5 things the 1st year of university taught me

Both the best and worst year of my life is finally over and my oh my the things I’ve learnt. If you’ve spent some time in the world of tertiary education, you’ve all probably experienced it: the dreaded first year. Here are some the life lessons I’ve learnt this year:

1. Arrive early to look for a job:

If you’re one of the unlucky people with parents who have said ‘you’re independent now, pay for your own accommodation’, you’re going to want to come at least three weeks early to start looking for a job. Always remember to be persistent and don’t get disheartened when you’ve handed out 50 resumes and not one has called you back. An opportunity will arise. It just might take a little while.

2. People will give you attention:

Coming from a small Christian school, with a year group of 30 people there wasn’t much to choose from. On top of this, I was incredibly focused on school, I was convinced I had no time for a social life, let alone a boyfriend. University accommodation was a different story. First O week I received more attention from guys then I’ve received in my whole life. But get this one thing straight, O week is your ‘get out of free jail card’ your ‘free pass’, and with a whole campus metaphorically on heat, it’s your chance to go crazy. Be smart about it, wear protection, limit alcohol intake and make sure that you won’t have regrets. Which leads me to the next point.

3. Above all else – PROTECTION:

In conjunction with my above post, wear protection. I remember after first O week, there was a chlamydia outbreak on the Campus I was living at. If you’re worried, get tested. Don’t make it a big deal.

4. Trial & error: 

If you have any doubt at all with regards to where your life is headed, make sure you use first semester to suss out all your potential career paths. You are still learning, never think that who you thought you were in high school and what you were interested in/the best at is exactly the career path you have to follow. Now that you’ve been accepted to university you can change degrees/drop out at any point in time, no questions asked.

5. Take everything as it comes:

This, above all else is the most important advice. If you let it, first year at university can be a hub of opportunity. Get involved and don’t be scared to put yourself out there. This is your opportunity to remake yourself, screw the old high school goody goody, experience life to the fullest because when are you ever going to be in first year again! Have fun, and regret nothing.

Words by GEMMA MOLLENHAUER , who’s unbelievably excited for second year to begin and who’s convinced she won’t be as crazy this O week as first year. Follow her on Twitter to find out future crazy O week shenanigans. 

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