The age old question for students is soon to be answered! My personal answer that is… don’t take to heart what I say, this is my opinion.
You’re about to start your first year at university, you are officially a Fresher. The greatest thing to ever be and something us second and third years wish we could be again. Purely for the partying experience (for the majority of us that did that). You have a lot of thoughts about university and you’ve heard a lot of about Freshers and first year and studying. A lot of people will say ‘first year counts for nothing’ and for the most part that is true, however, with this in mind, you have a question to answer. Do you study for your entire first year? Or party the year away in a drunken, sleepy, mess?
Let me start with how I spent my first year.
At the beginning of the year I did not go out much at all. I took advantage of Freshers and all the events we had going at our SU bar but I never went out afterwards. Just to the SU and then back to my room and I had a pretty good Freshers. After this week of partying I thought it was time to see how the nightlife was. It started off with a terrible experience but we over look that. Up until Christmas I spent a lot of my time studying and staying in. I worked hard and studied and just sailed through until Christmas. After Christmas I partied every Tuesday night for nearly an entire term. I went out every Tuesday and I can tell you what, it was amazing. I had fantastic nights out and I wouldn’t say they were a bad thing. I partied some what of the way through my first year. After this time I began to settle back down and didn’t go out as much. I still went out, just not as much.
So that’s my experience. Let’s split it up!
Now you may or may not hear from university students, second and third years, that first year counts for nothing. On one hand this is true – you work an entire year, aiming for grades and pushing yourself – but at the end of the year the grades mean nothing at all. Its more to see what you can achieve and its only once you are in second year do you really start working towards something that means something. However this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work during first year. I’d definitely tell you to study during first year. Work hard. Do the reading and put in the time. Really push yourself to see what you can achieve in your first year. In mine I came out with all 2:1’s apart from one 1st I got – and for me, I now know I can achieve them grades so I know the level I have to work at. (University grades go, from bottom to top, 3rd, 2.2, 2.1 and 1st for those who didn’t know). It’s important to see the kind of work and hours you have to put in to achieve the grades in first year because then you know what you are working for in second and third year. If you don’t work, you won’t understand how to go about studying, how to present essays and coursework and so on and so fourth. The first year sets you up a lot in regards to studying, so do it!
Okay, I’ve already outlined my partying life style but let me explain. First year is pretty much the party year. You are a Fresher and a lot of events and nights out are targeted at you, why wouldn’t you take advantage of them and the cheap drinks? I mean… I don’t know what I mean. At first I didn’t party because I didn’t know the city or know anyone that knew the nightlife, so I waited. Until I found someone who took me around the city and helped me experience the nightlife and after that I got infected with the party bug and made the most of it. Near the end of the year I knuckled down and focused on working. Partying is important – whether you are a drinker or not because it’s a good way to blow off some steam after a busy time and what not. You have some great times on nights out and make plenty of memories so I’d suggest going out now and again!
What I am trying to say is that… you have to find the perfect balance. Even the university itself will tell you they want you to have a social life. That’s why in personal statements and interviews they ask you what you do outside of university and what not. Enjoy your free time and find that perfect balance. Don’t shut yourself up in the library for days on end and stress yourself out and equally don’t get out partying every night and make yourself in. Studying for the course and then let off the steam once a week partying or something like that.
It’s common sense… for most.
Enjoy your first year and find that balance. If I haven’t answered the question for you yet, you answer it for me. First Year: Study or Party?