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Hello everyone! My name is Charlotte, I’m from a little town around 20 miles from York called Malton, and I am a Second Year Primary Education student. 

I always knew that I wanted to go to uni but I was always very unsure of what degree I wanted to do. To make a decision, I spent a very long time researching into different courses at different universities, and decided that Primary Education was the best choice for me. Now I’m here and studying it, it was definitely the right choice!  

I found going to Open Days really useful for gaining insight into what uni life was like, what my course would be like and meeting my future tutors. You also start to gain your bearings around campus so arriving in First Year isn’t so daunting! I loved travelling around the countries looking at different unis and seeing which university felt right for me. When I visited York St John for the first time, I knew it was the uni for me! My biggest top tip for open days is to make the most of the freebies that are on offer!! I still use my YSJ pens that I got from my open day in 2017! Don’t forget to ask questions to the students and staff on open day, you’ll be spending at least 3 years at uni so you want to make sure you pick the right one.  

Moving away from home seemed daunting at first but was such a great experience. Living in student accomodation is such a great experience and is the best way to meet other first year students. I loved living in St John Central in my first year and I was so fortunate that me and my flat mates became best friends. I loved coming back to my accomodation after a long day of uni, cooking tea with my five other flat mates and curling on the sofa together, ready to watch Love Island together!! 

Meeting new people was one of my favourite parts of first year. Although it can seem overwhelming sitting in a room when you don’t know anyone, everyone is in the same boat and you soon make friends! Looking back now I’m in my second year, some of my best friends now came from sitting next to them in a lecture and randomly saying hi. Me and my friends often discuss how we first met, often when we least expected to become friends! Make sure you make the effort to say hello as you never know, you might just click! 

Its so hard to pinpoint just one thing I have loved about university when I have so many amazing memories. Christmas is always a special time at uni as there are so many activities going on. The countdown to Christmas is always fun – including celebrating in lectures, Christmas balls at the uni, and not forgetting the Christmas nights out! Of course going clubbing is a big part of uni life and is a lot of fun to go out with your mates, a lot of people will agree that you do not need to go out drinking to feel you’ve had the full uni experience. 2020 has proven that there is so much value in staying in, ordering a takeaway and watching a movie marathon. My uni experience so far has been a wonderful balance of the two! 

In your first year, I highly recommend getting involved in as much as you possibly can so that you get the most out of your experience! This is also the BEST way to make new friends. In my first year, I joined the Singing Society which was great to make new friends and do something I enjoy. There are so many sports and societies you can choose from at York St John, there’s a society for everything! Use it as an opportunity to meet like-minded people. Don’t forget - you can pay for your sports and society membership with your free Aspire Card! I also became a Student Ambassador in my first year, which I have carried on into my second year and I will definitely do in my third year too. This has been my favourite opportunity at the university as I have gotten to meet so many new people in different year groups and we have so much fun while we are on shift! I definitely recommend becoming a Student Ambassador if it interests you.  

Going to university can be really daunting but I can guarantee you will absolutely love it! Throw yourself into every opportunity whilst at uni and I can assure you it will be the best 3 years of your life. Join societies, go to socials, make an effort to make friends with every single person you meet! Its also just as important to take care of your mental and physical health whilst at uni; reach out for support if you need it and never suffer alone! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reaching out to your tutors, friends or the wellbeing team is so important. There will always be someone there who will listen to you! 

University is a fantastic experience, not only for becoming an expert in a subject you love, but for the wider opportunities that you get from uni. Living in student accomodation, making new friends and joining new societies are just a few reasons why university is such a fantastic experience. I have loved every second and can’t believe I am half way through my degree already! 

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