So the time has come – and boy did it come around quick! My whole first year flew by me in the blink of an eye and I’m sat here back at home thinking about how different things were this time last year.
Knowing my love for lists, I would have most likely have been starting to write my lists of everything I needed to get/pack ready for university, and beginning to shop around for things already. I was searching for jobs in the area (where I came upon the offer to write this blog!) and sorting out a budget for the coming year, all in preparation for my arrival. Looking back I’m really happy that I did lay myself out a budget, because it allowed me to live comfortably and within my means. I’ve seen other students splurge too much too quickly, and not think enough about upcoming rent payments etc. If there’s anything you need to take away from this blog as a prospective university student, it’s make sure you set your finances before you leave!
Now towards the end of the year I managed to get myself a job at the student union shop on campus, which is absolutely perfect! UEA pay living wage to all student staff, and there are hundreds of openings in all sort of areas across campus each year so definitely something you need to look out for once you’re here. It has allowed me to leave my other job back home and have a summer off for the first time in 3 years. I’ve used this opportunity to do a bit of travelling whilst I can – which will be featured in my next blog post so be sure to keep an eye out :).
Looking back I’m super happy with how my first year went, and wouldn’t change a thing about it. I’ve met friends for life already, and got involved in all sorts of things such as being a part of the BioSoc committee. I think it’s really important to try new things at university, especially in your first year when grades aren’t as important (but still the main reason you’re here, of course!). I feel UEA, and the community within it, gave me lots of opportunities to explore my independence and who I am as a person, and what I aspire to be and do in the future.
Looking forward, I’m excited for what another year will bring. Knowing what to expect has eliminated those nerves I was feeling this time last year and has just been filled with excitement. I’m moving onto more challenging and fascinating modules on my course, living with a group of close friends in our own house (which is probably what I’m most looking forward to!), and generally making the most of my experience here at UEA!