A letter to my first-year self: Victoria

Victoria Simpson is a final year medic who is joining the Royal Liverpool hospital as a junior doctor. Here, Victoria looks back at her time at the University and thinks about what she would tell her first-year self. Thanks for sharing, Victoria and congratulations #LivUniGrad.

Dear First Year Me,

You’ve made it! It feels like it’s been a long time coming to get here but you’ll blink and the next six years will be done.

As you’re setting up your new bedroom and catching glimpses of others doing the same, the world feels enormous, mysterious and terrifying all at the same time. Your world is going to get so much bigger while you’re here, at times amazing and chaotic, so ride the waves of it.

Walking around the Guild for the Freshers Fair, you’re going to be drawn to all the colourful new opportunities that might await you during your time here – societies, teaching, sports. You’re going to end up appearing on stage in a performing arts group, running big medical society conferences and going away on adrenaline-filled mountaineering weekends. This is all just a sample of what’s to come and most of this you won’t even have considered yet. You’ll have to quickly learn that it’s all a balancing act and not to spread yourself too thin, but don’t let anybody tell you what you can and can’t do.

You’re going to have so many new people fly in and out of your life over the coming weeks. Some of them will come to be housemates, society pals, best friends. Some of them will become strangers to you again. Right now you’re balancing figuring out who’s who with trying to find your crowd. Relax – even when you think you’ve figured it out, people are going to head in so many different directions over the years and you are going to grow too. Enjoy meeting new people, allow groups to form naturally and don’t try to please too many people.

You’re going to sit your last ever University exam in the heat of a pandemic, having been lucky enough to spend most of the last few years making the most of normal life. In your final year, you’ll come to realise that you’ve really made the most of the opportunities that came your way. While you might feel ready to start to feel the pull of putting your skills to use and entering the real world, it doesn’t mean that you won’t carry parts of the person you’ve become forwards with you.

Now, you’re waiting to start the next step, plunging into another unknown that you’ve been spending the last six years preparing for. Two years of foundation training as a junior doctor at Royal Liverpool hospital are starting very soon, where you’re going to be keeping tight links with the University that got you to this point and continuing to explore the city that you’ve grown to love.

Remember everything you’ve learned and experienced and take it forwards with you. I’ve got no idea where you’re going to be standing in two years time, but let’s hope it’s as much of an adventure as your time at University has been.

Enjoy it all – I’d be jealous of where you are but I’m positive the future is going to be pretty bright too.

Your future self,

Remember, if you’re graduating this July, you will have access to your University email until the end of December 2021. Please make sure you update your contact details by registering for an alumni account. The account comes with a range of benefits, including access to online journals and leisure discounts.