A letter to my first year self


Now I’m one term away from finishing uni, and there are a few things I think you should know, to help you along the way….



Take every opportunity

Being so close to the end,  I’m more aware now that the real world is close and something I am going to have to join, whether I like it or not. University is such a unique time in your life, something so extra-ordinary and unusual. Cherish it. Take every opportunity you can get. There are so many. Sussex societies are varied and there is something for everyone, pick one and go learn a new skill and make new friends, (you’ll end up living with one of these friends in final year). There’s also plenty more events on campus than you realise, more than just those in East Slope Bar, check out Room 76. Look up Sussex Choice, consider a placement or year abroad. Find out more about the various trips the uni societies organize. Try and get tickets to a Brighton and Hove Albion FC game.



Explore Brighton and surrounding areas

You think there is just  Brighton town. But make the most of your spare time in first year to explore further afield. Check out Lewes, Hove, Kemptown. All of these places are gems, and not to be missed when you live down here.  Walk out of campus onto the Downs, make the most of the beautiful countryside quite literally being on your doorstep! Do not forget about Stanmer Park and Stanmer House. Cross over the A27 and visit the farm shop, you’ll realise there is a walk that way over the Downs to Kingston Near Lewes. Take it, you’ll come across a great pub called The Juggs for a roast and then you can get the train back from Lewes.



Don’t stress about work

You’ve earnt your place at Sussex, so enjoy it. Try to attend all your lecturers and seminars, but don’t avoid a night out if you’ve got a 9am the next day, (after all it’s your first year!) Don’t be scared about the tutors, if you’re stuck about an essay, go to their office hour and ask for help, they’re only human! Remember, first year does not count towards your end grade but it’s a chance for you to learn  and develop your skills ready for second year.


You’ve got so many great moments to come, so enjoy it all. Take photos, cherish the times because it goes quick – trust me!

Oh, and eat fruit and vegetables,



Joanna Clark is a History and Sociology student with a Professional Placement Year


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