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I asked final year students what they’d tell their first year selves

‘Always have a plunger in case you’re sick in your bedroom sink’


For a lot of us, uni is rapidly coming to a close. The Easter break signified the beginning of the end, for me at least. There are no more lectures, just endless assignments and exam revision looming ahead. Knowing that I don’t have much time left for making drunken mistakes in Old Fire Station left me with a sense of nostalgia for my first year of uni – back when all I did was make drunken mistakes.

I ended up questioning a lot of my behaviour from those early days, when every lecture was optional and having a beer with breakfast made you seem like an absolute sesh head (side note: it also made you seem like an idiot). I’ve learnt a lot over the last four years, so I decided to ask other people what advice they’d give to their first year selves.

Chris, 22

“I’d say that none of first year matters. Do the bare minimum to get to second year, so you have more time to have fun. My housemate actually worked out the minimum percentage he needed to pass the year, and he realised he’d done too well in one assignment – meaning that his percentage for that unit was high enough that he didn’t have to pass the last essay to pass the unit, so he just didn’t do it. I wish I’d been that smart. First year is just about having fun.”

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By final year, you will be spending 90% of your time doing uni work

A lot were to do with drinking which, to be fair, was expected.

Jack, 21

“Enjoy it while you can! It doesn’t last forever. And always have a plunger, just in case you’re sick in the sink in your halls bedroom.”

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Don't think a plunger would be much help here

Mel, 21

“The first night of uni all of my housemates went out, to get to know each other… except for me, because I got way too drunk. And one of them stayed in with me – according to him – and he sat on my bed with me, cleaned up my sick, and we had some really in-depth chats.

"The next morning, he came into my room to tell me that he felt like he’d really made a good friend, and that he felt much better about moving away from home and starting at uni. The only problem was that I didn’t remember any of it! So I think I’d say don’t do that. Also, if your housemates bake – respect their cakes! Don’t get drunk and throw them around the kitchen.”

Cormac, 22

“Don’t wear hats to parties, you will literally lose all of them. And don’t lose your virginity at a Halloween party – I was dressed as Robert Smith from The Cure when I lost mine.”

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University will bring the best – and craziest – parties

Charlotte, 22

“Don’t get yourself into a love triangle – that will never end well. I wish I’d known about Chicken Station and all of the rats… and don’t go to Cameo after drinking a whole bottle of rum.”

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Always make sure you have a friend on hand to feed you bread – obviously the best cure for acute drunkenness

The majority of people were more reflective, and got a little bit more deep: discussing friendship, trying new things, and taking risks.

Jake, 22

“I didn’t really chat to a lot of people outside of my house. I should’ve taken more risks, made more course friends.”

Elizabeth, 23

“Make better friends. They were just the people that were around me, so we never really became close. I feel good about my friends this year, I guess because I didn’t really realise

"I didn’t have many great friends until my placement year, so I tried to meet new people in my final year and because of that I’m much happier.”

Abigail, 25

“Get on a bus! Explore other boroughs, other areas.”

Lewis, 24

"Put the PC games down and join a society. Be a little more crazy and adventurous. And I would also advise myself to do my Asda shops online – delivery is so much easier than going in-store to collect by bus!"

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May have got a bit carried away with playing games over uni work

Jodie, 21

“Don’t be afraid of scary situations, because by putting yourself in them, you only gain from them.”

Although some of their advice was more constructive than others -I personally wouldn’t recommend not handing in assignments – they all represent growth, as well as our looming adulthood.

I for one hope that my days of being violently sick in the Cameo toilets are over, but I am going to miss uni – and I definitely miss being a fresher already. The only daylight I see now is through the library windows, and no longer do nights out excite me as they once did – but a fresh dish washing sponge by the sink really gets me going.

And for anyone starting uni, or for anyone who is just curious, my advice to my first year self is simple – do not, under any circumstances, sleep with your housemate. And definitely don’t sleep with two of them.