Thursday, May 23Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Five Things I Regret Not Doing in First Year

My first year at university was an incredible experience and I enjoyed every day of it. However looking back, there’s a few things I wish I had done that could have really benefited me. Hopefully this article will encourage freshers to not make the same mistakes.

1. Join as many societies as possible – I only joined a few societies and I didn’t even commit to them as much as I should have. They are a great way to meet people who have similar interests to you or the best start to trying something new, plus you get to socialise with people outside of your course and meet others from different backgrounds. Some people are put off as they think all societies are sports or music related, but if that’s not your thing there is a big variety such as Anime, Humans vs. Zombies, Photography, Shakespeare and many more.
2. Buy Second hand books – The amount I spent on buying brand new books was absurd. The best advice I can give is to find second years studying your course and buying the books they no longer need from them and definitely see if you can find what you need on google books, it can save you loads of money which you can spend on more important things like food.
3. Start looking for your second year house by the end of term 1 – I cannot stress the difficulty me and my friends had finding a house to all of our liking in second term. A lot of the good houses had already been taken and the ones left had high competition so decisions had to be made fast. Save yourself a lot of pressure and worry by looking at houses as soon as possible.
4. Take advantage of the opportunities offered by the university (trips abroad, theatre, local attractions) – In first year you have a lot of free time and little stress and also little money, so it’s the best time to go on an affordable yet exciting excursion. Last year I missed out on many of these such as a trip to Bath and the Stonehenge.
5. Do the reading – you might think you can get by your lectures and seminars having not done any preparation or reading and avoid having to answer any questions or contributing to class, but once exam period hits you will find yourself trying to cram all that reading into one week, a week which could have been spent starting revision early.