We asked for your first year regrets at UoB, so you don’t make the same mistakes

Because you’ll never get back the time you wasted in Brum’s worst nightclubs

Heading to university is a huge step in a person’s life, and it is often hyped up massively by friends and family alike.

But the truth is, nobody’s university experience is perfect, and often we find ourselves in third year thinking back over what we might have done differently.

Whilst we believe that you should never regret anything in life, we’ve compiled a list of things that older UoB students wish they would have differently during their time at university.

Make sure you get out there

One of the hardest things about moving to university is finding people you really get on with, rather than only speaking to your flatmates – although it is great if you get on amazingly with them! Some of the most genuine things older students had to offer was their advice on trying more things in first year:

“I would have joined a sport in first year”

“I wish I got more involved with societies”

“I would have gone to more things on my own despite being anxious” (This one is so tricky, but so worth it if you can overcome your fear!)

Joining a society or sports team will introduce you to so many new people and events

There is a definitive hierarchy of Brum nightlife

If you invested in one of the freshers’ week wristbands, chances are you’ve already tried out a few of the biggest clubs in Birmingham. If you play your cards right, you should never have to step into some of them for the rest of your life. If you listen to the older students’ advice on anything at all, let it be this:

“I would have discovered SoulJam earlier”

“I would have made the most of the cheap drinks at The Duck and Scholar”

“I wouldn’t bother ever going to Pryzm” (go to Gales instead!)

You’ll miss The Duck and Scholar once you’re down in Selly!

Rest up

“I would have worked harder to maintain a healthy sleep schedule”

Mood after going to one lecture

We know this is hard when you’re going out a lot, but don’t underestimate the importance of seeing daylight! Wake up earlier and nap in the afternoon if you need!

Is your fresher’s romance really your soulmate?

Yes, we know that university is a time to spread your wings away from the watchful eyes of mum and dad and explore the dating (or not-dating) game fully. But sometimes, you need to look past the rose-tinted glasses of fresher’s week and realise those ‘eccentricities’ for what they are – massive red flags.

“I wouldn’t have got with so many members of the same rugby team” (Be careful of those beer goggles on sport’s night kids)

“I wouldn’t have dated a medic” (Although we promise they’re not actually that bad!)

“I wouldn’t have wasted so much time on people I knew I didn’t like” (You aren’t going to become best friends with everyone you meet in Fresher’s week, and the sooner you accept that, the easier your life will be)

Take it from us – find your besties before your boyfriend.

Find your friends before entering into the dating game!

The stress of second year housing

“I would have spent more time before rushing into signing a house for second year

“Don’t let the letting agents pressure you into signing on to something you’re not 100% sure on” 

Despite what the Selly letting agents may lead you to believe, you have SO MUCH TIME. Don’t let yourself be pressured into signing into a house that you don’t really like, can’t really afford or with people who you’ll end up resenting.

Location, Location, Location has nothing on us

Yes, university does actually involve some academic work

It’s a sad day when you sit down and realise that going out for 14 nights in a row may have left you slightly behind on the academic side of university (supposedly that’s why you enrolled?) But, according to our gurus, the key is finding a balance, especially in first year:

“I would have listened to people when they told me to actually do my uni work!”

“I would have made the most of my lecturer’s office hours”

“I would have made the most of the fact that first year doesn’t actually count” (Still do your work, but remember it’s not the be-all and end-all)

“I would have realised that you have to re-apply for your student loan every year” (YES, even if you only get a tuition loan, YOU NEED TO REAPPLY EVERY YEAR)

“I would have explored different study spaces”

“I would have changed courses as soon as I realised that I hated mine”

“I would have tried to chat to more people in lectures and seminars” (Making seminar friends will be a life saver when you decide to take a week off because of a hangover)

“I would have used the library more”

These are not the gates of hell – use the library!

Perhaps the most important one of all: “I wouldn’t have put so much pressure on my university experience, especially the first few weeks”

It might seem that your mates are all having a great time (particularly if social media is anything to go by), but, really, everyone experiences bad days and hard times. Whilst we all hope for university to be the best days of our lives, you are inevitably going to face challenges. What’s important to remember is that every stage of life has ups and downs and, regardless of the lows, you will still make some of your best memories here in Brum.

Please note: the sport’s night beer goggles will wear off in the morning!

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