10 things I learnt in my first term at RoHo

Nothing from my lectures, obviously


Starting university is incredibly daunting for a lot of people, and you learn a lot about yourself and life in general in your first term. So here's a rundown of the ten most important things I learnt during my first term at Royal Holloway.

1. You're willing to endure more than you ever thought possible

Emptying the food waste bin, with a tea towel wrapped around your nose and face, because the smell is just too pungent, is certainly a new low.

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2. You will never be prepared for your lectures or seminars

No matter how many articles you highlight and books you take out of the library, you will never fully understand what's happening in your lectures or seminars. And you know what? That's ok! No one will ever know everything.

3. You're a better cook than you thought

As terrible a cook you think you might be before uni, there will always be someone worse than you. Someone who consistently sets fire to their food, or someone who can't even get that far, because they can't boil water on the hob. If you can cook pesto pasta, you're doing better than most.

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4. People have their differences, and you've just got to deal with that

It can be anything from political differences, to someone dissing a song that you passionately love.

Something will happen in the term that'll make you realise that people won't budge on certain issues and you've just got to put your hands up and say in an annoyingly adult way, "well, we'll just have to agree to disagree there'' rather than punching someone.

5. Making friends isn't as scary as you might think

Especially with your flatmates, due to forced proximity, you basically have to be friendly with each other. It'll start off slow and then by the end of the first term you'll be baking cakes together and having deep and meaningful conversations.

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6. Laundry rules are nonsense

Honestly, since the first week, I haven't separated my light and dark clothes and colours and the worst thing that happened was that my white mattress cover turned ever so slightly blue.

8. University can be lonely but it's survivable

Sometimes, you can go most of the day without seeing your flatmates if you don't reach out to one another.

You begin to miss your friends back home because no one really knows you like they do. But then you remember to just text one of your new friends and say "tea?" and they bustle into your kitchen for some PG Tips, simple as.

7. You will learn how to catch bugs

You've got to learn a certain amount of independence at uni, and with that comes the awful task of getting rid of bugs, especially spiders, by yourself.

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9. Don't hang around with people who make you feel bad

It sounds simple but people still do this at uni. If someone gives you bad vibes, makes you second-guess yourself, or makes you feel bad about yourself then you don't owe them anything – especially not your amazing friendship.

10. You probably owe your parents a lot

You're standing in the kitchen, desperately trying to make a chilli before your washing finishes in the tumble dryer. You're starting to realise why your parents take afternoon naps. You miss the good old days when your parents would cook and do your laundry for you.

In a nutshell, you inevitably learn how to be a (functioning) adult.