This is my own personal view on my first year at uni. This isn’t designed to be a guide to uni or anything, it’s simply my views on how the past few months have been.
Moving to Liverpool in September was the most exciting day of my life. I couldn’t sleep at all and I just wanted to get going. As I travelled to Liverpool with my mum and my grandparents, the journey just felt like it was never going to end.
Once we reached Liverpool, the traffic was very tedious and it had taken us more than an hour as the entrance into the city was almost at a standstill.
Arriving at my uni accommodation, my family were all in tears as I hugged my mum and grandma to say goodbye, my Grandad stood in the background putting on a brave face but we all knew he was gutted I was leaving, he just didn’t want to show it!
As horrible as it was seeing them drive away, it was so exciting having an independent life for the first time. Knowing that if I had any problems I couldn’t just walk 10 minutes down the road to my grandparents to wait for things to blow over, I would have to deal with them myself. As everyone started arriving, I met my flatmates one by one and we started drinking in the flat at about 2, maybe 3 o’clock. It felt like we had known each other for years and the conversation was flowing. I could just tell these people were going to be great mates.
As the night time approached we headed upstairs to meet other flats, every conversation was the same, what’s your name? What course are you studying? Where are you from?
A bit of advice for anyone reading this who’s going to uni in September, think of something interesting to talk about instead of the above questions, there’s more chance of people remembering you.
As the nights flew by, I met more and more people, all so friendly and great company. Within a couple of weeks it felt great to be in the presence of new people who know nothing about you and you can just reinvent yourself as anyone you want. Just don’t lie about your achievements as you’ll just end up looking a fool, the amount of people who claim they could’ve been pro footballers if it hadn’t been for an injury is ridiculous.
By the end of freshers my liver had taken a massive hit but it was definitely worth it.
The first term seemed to be a case of just easing people into uni life and there wasn’t much pressure on anyone to do too much work. I was supposed to be in for 11 hours a week, so around two hours a day on average. But most days we would be finished within an hour and we’d be free to go. I feel like the lectures and seminars should’ve run for the full two hours considering the money we were paying to be there.
The start of November I had no money left in my account due to the small student loan I received and I couldn’t afford to do a shop at the Lidl across the road. I sat in my room most days feeling depressed, staring at the same four walls not really enjoying myself as I had no money to do anything. I had so much free time to just have thoughts running round and round my head. I hit a personal rock bottom and didn’t really want to be at uni at that point. I missed seeing my family, making sure my mum and sister were alright and having my grandmas homemade chips every Sunday.
I started looking for a job and I was in luck as I received a phone call for an interview at William Hill. This was a great opportunity for me as I love my sport so this is a job I would actually enjoy and my degree fits in with my work. It was 16 hours a week which was about right as anything more would’ve been hard to handle during term time.
After a month of having to lend off my mates to get by, I finally got my first paycheque and I had never been so relieved. It felt great being able to buy nice things to eat instead of one pound pizzas from the go local next door.
One of the worst things about having a job at uni was the fact I couldn’t return home for the full Christmas break. Instead, I was working the 23rd and the 28th of December so I only managed to squeeze in four days at home.
New year was ridiculously lonely as I didn’t see anyone in person apart from when I was working. It was driving me insane not being able to speak to anyone. I watched the new year celebrations lying in bed with a Chinese whilst everyone else was out getting drunk. It was worth it though as I love my job and the customers I see everyday.
February was probably my favourite month at uni as I met Michael Owen and other famous figures and started taking things a bit more seriously in life. I realised who my true mates are and who I would actually want by my side in tough situations and who would run at the first sign of trouble. I lost a lot of people around this time but it felt good knowing that I had made such good mates for life. I remember the night of paddy’s day we were all sat in someone’s flat just opening up to each other and it was amazing just feeling so valued. And we were all in the same boat of knowing that we were all boss mates and it felt like we could tell each other anything.
In terms of actual university, it was pretty much the same as the last term, there didn’t seem to be any real push and everything seemed half hearted. I think everyone, even some of the lecturers, just had the idea that if people fail, they can resit in the summer. My lecturers were happy enough to look at any work I produced in my own time and I couldn’t be anymore grateful for the feedback they gave me, but I felt like my work in my own time was getting me further than work I produced in seminars.
In April, me and others off my course got to go backstage at the darts and meet Dave Clark. I was invited to the Grand National Preview Night where I met Katie and Ruby Walsh.
End of term
As things started to wind down for the end of term, everyone was discussing if they were going to stay in Liverpool over summer, or go home. Since a few of my mates said they were staying, I decided to tell my work I’d stay in Liverpool and work full time over summer as I’d rather be working and earning money than being sat bored. Apart from family, I didn’t really have anything to go back to Hull for so it made sense just to stay put over summer. I’ll still get back every now and then but it’ll be weird not seeing my mum and grandparents all the time.
Verdict on the first year of uni?
The first year of uni was a disappointment in terms of the actual uni part of the uni life. I don’t feel like I got anywhere near nine grande worth of education. But in terms of me growing as a person, meeting new people it was one hundred percent worth it. I’ve made friends and memories for life and I’ve grown as a person. Uni revealed a lot of home truths about me and others and the difference between me at the start of the year compared to now is so pleasing.
In conclusion, uni was definitely worth it for the social side of things but the cost of the education is daylight robbery.