I debated internally whether to share this post so soon or to wait a few more months. They say strike when the iron is hot so I thought I would just go ahead with it!
So my first year of university is over😀 . I’m happy to say the least and relieved at most. I think all in all it’s been a pretty good year. The good far outweighs the bad. I’m going to outline some of the things I learnt this year.
1. Be yourself.
It’s so easy to forge a character for yourself in a new environment surrounded by strangers. Before you know it you’ve created a whole new identity and you have to keep up with it or else everything falls apart somehow. University is such a big place that you are bound to find people that ‘get you’ and that you will feel totally comfortable with. There is no need to ‘fake it’ .
2. Know your friends
During freshers’ and the like you meet so many different faces that it all becomes a blur. It’s a miracle if you end up seeing half the people again. I know that for me I was intent on just meeting so many different people but within the first few weeks the novelty wore off and I wanted to just have friends.
I believe that you will find your people. I mean friends that get you and you become very comfortable with.Obviously this won’t happen immediately but when it does you know. It’s a little hard to explain but I’d say that they form your ‘base’ group. Like, they’re your friendship foundation at uni if you get my drift?
3. Different friends for different things
Another thing I realised early on is that some relationships are confined to the four walls of the classroom. That is to say that some people are just destined to be course mates and nothing more. You speak about work, assignments and the like together but nothing more.
There are some friendships where you just exchange pleasantries in passing within a quick five minute conversation.
There are some that aren’t even friendships. When you’re always the only one saying hello whenever you bump into someone well, the hint is there loud and clear. It is not by force to be friends with everyone and I quickly learnt that it is ok to not say ‘hello’ to everyone. No hard feelings🙂
4. Set the standard
We all have our own individual standards and beliefs. Unfortunately many of us do not let people realise that from the onset so for the rest of the year you’re forever compromising. What is more important however is not just saying it but living what you believe.
From the beginning I made it clear what I do and don’t do. This included drinking. I don’t drink due to my personal religious convictions and you can imagine amidst all the freshers’ fanfare this must have been absurd. There were other things too. I’m glad I let it be known from the beginning so that any friendship I began knew what I believed in from the start. It made things much easier in the long run.
Set the standard now so you don’t have to play catch-up later.
5. Be careful which societies you join.
I CANNOT stress this enough. I went through a phase of trying almost every society/ club to disastrous results. It all boiled down to the fact that I didn’t pray before I joined societies because if I had God knows I would have relieved myself from unnecessary wahala (stress)!!!
What I will say is that clubs and societies are very different to how they are in secondary school so don’t go in thinking it will be what you have previously been exposed to. Things are so different at university and I realised that a little too late. When you bear in mind that majority of clubs/societies have membership fees you realise that you really need to think before you sign up. I would say try before you buy as much as you can.Most importantly if you’re not feeling it, don’t force it. There are too many clubs/societies for you to be suffering with one that isn’t really to your taste😉
6. There is a life outside of uni
Don’t forget your friends- the one you made before uni. It’s so easy to get lost in university and the new friends you’ve made. When you realise that your new friends will soon become ‘old’ friends as you move into the next phase of life you will put things into perspective. There should be a healthy perspective. Aside from that university is very time consuming and you easily become sucked into it all. You have to make a conscious effort to do other things too.
Most importantly have fun, make memories and get that good degree. First year flew by and I can only imagine how quickly these next few years will go. All in all I’ve had a very good first year and met some amazing people!
Apparently you can meet your ‘potential’ future partner at university- well that seems to be a myth. Another thing that’s widely said is that you will meet lifelong friends at university. There is some truth to that as I’ve met some people that I know will feature in my life for a very long time. It is also said that university are the ‘best years’ of your life.
Come back and ask me that in another five years or so and I may have an answer to that. I’d like to think that I haven’t reached the peak of the best times of my life just yet😉
Regardless, I’m looking forward to the summer and to second year. If first year is anything to go by I know that it’s going to be an experience and a half😉😀