Manchester Metropolitan University Students' Union

What do you wish you knew in your first year of uni?

Tuesday 25-08-2020 - 15:27

It’s great to reflect after you’ve finished university to think about what you wish you’d known, but it’s also pretty useless - until now!

We asked graduates of Manchester Met what they wish they knew during their first year of uni, in hope that it’s helpful if you’re reading this before you start university.

How to smash your lectures and seminars

The actual learning and degree stuff of university is a big part of it for most, so naturally we had a lot of responses for that

+ Everyone struggled with references, don’t stress and don’t be afraid to ask + Don’t stress so much on a year that doesn’t count to your final grade. Enjoy it while you can
+ I wish I’d know it was ok to be wrong in seminars, and to not be afraid to speak up and share my thoughts
+ I wish I’d known how useful the library services are - they have everything! + Make the most out of staff’s office hours, asking questions and building relationships with professors. It’ll come in useful for when you need help/internship references/work experience

It’s very likely that your first year won’t meet your expectations

+ I wish I’d known how alone you feel at first, I feel like it’s not talked about enough tbh
+ Don’t be afraid to fail, the shift is hard and it’s an adjustment, be kind to yourself
+ I hated uni for the first few months, I no longer do. Don’t be shocked if it takes a while to adjust
+ Not everyone’s first year experience is the one you expect, and that’s okay

No one cares what you wear

Loads of students invest in a new wardrobe to truly express themselves at university - which is great! But some of our grads said not to worry about it:

+ People really don’t care what you are wearing. Express yourself. Be yourself.
+ Literally no one cares how you look and dress, just be polite
+ You don’t need a backpack the size of jupiter

Orange juice costs more than you think

Budgeting and the cost of cheese comes up a lot, and to be honest it’s something that a lot of people learn on the go. However, here’s a guide to saving and managing your money that we wrote.

Friends and opportunities

This wouldn't be an article for first years without talking about friends and student groups, but it does come up every time!

+ Talk to as many people as possible! Don’t stick to just the first people you ‘click with’
+ You don’t have to be friends with the first people you meet
+ Enjoy and experience clubs, societies and the city in your first year, because in second year your priorities change
+ Take advantage of the societies and their perks Take as many opportunities as you can get, join a society. You won’t regret it

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