Careers Advice Blog

How to make the most of first year

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Your first year of university will be without a doubt one of the most important years of your life. It is a time to discover exactly the kind of person you want to be and for you to study exactly what you wish.

The best way to make the most of your first year of university is to throw yourself into absolutely everything!

Making friends

Go to as many socials with as many different groups as you can. Every event will be different with different people, so it’s definitely worth it. When you reach second year, it’s likely that friendship groups will already be established so it’s more difficult to latch onto people or sneak into a group (everyone has done this at some point!).

Ask unusual things as icebreakers… Avoid “Whereabouts are you from?” or “What course are you on?”. It gets old after Freshers’ Week. Don’t be afraid to be different.

Nights out

Feeling nervous? Using that 9am start as an excuse not to go out? Don’t. Just go. Often the best nights are the unplanned ones. You won’t regret it, as there’s nothing a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea can’t cure!

Your course

Start your assignments early. All your lecturers will say it, and 99.9 percent of students will ignore them. This becomes an instant regret at 3am on a Friday morning, when you’re still editing your essay and the deadline is noon that same day.

Stress is avoidable. Manage your work in bite-sized chunks, and you’ll maximise your time left to enjoy everything else about university life (except laundry… No one enjoys doing that).


Sports societies are everywhere at university, and whether competitive or not, it’s a chance for you to take part in something you might enjoy. Also use your first year to participate in something out of the ordinary. The workplace won’t provide you with the chance to dress up as a Zombie or watch Disney films in your spare time!

The work load in first year is generally a lot lighter than second and third year, so use the opportunity to take part in events you may not get a chance to do later on.

The local area

It’s very easy to get stuck in the routine of Sleep, Eat, uni, eat, sleep; but it’s not exactly the most exciting. Staring at the same for walls for nine months will not allow you to experience the events and places of interest your town or city has to offer. Visit all the typical tourist spots and don’t be ashamed to take a selfie or two.

Finally, work hard but don’t stress, and channel your energy in promoting self-happiness throughout the year.

Do you have any tips for freshers on how to make the most of first year? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo: Evil Erin / Flickr

Molly Mileham-ChappellHow to make the most of first year

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