Everything I learnt as a Fresher

Freshers is a year where you’ll be thrown into countless new situations, and as a result, you’ll learn a lot, even if you scrape by with a bare pass and feel as if you’ve somehow become more stupid.

Not everyone at uni actually does drugs

When I rocked up to Leeds, I was expecting to be offered bumps of all sorts, left right and centre. But the truth is, not everyone does drugs, and perhaps a bigger truth than this is that no one actually cares if you do drugs or not. I thought it’d be incredibly ‘uncool’ to refuse a key of a suspicious substance, but the reality is 1. pretty much everyone will respect your decision to abstain, and 2. drugs are expensive – I doubt you’ll be offered much anyway.

Not everyone at uni has had sex

Another assumption I had was that by the time I got to uni, everyone would have lost their virginity and that it was the norm to have sex with someone new every single night of Freshers. While it’s fine if that’s your thing, it’s also fine if it isn’t. Not everyone at uni has had sex, so don’t worry if you haven’t. And like my learning curve with drugs, I began to realise that, honestly, it wasn’t that important. No one cared whether I’d done it or not.

Pretty much everyone is incredibly friendly, and you have no reason to feel intimidated

I’d assumed that everyone was going to be incredibly gorgeous, well-dressed, and somehow appear older/better/cleverer than me. You get all sorts of people at uni, a real cross-section of our generation, and there’s no need to feel intimidated. It isn’t like school where people are jostling to be the most popular; at uni, everyone’s just themselves.

Food costs money!

If you’ve lived at home for the past 18 years like I had, it may have slipped your mind that food costs money. I learnt (the hard way) that though you’ll have over a grand deposited in your account at the beginning of the term, you can’t piss this away on nights out and new clothes. You’ll probably do this once and have to resort to eating Weetabix for a week, but it’s a rite of passage.

You need to give yourself more credit

I came to uni with my self-esteem at an all-time low, and I think the most important thing I learned in the first year was that I needed to give myself far more credit. You’re constantly reminded that you achieved great grades to get into whichever uni you’re at; you’re surrounded by equally intelligent people, and after a while, it starts to sink in that you’re one of them too. You’re just as clever, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over any minor hiccups that befall you in your first year. Realise your worth!

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