First Year of University: Survival Mode Engaged


By Ipshita Rishi – 30th November 2023

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One of our fantastic Zero Gravity Ambassadors, Ipshita, runs us through how to survive your first year of university, and how to come out unscathed. First year is intense - you're living on your own for the first time, managing a much heavier workload than ever before, and navigating making a whole new friend group especially if you've moved somewhere new. And you have to do your own laundry... It can be a pretty daunting process, but that's what the Zero Gravity community - and especially the Ambassadors - are here to help you through.

“Congratulations, you have been accepted to start your studies in university! Good luck with your first year.”

Now let’s assume you have been accepted into a university of your choice (which fingers crossed with help from all our brilliant mentors at Zero Gravity, you would have). You are getting ready to set sail and fly high to campus for your first ever year. Packing your bags, saying a few goodbyes, and mentally preparing yourself for a new experience.

Now it’s survival mode, as you enter the jungle that is your first year of university. Being a fresher is an exciting rollercoaster ride filled with academic challenges, social adventures, and newfound independence. As a fellow student who's been there, done that, I'm here to share some pearls of wisdom about surviving and thriving through this rollercoaster ride.

  1. Embracing the Social Circus

Picture this: you're about to step into a vibrant, bustling circus of social interactions - welcome to university life! From the thrilling Fresher's Week festivities to joining clubs and societies, you'll have more chances to make new friends than you can imagine. Sure, the initial introductions and icebreakers can be awkward, but here's a secret: we all feel that way! Trust me; you're not alone in navigating the stormy seas of forming new friendships. Embrace the chaos, go with the flow, fake it till you make it, and soon you’ll create unforgettable memories!

  1. Accommodation Adventures

Living away from home for the first time can be an intense experience. Halls of residence or shared houses become your new domain, and you quickly learn the art of surviving without help from your parents or carers. From managing laundry disasters to mastering the art of cooking (turns out there’s more to make than just instant noodles) this phase is a true test of independence. The best part of everyone having different skills is that you can all learn from each other. For example I’m an excellent chef (excuse the boasting) and I grouped up with my friends to cook together. But, I’m not the best explorer, so one of my flatmates helped me to discove all the good spots in town. There will be moments of terrible food and frustration with the washing machine, but hey, they make for great stories to share with friends and family.

  1. Navigating the Academic Maze

Ah, the academics! University life is not just a series of parties and social gatherings; it's also about the pursuit of knowledge. Lectures, seminars, assignments, and exams can be overwhelming, but it is definitely not something you have to navigate alone. Embrace the camaraderie with fellow students during late-night study sessions in the library, fuelled by caffeine and the collective stress that comes with looming deadlines. You'll find some of your most cherished friendships in these bonding moments.

  1. The Art of Time Management

First year is a crash course in time management. Balancing social life, academics, extracurricular activities, and self-care is like juggling flaming torches while riding a unicycle. But it just takes a bit of practise - soon enough, you'll master the art of prioritising and planning. Expect to have a love-hate relationship with your alarm clock. You'll depend on it to wake you up for those early-morning lectures, but you'll also curse it for interrupting your blissful slumber.

Your first year at university is a series of full-blown experiences that will shape your adult life. Embrace the social opportunities, explore diverse fields of study, and conquer the challenges of independent living. Remember, it's okay to make mistakes and laugh at yourself along the way. Before you know it, you'll be looking back at your first-year adventures with a mixture of nostalgia and pride. So, take a deep breath, gear up for the ride of your life, and get ready to make some unforgettable memories. Trust me, it's a journey worth savouring!

Thanks Ips! Fancy more tips on how to survive university? Jump into the Zero Gravity platform to ask our members about everything from how to make friends at uni, to smashing your exams, to what to do after university.

And if you're keen to learn more about the Zero Gravity Ambassador programme, be sure to check out the web-page here. Our Ambassadors are social impact leaders who transform the social mobility scene at their campus by spreading the word of Zero Gravity. They do everything to raise the profile of Zero Gravity on their campus. From organising for the Zero Gravity team to come to their campus and give out free headshots, to setting up stands at Freshers Fairs, to doing social media takeovers on the official Zero Gravity Instagram. They also create amazing content, working closely with the Zero Gravity Brand Team to get content for our socials, web pages and any articles that we're running. They are our first port of call to star in anything. They also work with our Brand Engagement Manager TC on Community strategy, delivering masterclasses, moderating our online spaces and ensuring that Zero Gravity is a welcoming place for all. Essentially - they're our superstars.

On average, Ambassadors deliver projects for around 8-12 hours per term so that they can create impact around their own schedule. We keep a social impact folder on the amazing things they've achieved for future references.

Interested in getting involved? Applications will open up on in April time. If you have any questions about the programme, please send our Content Editor Soph an email over at sophie@zerogravity.co.uk or our Brand Engagement Manager TC an email over at tom.cockbain@zerogravity.co.uk to find out more.

[Last Reviewed by Sophie P. on 9/04/24]

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