Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Things I would advise my first year self

Things I would advise my first year self

Are you just starting uni and you feel overwhelmed and scared by the new beginnings?

When I just moved to the UK and was about to start university, I didn’t know what to expect or how to prepare for what was the biggest step I’ve ever made in my life. Looking back now three years later, there are a couple of things I would advise my first year self which I learned on the way:

1. You’re good enough

Every beginning is hard. When you find yourself in a new environment, it might make you doubt yourself and your abilities. Take it step by step and don’t be afraid to fail as that’s how we learn. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. So stop wondering if you are good enough. Know you are and start acting like it.

2. Work hard, it’ll pay off

University is a lot of fun, especially with freshers’ week and all the fun activities going on in the city throughout the year, so it can be hard to find the balance between your social life and your personal life. What I learned is that organising your time and finding the right balance between having fun and studying/working is the key to success. In the end, you’ll be proud you have achieved good grades and you’ll also be able to save some money which you can spend on shopping, travelling or nights out with your friends!

3. Embrace new cultures 

Birmingham is known for its multiculturalism, and with time passing by, I realised all those cultures bring a huge value to the whole university experience. Be curious, not judgemental. Speak to natives of different cultures and be like a sponge. Cultural diversity is a form of wealth, not a factor of division, so enjoy it!

(Also, you should defo try all the different cuisines. I learned I am a huge fan of Indian dishes, so delicious!)

4. Get involved

There is so much going on in university, plenty of activities, sports and communities you can join and meet new people who share the same interests as you. Get involved and you’re in for good fun, plus it always looks good on your CV!

As an Events Management student, I got involved in a lot of volunteering opportunities in and around Birmingham. It’s a great way to get to know the city better, attend some pretty cool events and also to gain a lot of knowledge and develop new sets of skills. Get out there and get involved, you won’t regret it!

5. Travel as often and as far as you can

You’ll see that the UK has a great flight connection with worldwide destinations at pretty low fares. If you are an insatiable traveller as I am, you’ll soon realise you are in traveller’s heaven! Still, be curious enough to explore the UK too, and you’ll find that it is a lot more beautiful than you might have expected. I know this might not be the best time to travel right now, but remember to use this advice in the future! In the meantime, explore your local area and the rest of Birmingham to find its hidden gems.

6. Enjoy every moment

And last but not least, remember to enjoy every moment. Time goes by fast, there is no replay, no rewind, so enjoy every moment as it comes. One day you’ll look back and see that even in the slowest moments, you did not stop growing.

Thanks for reading. Now go out there, enjoy yourself and use some of the advice!

Ema xx