My Biggest First-Year Regret
woman wearing blue denim jacket holding book
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

My Biggest First-Year Regret

Ella Kipling December 8, 2021

Jasmine Sandhar

My biggest regret from first year is not sticking with the sports society I joined. Having learned how to row competitively during my gap year, I wanted to continue with the sport as an undergraduate. That’s why I decided to join the university crew team. As I already had a proficient amount of experience, I was immediately put into the senior squad rather than the beginner one. This was more of a challenge physically, as there were some much better athletes on the team than me. It was also a mental challenge. Everyone already knew each other and I felt quite intimidated.

I only went to about four training sessions the entire year. That was partially due to the pandemic. But it was also to do with the fact that I could not bring myself to get stuck in. Instead of forming new friendships and making the most of the opportunity in front of me, I shied away and almost encouraged the exclusion.

I ended up wasting my £100 membership. I barely attended the training sessions or socials and lost touch with my fitness, as well as my rowing skills. Now that I am a second year student who does not do any sport or go to the gym, I regret giving up on the crew team so easily. My health has seriously deteriorated and I have no way of getting into the weekly ‘Sports Night’ club social!

Chelsie Henshaw

Although I wish I could say different, I certainly have many regrets about my first year. I let my anxiety hold me back from making more friends and joining more societies. I spent the whole year trying to pluck up the courage to join my university’s student newspaper. However, my biggest regret as a fresher has to be choosing to live in a quiet flat.

My mom and boyfriend assured me this was the best decision because who wants to be kept up every single night? Yet, there is nothing more depressing and isolating than moving away from home for the first time to live with complete strangers who keep to themselves. As someone who is not a fan of spending too much time alone, my first-year university flat was a special kind of hell.

Dealing with an array of mental health issues at the time, these were only exacerbated by how alone I felt. Of course, I am not trying to say that my housemates were not lovely. I just never saw them. I was the only one who even ate my meals in the kitchen. While some introverted people may prefer a quiet flat, I would urge most people to stay away from these.

Kitty Grant 

I suppose my biggest regret as a first-year actually came before I even started university. In the weeks leading up to starting uni, I experienced a personal tragedy which I struggled to deal with. Mourning someone I loved, while learning to live away from my family for the first time, left me with no emotional energy for the fun side of university.

I wish I had taken a gap year to give myself time to process everything I was dealing with and reset after so many years of education. I was so used to the idea of going straight from school to university that the thought of taking a gap year didn’t cross my mind. As the year dragged on, and I still hadn’t processed my grief, I began to regret not taking a year out to just get a job at the local pub and spend time with my family when we needed each other the most.

I eventually dropped out of that course and started again. Even though I did meet some great people in my first first-year, the main thing I was left with was thousands in student debt, and regret at not giving myself a year to breathe.

Jennifer Prince 

First year is unpredictable to say the least. Looking back, my one regret would have to be not exploring the city I had just moved to for university. As everyone had advised me to, I threw myself head-first into the whirlwind that is university life – making new friends, joining societies, and getting stuck into my course. Yet, because of this I spent a lot of time on and around campus. This was still a lot of fun. But remembering my experience of seasonal events in the surrounding area – such as bonfire night and the Christmas markets – made me realise how much more there is to explore.

I had the opportunity to do so much outside of university that was not available back home. Since first year, I have made an effort to make the most of the short few years I will live here before moving on. It has given me some great places to take friends and family when they visit! Now, I am almost part tourist, part local in my student city. 

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Ella Kipling is an Entertainment and News Writer at GRV Media. She regularly writes a mixture of news and features for HITC and has been part of the team since 2020. After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) in English Literature, Ella is currently studying for an MA in Magazine Journalism at City University. She has a keen interest in current affairs and can usually be found reading the news, with her nose in a book (and updating her Goodreads), talking about women’s rights, or listening to Showtunes.