So it’s my third month in Australia, and I’m posting pictures of many different beach trips, with my mum like ‘Gem where’s the photos of you in your lectures?’. It made me realise how filtered social media is, as actually Mum I do attend them gee… And although I 1000% do not regret coming to Loughborough or Curtin University, I still wish that someone had handed me a reality card. So take a wild guess what this blog is about…
Freshers, you have just started Loughborough University and I’m guessing you have mixed thoughts and feelings? The first being ‘OMG I’m an adult, I have responsibilities’, and the next ‘in five years’ time, working in McDonalds will see the back of me’.
I admit when people say that the years you spend at university ‘are some of the best years of your life’, I whole heartedly agree. It’s a place which throws so many different opportunities at you, and it’s the place that actually makes things you want in life possible. Although, you do have to take up these opportunities if you want to get anywhere.
Part of university is about making decisions on your own, you’re not going to have your mum reminding you that you have swimming on Thursday, or telling you what to eat (this is where last night’s pizza for breakfast comes in…) And although I do grossly admit to liking a bit of old pizza, being on your own involves taking on responsibilities and inevitably your fair share of blunders.
Whether it’s realising how you really didn’t need that ‘one last drink’ or setting ten alarms to convince yourself you’ll get up for your 9am start. But let’s face it, everyone trips up occasionally. Once I accepted this, I became ten times happier. Basically the summary is you need to warn your parents to expect the odd one hundred phone calls. ‘Mum, why are all my whites pink?’ or ‘Mum I’ve attempted to iron my shirt, but it’s more wet than ironed!’
I can guarantee a lot of you will start the first week of university with 100 pens, zero friends and the attitude ‘I will start every project I have straight away’. And the next week, you’re borrowing someone else’s pen. You’re talking to your flat mates like you’ve known them for life.
Then occasionally you fall in the trap of ‘Oh I’ll do work tomorrow’. I always think it’s best to just accept that everything won’t be perfect, you won’t be perfect. Plus, they’ll always be that odd time when you’re sat in front of your lecturer wondering if you’re in the right room… All I can say is don’t worry! Planning your time can save this! But first give yourself time to settle! Figure out what work you have to do, what clubs you want to be involved in and how social you tend to be. I make a week by week planner, so I know where I have to be and when.
So Loughborough University Freshers, here are a few more things I wish I had been told about when starting at University…
1. Fresher’s flu is beyond real and unavoidable! You’re mixing with so many different people from different places, going out at night and suddenly wondering how you ever managed to wake up at 7am for high school. So stock up with tissues, lemsips and chicken soup!! (The LSU Shop and the LSU Purple Onion have a good selection )
2. Meeting people! – So at university, you are guaranteed to meet a lot of people from all over the UK and the world as Loughborough is a multi-cultural university. Some people you’ll never expect to see again, who then actually end up being your best friend.
And then others you expect to be best friends with from day one, who you never actually see again. Typical… Okay, so maybe you haven’t met your best friends yet… Don’t panic, there are thousands of people at Loughborough, and I can almost promise you at least one of the people you meet will be just as weird as you and likes leftover pizza nearly as much as you do… Oh and just for your amusement, if you’re northern like myself please drop in conversation the word ‘mardy’, or the phrase ‘taking the mess’. Guaranteed they’ll ask you ‘what mess?’, or like my friend’s question ‘is mardy a name?’…. And to the southerners, what is ‘peng’ and ‘wettin’??????
3. Get yourself a LSU Platinum card! The money you pay for entry and the amount of times you head out all add up. I can guarantee it will be more than you paid for your platinum membership. Platinum includes free entry to the Student Union, bring-a-friend-for-free nights, and money off drinks/ events.
4. Sign up for the gym! The Holywell Fitness Centre is incredibly fancy for one, and secondly very worth the money. Exercise actually clears my mind, and helps me concentrate when coming to write an essay. But top tip, get into a routine or believe me you’ll only get as far as putting your sweatpants on and jogging to the Co-Op to buy a Mars bar.
I personally think the £360 three-year deal is great, especially when you compare it to other fitness facilities. This deal includes access to the gym, swimming pool, and fitness classes. Legs, bums and tums will be the death of me but I absolutely love it.
5. Finally, you should try to avoid leaving everything until the night before, and always try to back up your work. Trust me I have witnessed many “one nighters” and believe me they are not pretty. And not backing up your work is a major mistake! One of my friends finished her entire essay just before the deadline, and her laptop broke down without saving any of her work… After that tragedy, I usually save my work to my laptop and my USB stick.
So hopefully I’ve helped rather than scared you all with the reality. Now you know both the major ups and minor downs to university! Good luck with your first year, you made the right choice with Loughborough!