Uni is rarely what we expect. You might start out absolutely petrified but by Christmas you’re the happiest you’ve ever been – or you may have headed off to halls thinking you’re embarking on the best three years of your life, but by the end of first term you’re wishing you’d never bothered in the first place. If you fall into that latter category and are already starting to dread spring term, I’m here to help you work out your options in a few easy steps.
Eleven weeks ago, I moved back to York for my second year at university. After my difficult first year I was apprehensive but looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, as well as continuing all the work I put in here at Lightly We Go over the summertime. I published one blogpost after the move, and then – well, life took over a bit, and in the best way possible. Here are five reasons I’ve absolutely fallen in love with second year.
The title of this post makes it sound like making friends at uni is easy; something you can learn to do in a few minutes. But friendships, like all relationships, take time to nurture and build up. Uni isn’t like school, where you’re thrust together with the same, relatively small group of people for days on end. It’s so much bigger than that, and that ironically makes it much harder to meet people to form a bond with. Finding the right people for you can take a lot of time and effort – or it can happen out of the blue. In my experience, finding your future friends involves a bit of work and a bit of luck, but making and securing those friendships can take quite a lot of work. It’s a fun and important process though, and worth it in the end, so here are my tips and tricks for finding your friends at university.
My first year at university was the hardest of my life. The transition to uni life was so hard to handle that I spent days on end locked in my halls bedroom, wishing I was anywhere but there. I came home at the end of the year depressed, having suffered near-crippling anxiety for much of the year. On multiple occasions I considered dropping out, transferring to UEA and living at home for the duration of my undergraduate degree. But despite all this, I absolutely cannot wait to get back to York this weekend and start my second year – so what’s changed?
Think ‘Freshers’ Week’. What comes to mind? I’m getting a blind, endless mix of alcohol, hangovers, and club nights with stupid fancy dress themes, not to mention a healthy dose of anxiety, stress and homesickness. When I was preparing for my own Freshers’ Week this time last year I was absolutely terrified; although I enjoy drinks and parties with friends, the idea of a full week of clubbing and exhaustion was, simply, abhorrent. I understand that for many students this really is their idea of great fun, but to me it seemed like this great big hurdle I had to get over before I could actually start uni. In the end, I actually enjoyed my Freshers’ Week – and if you’re feeling like I was last September, read on to find out how you can too.
Congratulations! You’ve got your place at university, applied for your on-campus accommodation and just been given your brand-new address. But there are still a few hurdles to overcome before move-in day: namely finding out about your new flatmates. Here’s my how-to guide for finding, chatting with and getting to know the people you’ll be sharing a kitchen with for the next year!
There’s no doubt that university teaches you a huge amount, and not just in terms of your academic studies. Even if you live at home, being thrown into a totally unknown environment with hundreds of new people to get to know along practically guarantees some personal development. However, there are some key life skills that will be particularly helpful to know before you go, particularly (though not exclusively) if you’re moving away into student accommodation or a shared house.