Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 5242 INTERVIEWS Back in September I was very excited to move on to University from Handsworth Grammar. After spending six years at Handsworth Grammar, I was more than ready to move on and begin to focus on a specific subject of interest (in my case, Computer Science). I’m glad to report that, surprisingly, moving and settling in was fairly straightforward for me! If you’re about to move to University the best item to bring with you is a door stop. The secret to success within University is getting to know your flatmates and becoming comfortable around them. A tip that was repeatedly hammered into me before going was to leave my room’s door open for the first few days. Whilst initially sceptical, it did work! I got to chat with my flatmates and settled in relatively quickly, managing to go to the different society fairs and events held during Fresher’s week and I’m now looking forward to moving into a house with my current flatmates in September! The second piece of advice I’d give you is to not go to University expecting to have to reinvent yourself in order to “fit in”. The scale of a University is so much bigger than at secondary school/sixth form (even in a relatively small University like Aberystwyth), that you’re guaranteed to find people with similar interests to you. Now that we’ve reached the end of term (at the time of writing this article, I have four days left until my final exam!) Facebook has become inundated with “end of year” statuses. Whilst cringey, I have enjoyed the amount of people commenting on just how accepting and welcoming University has been for them and how they were able to find people who they can get along with. Whilst cheesy, be true to yourself and be comfortable in your own skin rather than trying to force yourself into someone else’s! University, especially the first year, is a brilliant time to explore the subjects you love and try new things. Another easy way to settle in is to join a society. It’s the easiest way to make friends outside of your flat and gets you out of your room and talking to second and third years. Some of the best friendships I’ve made have been through joining a society and participating in their events and socials. It sounds simple, but you’d be amazed at the amount of first years who say that their biggest regret is not joining a society. To students who are about to start searching for a university and deciding upon a subject, I have a bit more advice. In terms of university, keep in mind location. Do you want to be in a city and have access to a lot of stuff that big cities have, or do you want to be in a more rural area, with access to good walks, the countryside and maybe even the beach? In Aberystwyth the best form of procrastination from exams is to simply get up and go for a walk in the woods or up a hill. I’ve even been on an impromptu 5am climb up a mountain in order to see the sunrise! Secondly, be mindful that the subject you choose to study will be one of the major things that defines a lot of your future career. Don’t simply choose something because you think it will be easy, or that it will get you lots of money! Instead, choose something you enjoy and would love to make a career out of. You’re spending upwards of £21,000 on the next three years (thanks David Cameron!) and so you need to get your money’s worth. I have loved my first year studying Computer Science as it has been a subject that has fascinated me for a long, long time. However, I would also advise for you not to let your course restrict you. First Year is brilliant if only for the sheer amount of free time you get! Thanks to this, (as well as getting good grades) I have managed to work on rewarding side projects that have both been massively enjoyable and will look good on my CV! Even though I study Computer Science, I have not lost my love for English Literature and write at least twice a week for a blog, even managing to shoehorn some aspects into my Computer Science assignments! I must also not forget to mention playing guitar, which I have similarly kept up and incorporated into some programming side projects! My first year at university has been fulfilling both academically and personally. The freedom given by simply moving away from home and having my own independence was initially terrifying but is now something I cherish. Coming from Handsworth Grammar has given me a healthy work ethic, but has also left me with an appetite to further myself outside of studies. Speaking of appetites, there is one, golden rule I have failed to mention – if offered a free meal, take it! First Year - Pip Turner