What my first month at Cardiff Uni taught me: Tips from a final year student
A guide on how to make the most of uni life
It’s almost the end of October, which means I have officially been at uni for one whole month and two years. Looking back at my two-year-old Instagram posts and Snapchat stories, I realised there were some things I wish I was told before starting uni. So I decided to share the wisdom of an old final year students to all freshers.
The people you’ll meet in your lectures/seminars won’t be your friends forever
Around 70 per cent of all my lectures and seminars throughout my studies were awkward Zoom calls in which nobody really spoke. The girl you get paired up with seems nice and chatty, until you meet again next week and she doesn’t remember your name. It’s fine. When your course consists of over 200 people, you don’t need to become besties with the first person you meet in the lecture hall (or in the break room).
It is ok to spend some time alone
You don’t need to go out every night. You won’t miss out on anything important if you prefer to stay one night at home instead of going out with your flatmates. Nobody is going to judge you. Besides, once Freshers’ Week is done and university starts, you don’t see everyone as often as you’d think (unless you really make the effort to).
Lecturers are different to teachers
Although writing essays and attending lectures is more difficult than school work, lecturers are (in most cases) more open minded and chill. Imagine the class’ reactions in one of my first lectures when a student called the lecturer “professor” and he answered: “Please, just call me George*”. Overall, most lecturers treat students as equals and would gladly listen to the opinions and feedback of fellow students.
Try befriending your flatmates
Of course, it’s a bit hard to befriend the flatmate that never leaves their room, or the one that is always out no matter the time of the day. But always try to be nice to the people you’ll be living with for at least nine months. After that time you won’t need to (just kidding). Some of your flatmates might end up being your closest friends. But even if you lose touch with them, you will have at least met a few new people and made some memories.
There is time for everything
There are so many societies and clubs that it feels like you are missing out on everything. You can join a society in year one and never attend their socials, at the same time you can join a club in your last year and enjoy every second of it. You don’t need to feel pressured to do anything if you don’t feel like it. Spend time attending society fairs and join the ones you actually find interesting.
Try new things
Have a coffee at Bute Park on your own, call your friends and go to Barry Island to watch the sunset, explore the history of Cardiff Castle. Wales is full of beautiful historic places and its nature has a lot to offer. Try a new thing at least once a week. You have the opportunity of studying in the Welsh capital so might be a good idea to do some exploring because those three or four years do go fast.