An Open Letter To My First Year Self


Dear new-to-be-fresher Hayley,

I know you are a bundle of emotions right now. A mixture of curiosity and excitement with a large helping of anxiety, but I would hand on heart love to be in your position again, as you take that life changing step to becoming an undergraduate.

I’m not saying the next year is going to be a smooth one, there will be a time when you sit crying to your parents on Skype as you furiously search for apprenticeships back home, vowing that you are going to quit your course. However, you stick with it and there’s light at the end of the tunnel as you finish your first year with a first. Yes that’s right, despite the late nights watching every episode of New Girl and early mornings partying until your feet are sore at Sugar; your brain manages to forgive you.

You are worried what people will think of you, asking yourself if you look ‘fat’ in every outfit you try on. Stop this right now. Just because you fancy some custard creams one night and find yourself an hour later with an empty packet, it does not mean you look less attractive when donning some ridiculous fancy dress outfit the next weekend. You will make some wonderful friends and not one of them will care what you look like, just as long as you have a drink in your hand and a smile on your face; although you may want to invest in some running leggings that are a little less see-through than the pair you own now. I learnt this the hard way!

You will join a few societies, but ultimately will only stick with one, doing what you love the most – writing for SCAN. The trampolining society was fun to start with, but as everyone progressed and you still flailed around in the air looking like a startled turtle, you thought it was best you put that one to bed. Likewise, after going to one cheerleading practice and realising you had less coordination than the Thunderbird puppets, you decide to keep your dance moves strictly for nights out when everyone is wearing their beer goggles.

You will, however, realise you have a plethora of other talents. Extrav will be a prime opportunity to reveal your hidden make-up artist persona as you get more than a little creative with face paints and eye shadow pallets. You will also discover that you can fit in to a hamster cage whilst drunk. Worryingly, you will go on to value this fine skill much more than some of your other achievements, such as the fact you will decide to become a weekly volunteer at Barnardo’s or successfully become a Freshers’ Rep.

I don’t want to alarm you, but there will be an unfortunate incident meaning you have to call an ambulance for yourself. However, there is always a first time for everything and University epitomises this. Likewise, you will face your fear of catching a train by yourself and will even show signs of becoming a domestic goddess as you learn the art of cooking, familiarise yourself with the washing machine and become borderline obsessive with dusting your room.

Ultimately, your first year will be what you make it, so make it amazing. Oh, and don’t give up the search for a hangover cure, they only get worse as the year progresses!


A much more open-minded you in one years’ time.

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