11 first year regrets every Leeds student has

Getting an eyebrow slit really was a low point


Going into my final year has made my friends and I both nostalgic and thankful; nostalgic of the nights spent at Mischief and thankful to have moved on from Mischief in equal measure. Whilst first year was one of the best years of our lives, there are undoubtedly things that I would have done differently and so, here is a list of first year regrets compiled from a group of very regretful final year students.

1. Maxing out your overdraft by week five

It’s an easy mistake to make thinking that your overdraft is free money, but sadly, it is not. What you might think is your bank’s generosity for getting into university is actually £2000 that you will have to pay back. Simply put, save yourself an eternity of eating pesto pasta and use your overdraft with caution.

2. Going to all your lectures

Whilst falling behind at university is not ideal by any means, FOMO is far worse. Watching your friends out at Beaverworks while you’re in bed worried about a 9am lecture is painful and quite frankly, childish. You won’t remember the lecture or the night out either way, but you stand a chance of enjoying yourself on a night out. First year doesn’t count for most university students and nobody will miss you if you coincidentally happen to have “a bad migraine” at 9am on Thursday morning.

3. Getting an eyebrow slit

Not stylish. Not cute. Not pretty.

I hate to admit that I was one of the idiots who thought that an eyebrow slit was the best fashion statement I could ever make. It was not. I spent the following four months filling in my eyebrow every single morning and regretting all my life choices. It also looks extra dodgy when everyone in your friendship group has a matching one.

4. Having a partner that you don’t actually like

From what I’ve heard, unless you’re head-over-heels in love with your high school sweetheart, it’s pointless having a partner for the sake of having a partner. If there’s ever a time to live out your “f-boy era”, it’s at uni. Being cuffed might be nice at first, but between wondering what else is out there and getting the reputation of constantly being on FaceTime with your SO, is it really worth it? And when eventually the pressures of your fit flatmate and the stresses of university get too much, you might find yourself as a lonely third year wishing you’d explored the other fish in the sea.

5. Sleeping with people you should not sleep with

Whilst having a pointless partner is a boo-boo, so is flat-cest… and seminar-cest for that matter. Sleeping with all the eligible partners in your flat is not a great idea. Cue eight weeks-worth of awkward hallway interactions and “flat night outs” that you would rather not be a part of. The same can most certainly be said about sleeping with the fit girl in your seminar and the boy who looks vaguely attractive in a club.

6. Having a diet consisting of the colour beige

An egg, cucumber and rice… one of the many bowls I called dinner

Eating pasta, chips, bread and chicken nuggets will soon take its toll on your brain, digestive system and your overall health. Weeks of eating UberEats and Deliveroo is simply not worth the months of constipation that will follow. A bit of frozen veg goes a long way.

7. Not cleaning your fridge (or anything for that matter) before you go home

£10 if you can guess what this was

This picture speaks for itself. Have a weekly clean (monthly, if you must). Part of me is convinced that Covid-19 started in the back of my fridge when I went home over Christmas.

8. Going to Pryzm

This one is controversial. In my opinion, neither the snazzy smoking area, nor the cheap drinks are worth it. Don’t let the extensive entry queues fool you. Apologies if you love it, but the general consensus is that your Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night can all be far better spent elsewhere.

9.  Not joining a society

So many of my closest friends have said their biggest regret is not being part of a society. Whether it’s rugby or Animal Crossing society, there are so many societies that you can join. The perks being that you’ll have even more excuses to go out because of the incessant socials, you’ll make lots more friends, and have another random thing to bulk out your CV.

10. Rushing into finding a house

I waited to find a house and ended up far happier as a result!

Hyde Park fever. It strikes around late November and forces just about everyone in first year to desperately clump together and sign a house in Hyde Park. A lot of these “houses” will end up realising they are not actually friends. There is no actual hurry to get a house and you might be better off waiting until February when you find your actual housemates (like I did).

11. Not exploring Leeds

There is more to life in Leeds than Eddy B and Beaverworks. So when the words “vodka lemonade” inevitably become vomit inducing, it’s definitely worth branching out and taking a stroll through Skipton or Ilkley, even the Yorkshire Dales. Or even a trip to Headingley if you’re lazy. I really regret not exploring Leeds more.

And that is a conclusive list of regrets and things not to do in your First Year. Although I am pretty sure that most first years will end up doing these things anyway; it’s practically a rite of passage to sleep with your flatmate and live off Pot Noodles.

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