An Open Letter To My First Year Self


Dear Lizzie,

You are about to plunge into the murky depths of ‘third year’ and during your time at Lancaster you will battle your way through hangovers, essays, and mountains of washing up, and will almost certainly  drink your bodyweight in tea, twice over. You are going to, of course, become older (though not necessarily wiser), far too familiar with a bottle of vodka, and feel rather nostalgic as you embark on your final steps of your University journey. And what a journey it will be.

You will sit in coffee shops ranting with your more pretentious pals about what’s wrong with the world and how you would do it better. You will pour your heart out to strangers who become your best friends. You will cry with both laughter and sorrow, probably during the same conversation. God knows, there are going to be bumps and cracks in the road along the way, but you’ll somehow make it to the final hurdle. And so here are some not-so-wise words that I share with you, my former Fresher self.

Be yourself. You’re going to spend three years doing this Uni business, so you may as well do it right. Those nights before you were a Fresher, wondering and worrying about being accepted and fitting in? Forget about it. You’re going to have the most amazing friends who will see you through this glorious time. These are the people who will see you at your best, your worst, and everything in-between.  They will love you more than you can ever know, all because you are you. So be you, and more importantly, be proud to be you. Ok, motivational speech over.

It’s ok to be homesick. And it’s ok not to be.  Don’t feel guilty when you rearrange Skyping your parents so you can go out with your friends. They won’t lose any sleep over it- they’re expecting you to destroy your liver; you’re a student now. Equally, don’t feel bad telling your housemates that the reason you’re bummed out is because you miss your mum’s hugs. They’ll understand, cause as clichéd as it sounds, you’re all in the same boat.

Don’t fall out with people over the washing up. It really isn’t worth it. No one came to Uni to become a domestic goddess after all.

It’s ok that you’ll hit second year and suddenly a quiet night drinking in Spoons sounds more appealing than getting smashed in Hustle.  It’s ok that you’re going to get old. You’ll remember second year just as much for the drunken conversations as for your drunken dancing.

Take the opportunities thrown at you. Join societies, run for an exec position, try something new. Your time at University is your time to shine, and shine I’m sure you will.

So work hard and be sure to play even harder. Good luck, not that I think you’ll need it. Something tells me you’re going to turn out just fine…


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