student life

With your fresher year done, what comes next?

It has been exactly 4 days since I completed my first year at the University of Sussex, and initially I couldn’t help but feel as though this was it, my entire life was over.

It has been exactly 4 days since I completed my first year at the University of Sussex, and initially I couldn’t help but feel as though this was it, my entire life was over. Now I can understand this might be a little melodramatic, but everyone always comments how your first year of uni is meant to be one of the most fun and carefree times you can ever have.

Fresher’s freedom

Work isn’t a big deal and I often found myself missing lectures or seminars safe in the knowledge that 40 per cent was all I would need in order to get through the year. Living on campus also proved to be a rather unique and special experience: no more than 10 minutes from any of the buildings, I could roll out of bed at 8:50 and still comfortably make my 9am lecture.

Food was also never far from sight with the numerous campus bars and the local convenience store, which I frequented almost daily to get my fill of freshly baked co-op cookies or an easy meal deal.

Then there were the people I met who practically became my family, seeing me in various states of cleanliness and attire. As a result, packing up my university bedroom was a particularly emotional experience, and I am embarrassed to admit that I may have had a little cry to my parents when I finally made it home as the reality dawned on me that next year I’d have to work a lot harder and, god forbid, wake up before 8am.

Not the end of the world

But since then I’ve started to look at the positives of my first year ending in a bid to make myself feel just a little bit happier, after all, nothing is perfect and being a first year student does have its drawbacks.

One thing I can say I won’t miss in the slightest is the constant noise that comes with living on campus: there’s a party or loud pre-drinks going on practically every night, and don’t even get me started on the drunk revellers who wake you up by screaming outside your window at 4am. This could be particularly frustrating if you actually planned to attend a lecture the next day.

Secondly, whilst going on a night out is fun with the allure of coming home at any hour without fear of waking up your parents, this does get old. I will no longer feel like I have to force myself out of my pyjamas and into a nightclub purely because I’m a ‘first year’ and it’s just what is done.

As well as this, instead of the cold, generic surroundings of my halls, I’ll now be in my own house! I have to admit I’m particularly excited about this aspect as I’m sharing with 6 other girls who I’ve grown very close with this year and it’ll be nice to decorate and give our house a homely feel.

Finally, I’m excited to get more involved with the uni. I can’t help but feel I didn’t make enough effort to join any clubs or societies and, whilst I know this isn’t the case for everyone, I knew a lot of people who felt the same.

I became too focused on trying to find a group of friends and learning how to take care of myself that activities aside from drinking were deemed by me as pointless. I think next term will definitely be a chance for me to rediscover what I like doing. I may even go a little crazy and join a sports team.

Looking back I couldn’t have asked for a better first year. I have made friends which I hope I will have for life and shared some amazing memories with them, but I think one first year is enough for me for now.  

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: Editor5807 / Wikimedia Commons