Five things I wish I knew before starting university

Hi there, I’m Minetou. I did my undergraduate degree at Kent, and I’m currently in my final year of postgraduate study – also at Kent! In this blog post, I’ll be sharing five things I wish I knew before starting university, reflecting on my own experiences at Kent.

  1. Find your people

One thing I love about Kent is the diverse range of people you meet during your time at university. Although moving to a new place and making new friends might seem daunting, it’s important to remember that everyone is in the same boat, and would appreciate a new friend just as much as you would. There’s a number of ways to make friends at university, such as your flat mates, people on your course and societies or part time jobs.

  1. Be open to new experiences

My advice would be to try new things and say yes to new opportunities, whether it’s a society, a new sport or an event on campus, you might just discover a hidden passion or interest. Even in my final year, I’m still learning and developing new skills and interests by being open to new opportunities offered by the university. It’s also a great way to take a break from studies and meet people, which is really important, as you will soon realise.

  1. Find your own path

It can be natural to compare your university experience to others, and often students feel pressure during freshers to make plenty of friends, attend every club night, and join every society, but don’t worry if you don’t. I found my closest friends later down the line. You have several years so relax and don’t worry about cramming it all into freshers week.

  1. Ask plenty of questions

If you don’t know how to do something, it’s okay! I was quite shy when I first arrived at university but I was quickly put to ease by my peers and lecturers. Whether it’s course material you don’t understand, or how to put on a white’s wash, don’t beat yourself up about it. Google it, ask a friend, or speak to your lecturer, and learn how to do it for next time.

  1. Look after your health

This last point is an important one. Make sure you’re looking after your mental and physical health whilst at university. Whether you’re finding your work load challenging, feeling lonely or struggling with anxiety, you can always reach out to Kent’s student support and wellbeing team. Similarly, it’s important to keep on top of your physical health by cooking healthy meals staying active – not all students can live off pot noodles and no sleep!

This blog post was written by Kent student Minetou Mbodje