It's September. That time of year again, where the majority of people under 21 are returning to some form of education. Remember the first day of the school year, the only day you wake up earlier than necessary and spend an extra hour on your hair and 'barely there' make up? Writing in a school book on the thickest part of the notepad, deciding you'd be motivated only to find procrastination as a better option when your teacher hands you the first piece of homework. University is not a million miles away from that world. It may have been a few years since I last put on a school uniform, but on my first day at University, I spent hours agonising over what to wear, how to greet my flatmates. I was more nervous about moving 3 hours up the road to Uni than moving to Italy. And so, to calm those of you who are taking that big leap within the next couple of weeks, I thought I'd impart some wisdom. And if you've been through the Uni thing already, this will probably resonate with you too.
When you go into your first ever lecture, a few things will happen. Around you will be a sea of Macbooks. For some reason, everybody at University has one. Bar the odd couple. Don't worry if you don't have a Macbook, having an £800 laptop won't make your essays any better. And you don't have to export all of your files into Word format, so you're the real winners. You will also probably fancy somebody in your lecture, it is not always a good idea to get with said person, because they will probably be sat next to you in a fiver person seminar later on in the year. On top of all of this, it's sometimes harder to make friends on your course than between flats. Sometimes you meet people beforehand, but a lot of it is making conversation with people in your seminars and lectures- just grin and bare it, some of them will probably turn into life long friends.
During your time at Uni, there will be at least one formal of some kind. Girls will wear dresses, boys will wear tuxes. Don't wear heels you'll need to take off. And always wear a dress you can dance in. These are life skills you should carry with you beyond university, but I found at Uni I'd veer towards what my friends were wearing rather than what I would find comfortable. Aka my 5'2 friends are far more used to wearing heels than my 5'9 self.
My last few points I can leave you in a flurry of advice, Ben & Jerry's is always necessity if the Domino's is discounted, don't kiss too many people in the first week (especially at a campus uni), if you buy a Diary you probably will never use it, don't bother bringing a cheese grater- the best grater in the flat turns into the communal one, change your bed at least once a month, learn how to do referencing properly- it'll save you so much time, VKs are always a good idea, write out your lecture notes instead of typing them, call your mother once a week and most importantly, never mix a drink with sambuca.
Good luck to everyone who's returning to education or starting at a new adventure!
Ciao for Now!