Seven things I learned as a fresher

University is one of the best times of our lives. People go to learn and progress in their chosen careers. However, we always have this image in our heads of what our uni live will. But, when we actually get there, it turns out to be quite different. This is a list of seven things I learned as a fresher and wished I had known earlier.

1. Not everything is pasta


When you’re away from home, perhaps for the first time, you need to feed yourself, and this can be quite the dilemma. For most students, pasta is the number one solution: cheap and easy to cook.
In my case, my aversion for cooking (and laziness) impulsed my to cook pasta on a regular, almost daily basis. It took me a while to learn that there are healthier, easier and equally cheap recipes that can save you from the pasta hell.

2. You won’t have time for all those clubs


Clubs and societies are great, and the perfect way to socialize with people who share similar interests. During the freshers week, I was eager to join almost every society on campus: nerds, movies, parapsychology, rock society, you name it. So, I ended up joining three and eventually attending just one, which I no longer do because of my part-time job and timetable.

3. Don’t take the first part-time job you find


It is a truth universally acknowledged that students need money. Most of the people you know will find part-time jobs and you won’t want to be left behind. It’s very unlikely that you will find an exciting job that is everything you ever wanted. However, it’s very important that you at least feel good while doing it. My first job as a university student was incredibly dull, and the working hours were quite extreme, but that was the first one that accepted me, so I just kept on going for around six months until I decided I had enough.

4. Vouchers are your best friends


Food can be expensive, especially when you’re planning a night out with friends. Those vouchers I was given on the street, the online discount codes, the Unidays App and McDonald’s 1.99-pound voucher came up really handy at the most unexpected moments.

5. Second-hand books are as good as brand new ones


“Essential reading” will say on your reading list, and some of us who don’t know any better will rush to the nearest bookshop to buy them. It wasn’t until my second year that I learned second-hand books are as good as brand new ones, perhaps not as pretty but at least they’re cheaper.

6. Skipping a lecture is not the end of the world


Punctuality is very important to me, and as a fresher, I tried to attend all my classes, both lectures and seminars. But you will find that skipping a lecture once in a while it’s not the end of the world. After all, it’s just people reading slides at you. And you will find that some of your classmates will never show up to the seminars for several weeks, you might even meet them on exam day.

7. Reading week loses all meaning


Reading week is that time you are supposed to use to read all your pending material and get part of your assignments done. It’s been two years and I still don’t know what I did during that time, but I’m 100% it wasn’t something academic-related.