Dear Last Year Self...



With the new semester well and truly underway, a number of us got together to think about the messages we wish we could’ve told ourselves this time last year, and our resolutions for the academic year ahead…


ON MONEY MATTERS:


I know everyone raves about Monzo but it is for a good reason - it is so useful! Work out what your weekly allowance is and then move that into your Monzo account weekly, and only take this card out with you, making sure to check regularly how much money you have left. At the end of the week move any remaining money into a new pot and save it for a rainy day.

Sophie Fennelly, First Year, English Language and Literature


Over the first term of my first year my weekly budget went out the window completely. I think I got over excited at having that much money in my account all at once, spending loads on expensive events and meals out. This may be the wrong advice, but I don’t regret doing that for the first few weeks. It’s the time where you’re finding your feet and making friends.


Madeleine Mamak, 2nd Year, Philosophy


ON LIVING AWAY FROM HOME:


Don’t worry too much about immediately clicking with your flatmates in first year, I know that a lot of people around you may be going out with their flatmates and it can feel like you’re missing out on something, but realistically you have a whole year to live together. However, don’t let this stop you from making an effort with them as you may find you have more in common than you thought!


Sophie Fennelly, First Year, English Language and Literature


When choosing people to live with, there are a few things to bear in mind: don’t feel like you have to live with your current flatmates, if you have a group of friends you get along with, go for it! Also, be sure to sit down and have an honest conversation about what you’re looking for in a house: location, size, ensuite, budget. Start looking as early as you can - the student housing market in Leeds is seriously oversubscribed and the nice houses get taken early!


Abigail Smith, Second Year, English and History of Art


ON UNI WORK:


It is genuinely impossible for me now to remember how I ever handled secondary school days with 5 lessons a day, or even sixth form with 3. Now, I drag myself out of bed for a 9am and by 10am I need a nap. It’s been a harder transition than expected but I’m slowly getting the hang of it. If you’re struggling, give yourself some time; everyone is likely feeling the same way.


Alicja Kapica, 1st Year, German and Italian B


Every student at university eventually comes to realise that it is close to impossible to finish all the work you’re set. The key is to prioritise your to-do list: complete any assessed work and seminar prep as a must, then work your way down through the rest of your tasks.


Abigail Smith, Second Year, English and History of Art


ON LIVING IN THE CITY:


Leeds is amazing. It’s so good to live in a city that feels like it has something happening in it at every second. Moving here from Hull was the best decision I could have made for myself because there was never enough to do. And for someone who loves to stay busy, I couldn’t stand the thought of living there for 4 more years. And Leeds has delivered. I’ve been here a month and I feel so attached to the city already…

And quite frankly, the fact that there are three different ‘Spoons I can go to makes me happy beyond belief.

Alicja Kapica, 1st Year, German and Italian B


To be honest, I didn’t fully appreciate the diversity and culture Leeds has to offer until I’d lived here for almost a year. As it turns out, there’s always something going on in the city - whether it’s an art fair, community fundraiser or album launch – that you can pop down to on the weekend and shake off Friday’s hangover. The more you look, the more you see, just have a scroll through Facebook and you’ll soon find events to keep you busy when you need a break from uni work.


Elizabeth Evans, 2nd year Classics and French


ON GOING OUT:


Of course you’re likely to end up going to one or two events that you didn’t really want to go to, but it is important to find one or two people who enjoy the same kind of nights out as you. Also, never estimate the value of a night in with friends, especially when you’re running low on money.


Sophie Fennelly, 1st Year English Language and Literature


One of the good things about Leeds compared to other university cities is that there’s always a great night on offer, no matter the genre of music you enjoy. I think sometimes at first people get swept up in going to the big expensive events at places like Beaverworks, but if it turns out that this isn’t your type of thing, don’t stress. There are so many other places; you could even go on a night out to a bar instead, like drinks at Headrow House or on the rooftop of Belgrave.


Madeleine Mamak, 2ndYear, Philosophy


ON FINDING YOUR PLACE:


I’ve been in Leeds for a month and I’m still figuring out my place here. But every day gets a little bit clearer. Joining some societies and rolling with the punches is a big part of that for me. Making some solid friends already has considerably helped me feel that I belong.


Alicja Kapica, 1st Year, German and Italian B


Finding yourself in a new city, with new people and new responsibilities can be incredibly daunting at first. In joining a society in first year, I instantly met a group of people that I clicked with, and the training, socials and meetings helped to add some sort of routine in the hecticness of uni life, also meaning that I had a solid group of friends I would meet with several times a week. As clichéd as it sounds, one of the best things at Leeds is the range of societies it has to offer – there’s bound to be something that interests you, and it’s a sure-fire way to meet people with common interests.


Elizabeth Evans, 2nd Year Classics and French


A FINAL WORD OF ADVICE:


It’ll be those memories that I make with my mates that I’ll cherish, not those nights I spend cramming all of my assignments and pre-reading. Uni is the time for adventure. Yes, it’s difficult, but these can also be the most enjoyable years of our lives.


Alicja Kapica, 1st Year, German and Italian B

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