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Congratulations on getting in to university! Whether you got into your first choice university or not – don’t panic, these things have a funny old way of working themselves out.
I hope you don’t think it rude or patronising that I’m writing you this letter, but to be honest, I wish a recent grad had written one for me. Feel free to ignore everything I say or to take it in your stride and treat it like gospel. This is just one girl’s opinion after her experience and in a year you might entirely disagree with everything I’m about to write!
Freshers’ week is going to be chaos: you’ll go out most (every) night, spend days hungover and have a million and one things you want to do. Go and try different societies, throw yourself into something – whether it’s a hobby you’ve had before or if it’s something entirely new, you’ll be amazed how much of a difference it makes to your time at uni. It’s also a great way to meet people outside of halls – and you’ve no idea what’ll come of it. I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I didn’t join a magazine when I was at Exeter.
Keep your door open! People are much more willing to come in if there isn’t a physical barrier. The best thing you’ll buy all week? Tea and coffee. Honestly. Invest in both, some milk and a cheap kettle and you’ll discover that people will always be popping in to say hi… And get a hot drink! A packet of biscuits probably won’t go a miss either..!
You might not be friends with the same people at the end of term one as you were at the end of week one, but that’s okay – you’ll soon find out who you’re friends with when everything begins to settle down. If you haven’t found anyone you’ve really clicked with that’s okay – I met some of my best friends in my 3rd year!
So, you’ve got to work, duh – don’t leave essays or revision to the last minute, it’s never a good idea. But, if there’s one thing I regret from my 4 years of university, it’s not the times I went out, it’s not the times I stayed in with the girls or went out with my boyfriend: it’s the times I stayed in studying, night after night. I don’t have FOMO – never have, never will, and don’t agree with it. But there are times where I wished I had done a bit more with my time.
Work hard, play harder and enjoy the fact that apart from studying you don’t have any real responsibility!
You’re in for a hell of a ride – so buckle up!
A Very Happy Graduate
P.S. In three or four years you’ll be sitting at your graduation ceremony saying “I can’t believe this day has finally come – I can’t believe how fast it’s all gone!”
P.P.S – Yes, I’m sharing a photo of me on my graduation and not in Freshers’ week – those are buried and only for a privileged few to see!