In early 2020, universities across the world ceased face-to-face teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article explores the experiences of first-year UK university students during this time. Four main themes were identified in the data. Regarding course delivery, students valued the flexibility of blended learning, which involved attending some live sessions while working on others in their own time. Student interaction was mentioned to be critical for learning and how the use of webcams and breakout rooms can facilitate or hinder it. Regarding staff, continuous communication, availability and online drop-ins were highly valued and had a positive impact on satisfaction. Finally, while students benefitted from a coherent use of online tools provided by the university, they also valued the flexibility of using less-regulated tools, including social media.