An Open Letter To First Year University Students #StudentLife

Dear Students,

This letter has been going around in my head for a while and I’ve finally decided it’s time to put it out there.  Firstly, well done on making it to University.  It’s such an amazing achievement and one you should be immensely proud of.  You jumped so many hoops to get here, give yourself a huge pat on the pack.

Going to University can be such an exciting time.  You meet lots of new people, and get to experience the fun and drama of living in close quarters with people your own age.  Finally, no parents looking over your shoulder and a chance to party every day of the week if you have the stomach for it, and even if you don’t, it can be really tempting if that’s what everyone else is doing.

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Everyone should have fun at University, don’t get me wrong, but if you have too much fun you can soon find yourself behind on your course and maybe even starting to lose the plot a little depending on how much partying you are doing.

Going to University isn’t a right, it’s a privilege and something you should value.  An incredible opportunity has been given to you, and one that is probably going to set you back a pretty penny by the time you have taken into account your fees and loans.  Don’t waste it, or you really will regret it, for the rest of your life, that I can say with experience.

It’s a competitive world out there, and getting a degree this going to help you stand out from the crowd.  It’s going to give you more opportunities, especially in the early years of work after you graduate.  Please don’t throw it away.  The reality of growing up and being an adult is that not everything falls in your lap, and you do have to work for things.  Just living costs a fair bit in the UK, and if you want to go to the cinema on another day apart from Wednesday, eat out every now and again and maybe even have your own place to live, you are going to have to work for it.

Having a degree may not fix all of these issues straight away, but it will put you on the path to getting there, I promise.  So all I ask is that you think about the choices you are making.  Think about how much you are going out.  Think about whether you should be taking drugs and if this is going to help you with studying.  I know you might feel like you can handle it, but believe me when I say there is a tipping point and all of a sudden you have no degree, a shed load of debt and some acute mental health problems to show for your efforts.

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I know what your thinking, ‘I’ll be fine, thank you very much.  It won’t happen to me.’

If you really think that, then just take a moment to think about someone you know who is a few years older than you are.  Perhaps they’ve graduated and have got a job.  Are they burning the candle at both ends?  Are they out every night getting drunk or taking drugs?  The answer is probably not, and there are going to be a few reasons why not:

  • It’s hard getting up for work and carrying out a job with a hangover. The same applies with going to lectures.
  • It’s expensive to go out ALL of the time, pay rent and keep up with your bills.
  • They may have learnt the hard way that ‘having too much fun’ can cause all kinds of health issues.
  • Growing up comes with responsibilities.
  • They don’t want to look back on their lives and feel they have wasted their opportunities.

Now your course is getting under way, things will be starting to get serious, so maybe it’s time to put the breaks on the partying and put a bit more effort into your studies.  I’m not saying that for my sake, as lets face it, it’s no skin off my nose if you graduate or not, I’m saying it for yours.  There is nothing worse than having to go back home with your tail between your legs because you have to drop out as you have failed your first year due to some rather excessive lifestyle choices.   All the fun you had will be a long and distant memory, if you remember it at all, and you will be left picking up the pieces and answering the darkest of questions, ‘what do I do next?’.

I really want you to enjoy your first year, but don’t waste it.  Everything in moderation as they say and you will stand a good chance of having a great time, and graduating with a reasonable degree.  You will also have a much brighter future ahead of you.

Best wishes,

The Voice Of Experience

If there is someone in your life that you are concerned about, please share this letter with them. 

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6 Comments

  1. Laura Corrall
    November 28, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    This is so true! I wish someone said these wise words to me when I went to uni. I found out that my first yr didn’t actually count towards my final grade. So my first year I had to call the royal bank of mummy and daddy to bail me out of my £1,250 overdraft that I maxed out on girlie shopping trips and nights out. Whilst no it didn’t affect my degree grade. I guess I could’ve used that time studying to better prepare myself for yr2/3 which DID count to my final grade. I have great memories of my first year however I had a lot of butt kissing to my parents to do!

  2. Margaret Gallagher
    November 28, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    The Voice of experience has truely spoken so wisely -wished id have read this when i was a teenager
    Loved how you said it is a privilege
    I chose not to take this and instead ended up having to work full time and complete in my spare time

  3. Laura Tovey
    November 29, 2016 / 6:41 am

    This would be a good read for those venturing on that journey! Love what has been done with Pink Panther!

  4. William Gould
    November 29, 2016 / 8:46 am

    Yes, when I went to Uni I got a set routine, lectures, library, nights out, visiting parents etc for the whole week every week. This worked well for me!

  5. Samantha O'D
    November 29, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Scary times the kids leaving for uni, great letter

  6. Deborah Mackenzie
    November 29, 2016 / 9:02 pm

    I love pink panther… my daughter had one.

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