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Dear freshers, here’s everything I wish I did as a first year

Love from, a jealous third year

As freshers, everyone is essentially just thrown in at the deep end, left to fend for themselves (probably for the first time), hoping they’ll figure it out along the way. It's mad and a lot of fun, mistakes are definitely made, lessons are learned.

Now that I'm well into my third year, having to do real work and actually start thinking about future life as an actual proper adult, here are a few things I wish I had known before I started uni.

Remembering that first year doesn’t count

This almost becomes a mantra for every first year student. Left your essay until the last minute? Forgot to do that quiz? Got a lower grade than you were expecting? It’s fine, first year doesn’t count. As long as you get that 40 per cent, you’re all good.

I definitely wish I had followed this more, it would’ve saved me a great deal of pointless stress. Obviously, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t try at all, otherwise second year is going to hit you like a ton of bricks. But do allow yourself to take some liberties, now is your best chance.

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get it down ya

Go out more

First year is the best time to go out seven nights in a row and the best part is no one can make you feel bad about it. You’ll end up either having a great time and making friends for life, or meeting the people you'll awkwardly walk past on campus for the rest of your university life.

Also, if you’re anything like me, by second year your body starts to catch up with you and the thought of going out even two nights in a row starts to sound like a marathon.

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Learn how to make smart notes in lectures

Copy down what the lecturer is saying, not what’s on the PowerPoint – you can look that up later. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to furiously scribble down everything and anything. You’ll just end up missing vital info, while writing something down that is possibly not essential.

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Save money for summer

It’s so easy to forget that you don’t get a student loan over the summer. You figure out a budget, work out how much you have left over after rent to spend each week, feeling like a proper adult. Then, it gets to July and you realise you’re well into your overdraft, so the next few months are going to either be spent in bed sulking, because you can’t afford to do anything, or taking on a crappy job to keep you afloat. Just put a few quid aside each week with this in mind and save yourself the stress.

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Just make sure you get involved

It’s easy to be intimidated by societies, feeling like they might cut into your study or social time, or that they just might not be right for you. But considering how many there are to choose from, there’s something for everyone.

Not only are they a great way for freshers to meet new people with common interests, but they also look great on a CV, especially if you decide to apply for a position later on.

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