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How to nail your fresher year, by third years

Thank us later

University. Even the word strikes fear in finalists. As someone who suffers from issues with my mental health, I was particularly nervous about how to make friends and how I would find my place on such a large campus with so many people. It was like my worst nightmare became a reality.

When I first came to uni, I knew nobody. It was extremely daunting having to live by myself, cook for myself, look after myself and, on top of all of that, manage to find the time to get a degree.

If only I had an older sibling or wise elder to consult and advise me of any pitfalls and give me the secrets of having a successful first year at university. Luckily, the current students at Holloway are here to provide the fresh-faced first years a few wise words and pro tips for a successful and memorable time at university:

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Emma, Third Year

“Even though you're surrounded by lots of people, it can sometimes be hard to meet new friends, especially if you're feeling anxious. In my experience, joining societies is the best way to find people with similar interests. There really is a society for everyone, and you can even create your own! It's a great way to build a community on campus and even gain new skills, hobbies and experiences.”

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Sonya, Third Year

“Keep a calendar on the wall with all your deadlines, or you'll forget them. If you’re ever worried about making friends, people are generally quite nice, so if you don't know anyone in a class; sit somewhere and talk to your neighbour. They're probably in the same situation as you.”

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Humza, Third Year

“Preparing yourself for university is no easy task, and I’m sure you are all aware of that! However, what you should know is that you have so many people, departments and organisations available on campus to help and support you throughout your time here. Good luck with everything and I hope you enjoy your time here at Royal Holloway!”

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Eden, Third Year

“My advice would be to enjoy your first year to the max! Get to know as many people as possible, join societies, and NEVER choose the blue VK over orange ones"

At the expense of not wanting to sound like someone’s old mother, there is something important that you must remember: you're young. You deserve to sleep well and have fun every once in a while. It would be foolish to spend the best part of becoming a young adult crippled with the fear of failure. Your grade does not determine your self-worth.

With these pearls of wisdom at your disposal, enjoy all the nights at the SU, the chats around the kitchen tables at 3am, and spending time with your flatmates.