Looking back… what I wish I had known in my first year!

Now half-way through my third and final year, I have started to reflect upon my University experience (in addition to panicking about what is still to come!). I very rarely have regrets, and I certainly have none with regards to my experiences here at Sheffield, yet there are still a few things that I wish I had done slightly differently, or wish I had actually got involved in.

Despite being actively involved in various areas of the University and the Students’ Union, I wish I had got involved sooner than I did. Having now taken on a lot of responsibility alongside my part-time job and my degree in my third (and most important) year, I wish I had made the most of my first and second years at University by joining more clubs and societies. Although I was really quite proactive in my second year, I have still found it quite a challenge to balance my commitments, my degree and my social life this year, and it seems that no matter how prepared I am there are always last minute demands to meet, despite my already diminishing amount of free time. 

Having also discussed this with my housemates, we each agreed that despite undergoing so many new experiences during our first year at University, we wish we had taken the opportunity to engage in more activities, clubs and societies from the outset, including getting more involved within our departments. It was not until I went on my departmental society trip in second year that I really got to meet the people I sat next to during lectures every day, and it then seemed a real shame that I had not been more involved with my departmental society sooner. 

We also agreed that despite being bombarded with various emails on a daily basis, there have been times when we wish we had read our inboxes more regularly. By doing this we would have ensured that we did not miss out on upcoming opportunities and events, including the various employer events held across campus which can be really helpful in providing you with information, whilst also advising and preparing you for future applications. 

We wish we had made the most of the services provided by the University and Students’ Union from the very start of our degrees, including the Careers Service. This would have greatly encouraged us to regularly think about our future career possibilities, whilst also ensuring that our CVs were regularly kept up to date. Having now reached the stage of trying to plan the next few years of our lives, applying for various graduate jobs and wondering what to do next, personally I wish I had arranged relevant work experience during my holiday periods over the past couple of years. Such work experience would have been incredibly useful, and would have helped me to now determine what I can see myself doing in the future.... 
Ellie (Third Year BA Politics and Sociology)
Careers Service

Careers Service

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