Put yourself out there and make new friends...
My first year at university wouldn't have been so enjoyable if I didn't know anyone. I think I was very lucky to be put into a flat where I managed to get on with three people as if I've known them forever. Everyone's experiences are different, and it may take longer to find people who you consider your friends. A lot of people I met over the year said they barely got on with their flatmates, and even I didn't get on with a few of the people I lived with. But it doesn't matter because there are hundreds of people everywhere at university, all in the same boat as you. Society's are a great way for meeting people with a specific similar interest. What I'm trying to say is, there will always be someone out there who you'll click with!
My first year has been filled to the brim with new and exciting experiences. The photo above shows my first ever snowman! (Yes, eighteen years without ever building a snowman, I know!) I'm the youngest out of four siblings, so I'm the only one at home, so moving to university to live with a load of people my age was great. For me, it was pretty much like a slumber party, but you had your own room when you didn't want to be social any more. Because of this, I found I got closer with my new friends very quickly, just because you spend so much time with them. It's definitely a different kind of friendship than I have with my friends at home, it's more like a family.
...without forgetting your old ones
Moving away from people you have been friends with for a long time is always hard. I found it really sad to say goodbye to everyone. The key advice I would give is to keep in contact- tweet, text, fb, whatever you use. You could always visit your friends too if it's possible. Plus, Christmas will come up so fast, before you know it you'll be back home with all your friends around you, (that's if you choose to go back!) There are also reading weeks which normally occur when half time is, so you can always choose to go home then if you have no classes on.
You're going to university where there will be endless opportunities for you, why not say yes! Whether it's to do with your course or just to go to a gig with some friends, why not? University is all about experiencing different things, and is genuinely what you make it. If your course leader emails you with an exciting internship which sounds perfect for you, don't be afraid to apply!
What you can do now
If you're starting in September, my guesses are your eager to start (or nervous to start, your call). But either way there are many things you can do to prepare yourself for the next stage. These are:
- Applying for accommodation, if you haven't already done it.
- Working out your weekly budget. Although I didn't actually stick to my budget I really wish I did, and will be when I go back for my second year. It's great when you first get your student loan but by the end of term you'll have no money left!
- Buy kitchen and bedroom supplies. This is the fun part, shopping! I would suggest buying cheap kitchenware just in case anything gets broken. Ikea is always good for a bargain!
- Network on university Facebook pages. UCAS use to have a networking site called yougo, which is where I first starting talking to people who were going to the same university as me. I actually spoke to my closest friend on there in January last year, and then in July I found out I would be living with her, crazy ay. Yougo is no longer running, but you can always contact people on university Facebook pages, especially if they are doing the same course as you. It's always nice to know people before the big move.
I really hope these posts have been beneficial to you if you're starting in September or you're considering going in the future. I wish you all the best! You can check at the first post here if you missed it and if you do have any more questions please leave them in the comments. If I get enough I'll do a Q+A post, but if not I'll just reply in the comments.