Uni as a first-year student vs uni as a final-year student

February 23, 2017
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Uni changes a lot from your first to final year, and your way of thinking changes even more so. Excitement turns to dread, organisation turns to chaos and the light in your eyes is finally extinguished by destroyed dreams and soul crushing disappointment. Look forward to that first years! And to the final-year students… soldier on. The end is near.

Going to class

First year: You wake up an hour early because you don’t want to be late. You spend most of that hour deciding what to wear (you want to look good without trying too hard). You get there with 10 minutes to spare and sit at the front so you can hear the lecturer better. You set out your notes and colour coded pens in front of you. You’re ready.

Final year: You wake up five minutes before your lecture – your pyjamas can totally pass for clothes right? Just put a jacket over it. It’s only a two hour lecture, is there even a need to brush your hair? You trudge into the lecture room, wincing at the bright lights and sit down at the back with all the other cranky third years.


First year: Study notes? Check. Water? Check. Study buddies? Healthy snacks? You’ve brought whatever organisation skills you had from high school to uni and the library is a perfect environment to catch up with your friends and get some work done. The library is your friend.

Last year: You’ve spent way too many late nights and had way too many cold naps on those hard tables to know that the library is certainly not your friend. You hear some first years laughing quietly. How dare they be happy! Look at them with their youth and beauty and free time. It makes you sick.

You fish a bag of half empty marshmallows out of your bag (even though you have no idea how long they’ve been there). Since you’re not leaving this hell hole until you finish your tower of assignments, this is your dinner. Bon appetite.


First year: When you do an essay, you schedule in some time for Netflix and procrastination, reading anything and everything on the internet.

Last year: When you do an essay, you schedule some time for sobbing. And you’re so good at procrastination now you don’t even need the internet. You would happily watch paint dry if it meant not going back to your desk.

Making friends

First year: You have to make friends. You don’t want to be some loner who sits by themselves do you? Besides, uni is supposed to be where you make your friends for life!

Last year: You’re that loner that sits by themselves every lecture. You’re grumpy, stressed and so sleep deprived you’re not sure if this is a dream or real life. Please don’t talk to me.

Going out

First year: You can tackle three cocktails and a bottle of vodka and still take on a morning class the next morning! Uni parties and events are on every weekend, so why not go? Enjoy life while you’re young and your hangovers consist of a mild headache.

Last year: Going to Woolworths to by two-minute noodles counts as “going out” right? Right?

Job Hunting

First year: You can talk quite calmly about life after uni and ignore the fact that one day you’ll need to get a real job. That’s years away!

Last year: Oh crap the future is now! I need a job now!

Sophie Nicolas

Sophie is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and is an aspiring writer, dog enthusiast and thrift shop fashion icon