The title pretty much sums this one up. It’s a summary of my first year at university whilst attending Bishop Grosseteste in Lincoln studying Drama in The Community at an undergraduate level. As I’m about to go into my second year and already have been busy writing articles for this website and Student Wire, as well as helping out on forums and threads on The Student Room, I thought I’d take this opportunity to round up my personal experience of first year as I’m about to go into second.
It seems strange to think this time last year I was starting to panic about going to university. As I remember it, I moved in around the 17th September… I think. It may have been earlier or a little later, however, that isn’t important. It’s just funny to think that this time to last year I felt so unprepared, I didn’t know what was ahead of me and I didn’t have any idea how the year was going to go – or how fast it was going to go for that matter.
I remember starting this WordPress just as I was about to go to university. You can see it here, my first post was called: 1 Day; 7 Hours; 15 Minutes to Go. It honestly seems so weird reading that article back now, how things changed. As I did in that article, let’s clear some things up with where I am now.
- I’ve finished one year Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln.
- I’ve already studied one year in my BA (Hons) Drama in The Community course and had some great experiences already!
- I went and lived in halls and survived the experience, there was good times and bad.
- I braved nightclubbing and had all the good and bad that comes with that.
- I nearly dropped out of university twice but thanks to all the support avaliable, I stuck with it and got through my first year with a 2.1 overall.
- I made some fantastic friends and gained a lot of precious memories over my first year.
And now here I am! Writing a summary of my experience for you. Let me break it down:
My Course (Drama in The Community):
My course has already been outstanding, but it hasn’t come without it’s fair share of stress. I started off my first year learning the basics and settling into the course, the most memorable being my Studio Practice module where third year students are directors of pieces they have chosen to write, adapt or just plain perform and they have the first year students as their actors/actresses – now of course this felt nerve racking but was fantastic! We performed an adapation of Crave by Sarah Kane, a fantasticially weird performance, creepy and chilling to the bone, I think we did it justice. There has been memorable moments throughout the course. Arguments and disagreements as usual but if you are a drama student, you’ll understand these are easy to come by with the stress of rehearsals and such. There has been a lot of hardwork and hours put into performances, though there is a lot to pick from, I’ve gave you something from the beginning of the year so I’ll give you something from the end of the year and this was taking part in a TIE performance/workshop. (For those who don’t know TIE stands Theatre in Education). TIE was definitely challenging and something I’d never done before. We got given a script and we had to put the performance together and then put together a workshop to perform and run for a school. Our theme was addiction / alcoholism and such, it was a new experience and most definitely taught me a lot. I gained a lot from it! That brought my first year of the course to an end, and already, how much I’d gained was unbelievable.
Day to day life was certainly… different a first. To be honest with you, when it all started, it didn’t seem real. It just felt like I was on holiday or a school residential because you are staying in your own rooms, just going about everything as though it wasn’t any different to your normal routine and for a while, you don’t realise much of a change. Only after you’ve been there a while do you realise that you are surviving and living alone. It’s definitely a shock and this is usually the point where you think “Oh my god, I need my parents.” but you just learn to survive on your own and then it all kicks in – you’re an adult. Scary. University life went be seemingly uneventful. It was all smooth sailing unless the stress got the better of me. I had a pretty standered routine.
- Monday: Lectures 10-3 (if I didn’t have rehearsals then go back to my room, if I did, stay till 4-5). Once back in my room, chill out and watch TV, go on the Xbox, listen to music etc. The list is endless. – On this day I’d get up around 8ish… I joke! I got up at 8:45am and made my lecture for 9am. Whoops. I’d have lunch around 12 where I’d finally eat something and get a drink and then back to lecture.
- Tuesday: Lectures 9-3 (again if I had rehearsals then the above applied). Once back in my room I’ve chill or go shopping etc. Normally on these nights I’d be going out for student night, so, I’d have a shower around 6ish/7ish and then get ready and start predrinking with everything and then head off for a night out.
- Wednesday: Lectures 10-1 (again the same applies as above). If I’d actually made it to lecture because I wasn’t hungover and I’d made it through the day without being ill then I’d spend the afternoon in bed watching movies and making junk food and what not.
- Thursday: I had no lectures on this day but rehearsals were also possible. These days were filled with random days out or studying.
- Friday: Again, no lectures on this day. It was filled with days out or studying.
- Saturdays/Sundays: You can see the pattern here. Sleep was a big factor on these days.
Looking at it now, I don’t feel like I did a lot but I always seemed stressed. God knows what I filled that time with them. My university life was filled with attending my course, studying for my course, spontaneous days out and meals out… the list is endless. I always had something to do and if I didn’t, I’d either be sleeping or drinking with friends… I wouldn’t look up to me and the life I lead… There may be some improvements needed in areas.
How do I explain halls? Halls came with the good and the bad… Or should I say started off with the good and ended with the bad? Not the bad as such, just a more negative atmosphere than I first started off with and this is my personal experience, so, I’m not saying it’d happen with you. In my halls, I lived along a corridor with around 30-40 other students. Boys were one end and girls were another. Of course at first no one knew each other so things were friendly but as the year went on and friendships were made and what not, things just changed and it made it unpleasant to live in but never the less, I can share this with you. Shared bathrooms aren’t as bad as you think – this is what I found. They are cleaned daily apart from weekends by the staff – if that’s how it works where you are, they are always presentable and there is plenty to go in. There are also plenty of kitchens – these vary on how clean there depending on the state they’ve been left in for the cleaner and if she chooses to clean them for you – however, cooking in a shared kitchen was fun. Sometimes cramped but mainly fun. Noise? I never really had any complaints about noise apart from when I had to be up early or something and there were people coming in from a late night out.
To be honest, I actually survived first year with decent finances!
I was budgeted on around £70 in total, however, I never put this full amount into my account, therefore I wasn’t tempted to spend it and if I didn’t spend the full amount, my end of term amount was growing. I had a very complicated banking system, let me explain.
I had my student account set up with Lloyds. (They offer a preplanned overdraft that’s interest free). All my student loan went into this, my accommodation was then set up with that account to take the money from there. I was then left with what I had to spend that term which I decided and then transferred all of that money to my Nationwide account (my savings account). I then put my weekly amount into my main Nationwide account and that’s the money I’d spend. Complicated right? But it helped me splitting my money up like that!
I never cut myself short… okay, I lie. I did sometimes. Sometimes I’d overspend too early and then leave myself short for the rest of the week, however, I always managed to get by and actually survived first year! So that’s a bonus, isn’t it?
All in all, this is my summary of my first year. It’s been a fantastic journey, I had countless pictures from this first year. I’ve made life long friends, found love and just had such a fantastic introduction to univeristy, as you will as well!
I’m about to go into second year and I’m a week or so off moving into my new house and to be honest, the same nerves I had going into first year are returning as I go into second.
I know I’ll be okay, but, it just takes getting there and jumping in at the deep end to make me realise that everything will be okay.
You will be okay.