‘Everyone’s in the same boat’: LookingforLewys on starting uni
Wondering what the first year of uni will be like? Well right now, millions of students are coming out the other side and looking back on their first nine months of uni life.
YouTuber LookingForLewys is no different. We asked the make-up tutorial star to sort through his first-year memories for some nuggets of advice just for you.
Here’s what Lewys had to say about making friends, managing money, and independent study.
You cannot predict what university is going to be like. There is inevitably a huge difference between life in sixth form/college and the independence you experience at university.
Moving into halls was a completely new experience for me. I found it really hard for the first few days, especially making friends. As sad as it sounds, I would wait until I heard other people leave their room and then quickly leave mine to forcefully start a conversation.
Everyone around me seemed to be forming great friendships instantly, while I felt too socially-awkward to even say hello to a flatmate. I eventually found one great friend in my flat and she knew people who knew people - you get the gist.
My top tip for that first week of awkwardly making friends is never judge a book by its cover. You’ve probably had the same friendship group since you were 13, and making new friends is obviously going to be hard as you haven’t had to do it since you used BBM.
Unfortunately, you can’t just ping someone anymore. I opened myself up and introduced myself to people who I would never have been friends with in school, and they are now some of my closest friends at uni.
Money is always a tricky topic for students. I blew so much money in the first week of freshers’ because I was totally not in the mindset of having to budget for three meals a day, shower gel, toilet roll, and washing-up liquid (who knew how quickly that went down?).
It took me a while to balance out my serious shopping habits and my necessities, but that is completely normal. I can’t think of one friend of mine who wasn’t like that, so don’t panic or worry.
Definitely look into part time jobs, but don’t limit yourself. There are literally hundreds of options which I had never even thought of as jobs until starting university.
Also take advantage of the freebies in freshers’ week. We got money off Deliveroo, three 25% Missguided codes, and enough pot noodles to last about a month.
Academics is the thing I found most difficult to get used to. In sixth form I was used to teachers spoon-feeding me, chasing me up on deadlines, and telling me exactly what I had to revise. It is a lot more independent at uni, which at the start I hated. However over first year it has really grown on me.
In my first term I was so confused about what I had to do and where to get my information, but I was too embarrassed to ask anyone else as they seemed to know exactly what they were doing. Months later, in conversation, I found out they had no idea either and were just trying to play it cool.
Everyone is in the same boat, which is one thing I wish I’d told myself more often in the first few weeks.