16 Things You’ll End Up Regretting About Your First Year of University
First year will be over before you know it, and you’ll definitely have some regrets…
1. Always putting work before having fun.
Working like a dog for the past two years to achieve a place at university really does take its toll. You become so used to giving 100% all the time that you think first year is no different. Yes, at the end of the day you’re at university to get a degree, but many second years regret not living life to the max in first year, especially if they’re lucky enough to have their first year not count! Either way, remember that you will be building the foundation in first year for your upcoming years at university – not just in terms of work but also shaping your personality and securing friendships for life.
2. Not signing up for any societies.
I am definitely guilty of this. You get so caught up with nights out and juggling your work that you feel you have no time to dedicate to a society. First year isn’t just about finding yourself and settling into the uni lifestyle. Trust me, when you get to second year, you will feel like you missed out on all these terrific activities that you now have a little less time for. Being part of a society enables you to branch out and feel comfortable with loads of different people.
3. Or joining societies but never actually participating.
Most of the time, people are worried that they won’t be good at the activity or won’t fit in. Well, if it isn’t to your liking, you’re free to drop out any time. Giving it a shot is the best you can do, and most students don’t regret it for one minute!
4. Because you were probably enjoying the Netflix lifestyle a bit too much.
With all the freedom that comes with studying for a degree, it can be difficult to understand how to spend your time wisely. You feel like every free gap in your timetable means time for an extra episode of your favourite show. But, in reality, the timetable coordinators are not that nice. The spare time you have is for extra reading, seminar work and assignment writing. It sucks sometimes, but it has to be done. Give your laptop screen a break from continuously playing a TV show and open a book.
5. Forming friendship groups too quickly.
In the first few weeks of uni, beggars can’t be choosers. You can’t be picky about finding “the perfect squad”, and if you are, you should expect to be friendless for a while. You have to find a way to get on with people you wouldn’t necessarily choose to hang around with. With that being said, don’t be so quick to nominate these few people as your best friends for life! You are still learning a lot about them and their habits, something you may later grow to hate. Be wary – friendship is a two-way service, so if you can tell that someone is only friends with you because you’re always buying them drinks, or because they just want to borrow your notes all the time, ditch them.
6. Living on takeaways and ready meals.
Your skin will get worse, you’ll put on the pounds, and constantly feel greasy. Do you even remember what a decent meal tastes like? Why do we do this to ourselves! Learn a new skill and cook yourself a wholesome meal from time to time.
7. And drinking way too much alcohol.
There will be nights where you can’t remember what happened, nights you definitely want to forget, and moments when you make an absolute fool of yourself. It will be fun, they said… Do I have liver cirrhosis yet? Take some time in the year to go sober just to experience a whole other side of university fun.
8. Which really makes you regret not being active enough.
Everyone’s heard of the Freshers’ Fifteen but no one wants to be a victim. If you still want to eat all that junk food and down beer after beer, you should probably join a gym or a sports society. Have some fun with it, and keep off the pounds at the same time!
9. Being in a relationship and not experiencing the levels of freedom you should.
This is a controversial point, so not everyone will agree! Some may look back in second year and wish they had been single, whilst others are glad they stayed in a relationship.
10. But also sleeping with every Tom, Dick and Harry.
I’m not here to slut-shame. I’m talking about when some people change at university because they’re acting out or want to be a wild child/rebel once they’ve flown the nest. Before you do, think about whether or not you as an individual are ready to do that. Whatever happens, make sure you’re comfortable in doing something rather than just going with the flow and mimicking other students.
11. Going back home way too often.
First year can be daunting, and if you find it difficult to fit in, home is always your safe place to fall back on. But the more time you spend at home, the less time is spent forming bonds with your friends at uni. Stick it out – you will find your place. Home will always be there but university won’t. Enjoy it while it lasts! Your parents are probably secretly glad to be rid of you for a bit anyway.
12. Spending your student loan on silly things.
Living off cheap bread and baked beans for months on end is not cool. Neither is going on an online shopping spree and buying everything in your basket. Learn to budget, first years! It will make life so much easier.
13. Later feeling like you haven’t made enough friends.
It’s so easy to become too comfortable with the friends you have, making you feel like you don’t need any more. But what do you do when they’re all busy? Or when you fall out with members of the group? Don’t just settle for one friend group – make some friends from your halls, course, and societies.
14. And picking a house with people you thought would be your friends until your dying day.
From October onwards, you’ll feel pressurised to organise where and who you will be living with in second year. Don’t make the mistake many of us have and choose a random group of friends, otherwise your house will be anything but fun and you’ll always be looking for an escape route. There’s no rush – sit down and think logically about this decision. Take into account the fun aspect as well as reliability and cleanliness.
15. Forgetting to document every exciting moment of first year.
You were either too drunk or too caught up in the moment to capture everything you want to cherish forever. Take lots of photos because #YOLO.
16. And, finally, failing to fully immerse yourself in the fresher experience.
Don’t be boring – get involved in everything there is to offer because one day you will have to leave university. Have fun, and create memories which will become great stories to tell the grandkids one day (but keep it PG for them!)