My First Year University Experience

A little bit about my course…

I study Business Computing (Web Design) and I am currently just about to finish my first year of university. Over the last year there are many things which I have learnt so I thought this post would allow me to share my experience of my first year at university.

1. Commuting is not easy

I have spent every day since September 2019 travelling by car 25 miles to my university and then 25 miles to get home the journey usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour each day, this was one of the most challenging parts of being at university. Some days at uni I was only in for 2 hours for a lecture so a lot of the time I was driving more than I was actually at university. My timetable was not the best this year, most days I needed to be at university for 9am so to travel to uni without being late I usually had to leave at 6:30am to avoid as much traffic as I possibly could although this wasn’t always possible. My university doesn’t have a car park on campus therefore I had to park on the other side of the town at a park and ride which meant I then had to sit on a bus for 20 minutes to actually get to my university. Another downside of commuting is that most people either live on campus or in the town so if they want to go out this isn’t exactly possible and I have to think of a range of things like how I’ll get home, what time I need to leave to avoid traffic and all silly things like that which people living there don’t have to think about as much. On the other hand, commuting is good and I don’t regret choosing this instead of living at university  because it has helped me focus on my studies which I know if I had lived at university I would be less focused on my studies due to being in a different environment.

2. Independence takes time
Independence is something which I have always had so I was already used to doing things for myself. The first year of university was quite a shock as I had to think about driving long journeys by myself everyday however I got used to it easily once I worked out what routine was best. I had a lot of things which I needed to organise this year for example my finances however over time this does become a lot easier to do especially if you have some sort of plan.

3. Meeting new people

This was a huge change for me I went secondary school and sixth form with a lot of students that went to the same primary school as me so I had been with the same people throughout most of my education nearly 15 years of my life. Therefore suddenly knowing nobody at all was scary at first as there was so many new characters which I had never met before so it was very strange as it was all completely new. Luckily enough a couple of my friends from secondary school went to the same university as me. However they are on a different course so their timetable was completely different to mine so it was hard to actually see them. Before university began I found some people that were on my course using a Facebook group which was set up by the university, I recommend trying to get to know a couple of people on your course before going as then it can make it all a little less daunting.

4. Adjusting

Adjusting to life at university isn’t always straight forward it’s a big change from sixth form to university. The work load felt like it increased massively when starting university then alongside this your having to tackle being in a new place with new people, a new course and a new lifestyle. At first this feels really overwhelming and it takes everyone a different amount of time to get settled in for me it probably took about 3 months before I started to feel a little more settled and knew what I was doing. The most important thing I learnt was that you need to put yourself first and give yourself some credit because it’s all new and you’re not the only one who is struggling. Personally after the first term I ended up burning out as I was so determined to get the first term right which then meant in second term I lacked motivation and didn’t want to do work as I was exhausted. Balancing your life at university is so important but it isn’t easy and I still haven’t found the right balance it just takes time so you don’t need to worry you just need to take things at your own pace and learn as you go.

Beth x

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