Looking back on my first year of university, I can say that I learnt a lot of skills. Content was not a huge problem for me at all, as I came straight to university after completing my A Levels.
I started doing Accounting and Finance, with aspirations to finish, do a masters and specialise in investment banking. Within the first three classes, I knew I was kidding myself. I knew deep down, I didn’t care about the money and guarantees of a stable job within the financial sector.
But my heart was raw and open to studying something which was more risky, something which ignited true meaning in my life. Risky in the sense that, the jobs I wanted were going to be difficult to get, if I committed to this, it would involve certainly undertaking at least 5 years of postgraduate education. When you’re only 18, finally getting a step closer to the “true adult world” – working, making a living, supporting yourself. You think that it all has to be rushed, everything needs to be done by a set time etc. But that’s not true at all. Reflecting back to first year, I can’t imagine where I would be today, had I not decided to change to psychology. Like, literally, I would’ve been so lost.
When I changed to psychology, it was a smooth-ish transition. I was already 3 weeks behind and I knew that I wasn’t going to let that affect my grades. The first few assignments were definitely not my best pieces of work. The way I learned to write was so different from what I had ever known. Referencing was a new thing. But also, the skills I had to use to critique my work and establish strengths and limitations was truly of use and was something which required deep thought. I liked this, a lot. I think as the year went on, I developed a fascination with research. Research methods was my favourite module when I wasn’t learning about development and cognitive psychology.
In terms of social life, compared to average students, I did not go out nearly as much. I think this was due to two reasons, 1. I don’t really enjoy clubbing and 2. I always felt like I was behind because of my late start. But I wasn’t really. I think I never wanted to be on par with everyone else. I wanted to be ahead. So I prioritised this. For the times I didn’t go clubbing, I did compensate this with flat parties now that I remember this. So my social life wasn’t neglected at all.
Anyway, my grades picked up and I ended up getting a high 2:1, 1% off a first in the first year. Disappointing, I know. But this was just the trial run. I knew that my second year was where it all really began. See my next post regarding that topic soon.