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About Me:18-year-old sixth form student, studying English Literature, History and Government and Politics. My articles will broadly cover topics from the current affairs of politics to reviews of books and albums, as well as adding my own creative pieces, whether it be short fiction or general opinion.
I’ve been at the University of Bristol for just over two months now, which means that I’m at that stage where I feel fully settled and immersed in both the city and the university lifestyle. So, I thought, why not write a brief account of what university is like, and perhaps embellish it with a few tips for those who are thinking of going to university. If you’re like how I was and eagerly awaiting sixth form to be over and for the uni life to start, but also not fully understanding what it was all about, this should give you a good insight. If you’re thinking of going on to higher education but as a mere necessity rather than something enjoyable then maybe this could help you out too.
The obvious place to start with a university experience is freshers’ week. You’ll hear many stories about freshers and the majority of these will be based around the idea that it’s the best week of your life. This repetition adds an unnecessary pressure onto the week where you feel like just chilling makes you a bore and that you should always have a pint on the go. I actually wasn’t the biggest fan of freshers, and it’s probably because I was made to conceptualise it as the most exciting week I could have. It was obviously good to meet loads of new people in a new environment, as well as get loads of free booze and food, but you soon begin to realise that, actually, you’re having the same conversation with everyone and that a lot of the ‘fun’ appears contrived rather than relaxed. Not only that, but the necessity to go out to very mediocre events begins to grind on you. Well, it grinded on me but that’s because I had already established my taste for club nights. Speaking to other people who hadn’t gone out as much before university made it clear that for some it can be a very liberating and exciting time at some of the events they put on. One way to get away from the banality of the usual ‘oh where are you from? What are you studying?’ in which you really gleam nothing from anyone, is to ask what societies they’re planning on joining. It’s basically asking what they’re interested in without being so invasive.
Perhaps the biggest thing to keep in mind during and shortly after freshers is that friendship groups are not rock solid and impenetrable. No cliques have formed just yet. So if you don’t quite think you’ve met your kind of people, or you think that it would be nice to talk to someone who seems to have already settled quite quickly, it’s fine. The group I’m in now is very big (thanks to a group chat, which I advise setting up) and is happy to be constantly expanding because everyone still has a buzz for meeting new people.
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