My First Year at Uni


On the 12th September, having completed the compulsory (though really not necessary) ASDA trip and watched countless ‘Fresher’s tips’ videos, I bundled myself into my Dad’s car, and we set off to my new home: Falmouth. Beaches, cute independent shops and a lot of seagulls. Although when we arrived, the accommodation wasn’t anything special, its location was. Two minutes from the main high-street, twenty-five minutes from Gylly beach, right across the road from Phoenix cinema, and ten minutes to the university. It was perfect. Well, almost. Nothing could have prepared anyone for the Great. Big. Hill. The monstrous beast that, come wind, rain or boiling heat, had to be beaten. Walking to university aside, studying Creative Writing at Falmouth was a chance for me to move away from the Shakespeare and Hardy I studied at A level and read texts I was truly interested in, in a variety of mediums. Harry Potter. The Power. A Monster Calls.

Once you get past the referencing, the 1.5 line spacing and the particular sized font (12), all that’s left is to enjoy what you’re doing. I do, however, have a couple of tips for any new starters – a chance to learn from my failures, if you will.

  • Don’t hand in the draft of your assignment – yes this actually happened to me.

  • Don’t stress unnecessarily over your work – you’ll create your best pieces when you’re enjoying what you’re producing.

  • Don’t leave your assignments to the last minute – it can cause completely avoidable, last-minute stress.

  • Read the material set for the next lecture/seminar – it helps.

My first year at university has made me a better writer. It’s taught me to give and happily take constructive criticism on work. It’s allowed me to experiment with different forms of writing and has confirmed some modes in which I wouldn’t like to write. However, I’ve also become more independent, more confident, and I’ve formed incredible friendships. At the beginning of the year, I wasted two pounds fifty on a wash, having forgotten to put the soap inside. On my first day, I hovered awkwardly in some situations, not quite knowing how to make friends. After all, I’d been at school with the same people for years, so having that ability hadn’t been necessary for a long time. Marking the end of my first year, I’ve written my first piece for Falwriting – incidentally my first published piece ever, I’ve travelled with friends and had them stay with me, and I’ve discovered that I enjoy cooking.

Join the societies

One piece of advice I would give to any fresher is to join societies. They’re a really great way to meet people and give you something to do if you’re feeling down or lonely or stuck in your room. One of my highlights for me during first year was the Yull Ball, run jointly by Harry Potter soc and the English society. I felt drunk without a single ounce of alcohol in my veins. Yes, it was that good. I wish I had taken more advantage of what was on offer.

Like most people, I signed up to many things during the Fresher’s Fayre but didn’t end up going to any on my first week. In fact, during my first weak at uni, I bought loads of fresher’s events tickets but only ended up going to one of them. Don’t worry if your first week doesn’t live up to your expectations. Everyone’s nervous, and everyone’s slightly worried about forming friendships. Don’t be fooled by anything different. During my first year, I’ve learnt many things. How to improve my writing, how to folk dance, and the magic that is shanty music. However, the most significant thing I've learnt is to never under any circumstances to go for a run at five in the morning.

Seriously, you will fall over.

by Grace Holden