Back when I was starting out this blog I was nearing the end of my first year of university. I wanted to write from my own experience as a ‘fresher’ about things everyone like me should know. You can read it here https://lifeistoo.sport.blog/2019/03/15/things-every-fresher-should-know-in-their-first-year/ I hope you enjoy reading this part two and find some of these things useful.
Know your bank balance
University can be the first real sign of independence a young eighteen or so year old may get in their life. With lots of exciting opportunities and experiences to be had, it can make managing money extremely difficulty. I am not saying that you have to plan out every single penny or turn into Alan Sugar over night, but start to think what purchases are necessary and even budgeting. Can really eat dominoes three times in a week? Maybe you can, but your wallet may not digest the news as well as you. Also see if your accommodation is paid automatically and have your student loan installments paid in smaller more frequent periods. This will encourage you from over spending so you have money for common necessities!
Fitting in is overrated
Everyone talks about university and that making friends is so easy and important. This is not always the case in my opinion, especially if you have a disability. If you have this and issues of self-esteem it can make it difficult to make good friends, or many at all. Do not worry if you do not hit it off with people straight away. The people you meet instantly at freshers events are not always the people you will find yourself around afterwards. You will have 3+ years to meet people, so be patient and be yourself… The right people for you will come along eventually, if you stay true to yourself.
Homesickness is normal
Almost everyone will feel homesickness at some point. This may happen a lot more in your first year as you get used to living away from home and being more independent. For me having autism means that I require more time than the average person to get familiar with my surroundings. But I promise you that it gets easier over time. Disability or not, you will need time to adapt and that is perfectly okay. I recommend exposing yourself to the independence more by staying at university during the weekends – maybe even explore your new home. I notice that first years especially are quick to go home for the weekend as soon as their classes finish. I feel that this makes it easy to get used to your surroundings and truly become independent.
Get into a good routine
Freshers events are generally every night and although they may be tempting, they will soon take the energy out of you. I see people going to every event and wonder, where do they get this energy from? This I feel can get you into a bad routine and bad habits. Start as you mean to continue I say. Have your fun but also organise and prepare yourself. Go to all your classes as it will give you the best chance of passing your course. Do not miss out on valuable classes and do not get your head into thinking ‘this lecture is not important’. They will all serve some kind of purpose at some point, and you can learn new things even if they are not particularly relevant to your assignment at the time.