University was always this massive, looming thing in my life. Even before GCSEs, I was set on it – a place where I could study just what I wanted, be independent and live on my own, meet the people that are going to be a part of my life forever. September 2015 was the biggest, most exhilarating month of my life. I moved into halls, met an amazing group of people, started and loved my course, got drunk most nights and partied my way through a number of experiences I either can’t remember or would rather forget.
Now, nine months have passed, and I’m in the last week of my first year. Wow, that went fast. I’m sure I speak for the majority of freshers when I say ‘Where did that time go?’. Yeah, I’ve done alright in my course, went out drinking quite a lot, but really, the only minutes that went past slowly were the ones spent in the Glen Eyre laundrette. But despite how quick it felt, the biggest things in my life have happened to me in this time. And university hasn’t disappointed.
I’ve met some of the most incredible people I’ll ever have the privilege of knowing. Being from a small town and spending 7 years with the same people can be very suffocating, but in one day, I was suddenly surrounded by new people on all sides. Flatmates, coursemates, random people you’re not sure whether you know or not that you befriend drunkenly on nights out – latch on to them and don’t let go. In particular, I’ve had my ‘flamily’ (our nickname, comes from ‘flat family’). We were all thrown together, with no idea whether we would like each other, all from different walks of life. Luckily, I don’t mind my lot (I’m joking, I love you guys). They really are like my family.
I’ve got some big stories to tell. I always envisioned myself as the sort of dad, like Ted from How I Met Your Mother, forcing my children to listen to the crazy stories of my youth. Remember that time you sliced your finger open chopping an onion and spent three hours in A&E? Or that time we all dressed up as characters from the Nativity? Or Halloween, the night where everyone has a different embarrassing drunk story to tell?
My advice for next year’s freshers is this. Throw – yourself – in. Live every moment to the full. Don’t worry about your assignments too much, (most of) you only need 40% to pass and then next year is what counts. Join societies! The Edge is by far and away one of the best things I’ve ever done, and crazily I’m now an Editor of a whole magazine section, even though I’ve only been writing for five months. Get drunk, don’t be afraid to make mistakes – even big ones. It’s the only way you’ll learn, and even though they are often messy to clear up, the biggest nights out are the best times you’ll ever have. Don’t be afraid of having your heart broken. Love the people around you, force your flatmates or coursemates, whoever takes your pleasing, to be your very own ‘flamily’.
Second year’s another adventure. Hell, I’m gonna make it an even better one.
For the flamily. ❤