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Things I Wish I Knew About University: From A Third-Year Student

As I am about to finish my time here at university, I thought it would be good to reflect upon my experience as a student and share some of my best advice on things I wish I knew as a first-year about to start university. Everyone has a different experience when moving to university, but I wish someone had told me these things before starting and stuff I wish I did differently (pandemic or not).

  1. Go along to all the Freshers events. Don't limit yourself to your flatmates or course mates; you'll be seeing them plenty anyway.

  2. Join lots of societies - you don't have to go to them regularly, but they help you meet new people and make new friends!

  3. One of my biggest regrets was not making the most of the first year, especially if I'd known most of my second and third year would be online during a pandemic. By this, I mean to go along to more events and say yes to more things. 

  4. Your friends from home have been your friends for many years; don't forget about them! Keep in touch with them as well as all the new friends you're making.

  5. Usually, during your first month at university, you will probably get "freshers' flu", so prepare your medication, but do make sure it's not covid and stay safe!

  6. Never forget your ID when you go out (I am that friend). 

  7. When it's exam season, or you have a deadline coming up, the library is usually very, very busy, so make sure to get there early. 

  8. You will be the most broke you have ever been, so don't spend your entire loan payment all at once because student life is costly!

  9. Leaving your references to the end of your assignments is a bad idea, and it takes forever, so cite as you write!

  10. Get to know your tutors and make sure they know who you are. A lot of them will be friendly - I have even had banter with some of mine.

  11. You will realise how much you miss home-cooked meals.

  12. Explore the city which you live in.

  13. You will learn a lot about yourself and become very independent. 

  14. Uni work can get challenging and stressful, but you will be OK. Thousands of students graduate from university each year, so why wouldn't you? 

  15. Chances are, you won't remember most of the people you meet in Freshers Week. 

Remember that your first year of uni doesn't always have to be perfect but remember that you still have 2 (or more) years to enjoy your time there, and every year is different. Whether you are in your first, second or third year, I hope somebody can take something from this and use it to prepare for some of the best years of your life!

Hi, I'm Elina and I'm a Media Studies graduate from the University of Brighton. Alongside being a photographer, I am passionate about art, travel, feminism, and mental health.
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