through a funnel while sat on a spinning computer chair. This one is the most important. alexss


Check out the thread - things you wish you'd known before starting university


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