by Joanna Cunningham
Stepping into my fourth, and final year, of uni is bittersweet. In one sense, I have the excitement of exploring my next chapter in life; going into the world of work, and finally facing up to the fact that I’m no longer a teenager.
On the other hand, I have so much to miss: having all my friends basically on my doorstep; going out for no real reason and dressing up like a fool; having the freedom to go for a beer at any point during the week, and it being acceptable; studying a subject I love. After reflecting over my three years at Cardiff, I think I am qualified to help advise this years freshers. Therefore I present to you my dos and don’ts for any fresher who needs a little guidance before entering the bubble that is university.
Things I would do…
Try out new things! Remember, everyone is in the same position – put yourself out there and be outgoing and friendly. Trust me, everyone is too busy worrying about how they’re coming across and frankly don’t care enough to judge you!
Go to the Freshers Fair and explore your options. Even if you initially don’t want to join a society or club, there are so many options out there, and you might discover something you didn’t even know existed! You can always attend some taster sessions and see what suits you.
Attempt to look a little bit nice when you go and collect your student card. You WILL be hungover, and they WILL take a photo of you which will haunt you for the next three or more years. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Things I wouldn’t do….
Don’t be afraid to try out for a club. When I arrived at Cardiff, I had planned to try out for Cheerleading but, when the day of the try-outs came, I almost didn’t go as I feared looking stupid by going alone. To this day, I am so grateful that my mum forced me to go, as this was one of the best decisions I made over my time at uni. Here was where I made all my friends, and I discovered a hobby and a passion which I never thought I would have. Go for it and try out for multiple clubs if you want – what have you got to lose!?
Don’t feel pressured to be friends with the first people you meet. You will meet so many different people at uni, and if they’re not your cup of tea, that’s not the end of the world!
So, now you know some of my fresher dos and don’ts, I hope you will feel a little more secure in the knowledge that no, you are not alone, and yes, you will have the best years of your life at uni. Take risks, be yourself and, most importantly, enjoy your time in university.
Your time here will fly by.