Four things you will really regret missing out on at university.
First year especially at uni is such a huge rush of events, parties and of course assignments. You know that feeling of everything flooding in all at once. You're away from your parents and really trying to find your feet during your first real taste of independence.
It's hard to know where to best put your time and energy, especially when you want to make the most of being around your new friends and being away from home. However, degrees are expensive and there is so much alongside your studies that you can do to really make the most of your experience.
If you are doing a creative degree especially there may be a bunch of software courses on offer that outside of university would cost a lot of money. I have completed three Adobe courses in my first year that were under fifty pounds each and outside of university the figure would be much, much higher! You may also have free access to Lynda.com which is an invaluable resource and I highly recommend spending some time using it. There will also be language courses available to you which is a great skill to have on your CV, not to mention so useful if you plan on studying or working abroad.
So this piece of advice is one I plan on taking myself. I joined about five societies during my first year but I must have only spent a fair amount of hours being a passive member of two. I definitely will have had more time for societies in my first year but during my second year I definitely want to find a solid 2 societies that I will actively be a part of, because lets face it we really will regret not being more involved in these kinds of things when we leave.
Because of the nature of my work I have travelled a lot in Cornwall and it really surprises me that other students have hardly explored the new place they live in. Fair enough if you are studying in your home town or city, but if you have travelled a fair way to attend university you may as well do some exploring! As a side note you may also regret this point even more when your 18-25 railcard expires.
Guest Lectures + Workshops
If it's not clear to you at this point I am really trying to make the most of my degree and take what I need from it. The opportunity to meet people working in your dream profession and learn from them is invaluable as a student and something I really recommend grabbing by the horns while you can. When doing a creative degree you get the opportunity to network, attend workshops and learn one on one from the kinds of people you may aspire to be like. They're not just there for portfolio reviews either, you may be able to request a workshop and if you catch them after a talk you may get something even more rewarding. For example I nervously went and asked a CEO about interning and a month later I was in London interning.