Top tips to sticking out the year

THINKING back to this time last year as a first year, I was genuinely considering dropping out of university and going back home. I hated my course, however, I loved Aber itself. I loved the people. Here are some top tips for people who may be feeling a bit low about Aber and don’t think they can stick out the year:

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Photo – Tomos Nolan

1) Join a society and get involved. I wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for the societies and the clubs I was in. It helps you meet people outside of your flat, and keeps you focused on goals. You are always looking ahead to an upcoming event, be that a match or a social, which will keep you excited and keep you going. You will begin to feel less homesick.

2) If it is your course that is getting you down then it may not be for you. But everyone will not like 100% of what they have to do in their course. For most courses you get the option of what questions to answer in the exam and for coursework so you should always have something you like to write about or be examined on. A lot of the stuff I did last year I despised, but some of it is to ease you into your course gently. Be patient because it may pick up – if not then think about alternative options.

3) Make friends on your course. You will be much more motivated to attend your lectures and enjoy them. This will make revision a whole lot easier if you have people studying the same subject as you to revise with. You will find this a lot easier to do at the start of term but when your seminar groups change, especially after Christmas, then it is easier to start conversations with people you may not know.

4) Try to go home for a few days, over a weekend or at some point before Christmas. If you feel like you are incredibly far away from home, and all your school friends can nip home for dinner then this may be a good idea. However, I wouldn’t suggest going home every weekend because then you run the risk of drifting even further apart from your flat and feeling even more low in yourself. Suggest to your family and friends from home that you set up regular Skype calls. This should make you feel like you are still connected, and is also significantly cheaper than going home.

5) My mum sent me packages every so often with some sweets and a letter last year to keep me going, and to let me know that she was still thinking of me and to make me aware of this. You could ask your mum to write to you – even if it is once a month, it is still something to look forward to. There is something sweeter about a letter than a text message. This will hopefully make you feel less homesick.

6) Spend quality time with your housemates. Even if this is just sitting down to eat dinner as a house and talking about your day you will begin to feel more involved and included and more likely to want to stay like that. By doing things with your house you will be able to call it home and be excited to come back and see them after lectures or after being away over Christmas or reading week.

7) If for none of these reasons, do it for yourself. Do it because you want to get your degree and you want to do well. Therefore, you have to stick out the year. It is tough but it is also incredibly enjoyable. The success of completing a year will make you want to come back and continue from where you left off. One more year down and one less to go. If you can make it through one year you can make it through two more.