A Tai Guide to Surviving First Year

Did anyone watch Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide when they were younger? It was a show on Nickelodeon that followed Ned Bigby and his friends and their adventures from grades 6 to 8. As the title implies, the show involved Ned giving tips on how to deal with middle school life, and it was usually quite good stuff because his advice tackled relevant topics like friendships, grades, insecurity and so on. I loved Ned’s Declassified, so today’s post takes inspiration from the show.

In other news, I officially finished my first year of university and foundation year of medical school yesterday. And what a year it’s been! I was really sad to move out, and I know it’s silly because I’ll be back in September when I hopefully get into year 1, but I was still sad to say bye to my flatmates and friends. We’ll most definitely meet up at some point over the summer, but I guess I’ll just miss seeing them everyday and just hanging out all the time, you know? I was very very sad to say goodbye to Lindsay, my cleaner, as she has been so lovely to me. She was the one who encouraged me not to give up with my flatmates, used to wake me up in the mornings back in September, when I struggled to get up in time for lectures without my sister there, and I’ll miss talking to her because she has been a great friend. She was all teary and that got me teary, so we were both teary messes. She lives near where I’m living next year, so hopefully I’ll see her around.

As you can probably guess, I was quite emotional on my way to the train station. The taxi driver was so nice; he stopped the taxi when he realised I was crying to give me tissues,  which got me even more teary! He cheered me up by talking to me throughout the journey, and our conversation ranged from topics like his past jobs and where he’s lived, to his partner and how in love he is with her. It was quite cute to hear him raving about her, all I could do was awwww. As he dropped me off, he said something I won’t forget, “Don’t let people take advantage of you. It’s good to help others, but don’t let them take more than you can give.” Wise words.

Anyways if you’re still reading this after all that waffle, well done you! I should probably get to the point of this post, so here are my top tips for surviving first year of university;

– Make sure you know how to cook some simple meals before you start. Junk food/takeaways all the time gets boring, and it’s quite unhealthy. Also make sure you know how to do washing, (clothes and dishes), as well as know how to use can openers and other little things like that.

– Be nice to your cleaner. Trust me, it’s best not to be in your cleaner’s bad books.

– Don’t be THAT person whose life completely revolves around their significant other. Whether it’s a boyfriend/girlfriend from home, or a relationship that started while at uni, make sure you make time for friends. I’ve seen it happen many times; someone in a relationship doesn’t make time for their other friends, so when the relationship ends, they don’t have many people left. Don’t get me wrong, my cynical days are over, but one of my pet peeves has definitely got to be people who abandon their friends because they’re in a relationship.

– And on that note, make sure you give the people you meet at university a chance. In first term, I’ll admit I was guilty of not really making as much effort as I’m capable of with befriending people. This is because I always had, “Don’t want to replace my home friends” at the back of my mind. That was silly because I know now that it’s possible to make new friends without forgetting your previous ones. I love the friends I’ve made at uni, and it’s not that I like them more or less than my ‘home friends,’ it’s just that I’ve liked my home friends for longer. There’s definitely a difference.

– Still on that note, don’t be that person who visits home ALL THE TIME. Homesickness is something most first years go through, myself included, but going home every weekend won’t help you get used to life at university. It might even lead to you inadvertently excluding yourself because you’ll miss out on socializing with people.

– Try and be open to new things. I’ve done so much that I would never have thought twice about, but make sure you keep it safe! Seriously, a friend trying something not so good for the first time led to us spending the night in A&E… yeah, but that’s a story for another day.

– Find a church that suits you and get involved with the student group if you can. The friends I’ve made in church have been such a blessing to me, and I thank God for each and every one of them.

– Do not be disheartened if someone doesn’t want to be your friend. University is full of many other people, so don’t make the mistake I did by taking it personal. There are many societies you can join to find people with similar interests, so you will eventually make friends. I was lucky that things worked out in the end with my flatmates and we all grew closer, but there’s no guarantee that’ll happen all the time, so remember that.

– The general view of first year is that it doesn’t matter but trust me, making revision notes throughout the year and not leaving them till last minute will make your life so so much easier when you get to your end of year exams.

– Finally, HAVE FUN. Don’t spend all your time studying, make sure you balance work and relaxing.

And that’s all for now, folks. Peace out.


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