We asked Exeter students for their first year regrets, so you don’t make the same mistakes

‘Wouldn’t go for rugby boys, they’re all terrible in bed’

Whether it’s drunk texting your ex or scraping through first year with that all-important 40 per cent, I think we can all agree that regrets are a healthy and natural part of anybody’s university experience. However, as a fresh-faced first year there is often a big pressure for the university experience to be picture perfect. Despite what all your mates post on social media, reality cannot be so easily photoshopped.

The Tab Exeter asked our Instagram followers what their biggest first year regrets were, so you can learn from their mistakes. They covered it all: from messy night outs to deadline disasters.


Most university students could write a first-class essay on their drunk nights and the lessons they learnt during, but a messy night out often provides a much-needed change to the humdrum of your everyday routine. After all, they do say variety is the spice of life. However, if you’re frequently waking up in A&E with 50 missed calls and a banging headache, then maybe you should be reconsidering your life choices.

“Getting with three guys in my hall.”


“Sleeping with my best friend.”

“Staying in my relationship from Sixth Form.”

“I sucked a guy off and he gave me meningitis.”

“Wouldn’t go for rugby boys, they’re all terrible in bed.”

“Got kicked out of a club for sniffing some randomer’s Ket.”

“I chunned in the kitchen sink and all my flatmates saw.”

“Being attracted to a guy with a man bun.”

“Unit 1 Fridays”

“Shagged three of my coursemates, all of whom I’m now in small modules with.”

“Society shag.”

“Flatcest with my flatmate who was already in a relationship.”

“Having a long distance girlfriend.”

“Having a friends with benefits.”

“Slept with a rugby boy.”

“Making out with seven guys the same night.”

“Shagging the best mate of the girl I liked, and then trying to get with her after.”

“Not breaking up with my boyfriend back home.”

“Not coming out sooner.”

“Getting into a two year relationship with the first person I met in Freshers’ Week.”

“Fancying my first year housemate who I still fancy now UGH.”

“I should never have wet myself in public.” (No words for this one)

‘Working too hard’

It’s so important to use the amazing resources that uni has to offer. As daunting as it may seem to try new things, putting yourself out there is the best way to make friends and create unforgettable memories. Getting organised will guarantee you have the time to get on top of your academic and social life.

“Joining no clubs or societies.”

“I should have used my lecturer’s office hours more.” (They don’t bite, we promise)

“Not going out and meeting enough people.”

“Working too hard.”

“Signing up to too many societies.”

“Should have tried more outside of classes.”

“I didn’t go out enough.”

“Joining in the Covid year.”

“Not starting my coursework earlier.”

“I wish my sleeping schedule was better.” (Remember it’s okay to say no to a night out and rest up)

‘Spent my entire overdraft in Freshers”

After getting accepted into uni it’s very common to go on the world’s largest shopping spree for all your uni essentials. But despite what your mum might insist, that sewing kit will probably never see the light of the day. It’s therefore good to be savvy with your spending before your university experience, because you’re going to need all the money you can find whilst you’re there.

“Spending £700 in Freshers’ Week.”

“Thought Spar Imperial Vodka was a good choice for pres.”

“Spent my entire overdraft in Fresher’s.”

“Spent so much money on clothes for nights out.”

“Spent £400 on a taxi to Bristol Airport.”

“I put in extra money for Circuit the week before moving out and now can’t get it back”

“Be prepared to spend big bucks on washing.”

“Circuit Laundry.”

‘Living in Holland Hall’

Choosing your first year accommodation, and then housing for second year, are fine arts that many fail to master. Of course you shouldn’t aim to leave things till the last minute, but on the other hand that ten bed house you promised each other in September is probably not going to work out. Take your time to figure people out and get to know their idiosyncrasies, because you’ll be living with these people for at least a year. You want them to make your uni experience – not break it.

“Leaving housing to the last minute.”

“Deciding to live with the fuckers in second year.”

“Not having a go at my NASTY housemates.”

“Living in Duryard.”

“Being friends with my current flat.”

“Playing baseball in the flat corridor.”

“Catered halls.”

“Setting my accommodation on fire.”

“Living in St. Davids.”

“Agreed to live with the messiest person ever.”


“Live with the ‘cool quirky’ girl in your friendship group… worst housemate ever.”

“Living in Exeter One.”

“Don’t assume the people you live with will be your best mates.”

“Living in private accomodation.”

“I should have viewed my house before buying it.”

“Living in Birks catered with trashy Surrey hoi polloi.”

“Relying solely on one friendship group.”

“Didn’t move to sleep on my friend’s floor sooner.”

“I regret not getting to know my housemates more.”

In the end, there is no such thing as the perfect student or the dream university experience. Life is too short to worry about the past, so get out there and make the most of your time left on the rollercoaster that is uni.