I have learnt a lot in my past three years at university – I’d hope so, I’ve paid more than £27,000 for it. It has been an amazing experience and one that I never thought I would have due to my expectations before applying.
Despite what they tell you about your course and the university itself you don’t actually get told much about what its like to be a student – which is why I wanted to share some things I wish I had known before moving to university.
1. It’s not like the movies. You aren’t going to be a party every night for the next three years, have amazing romances, be in three sport clubs and societies and graduate with a first class honours degree. I mean you can try.
2. Even though you say you will stay in contact with your old school friends it won’t happen. After a few months you will all go down different paths and drift apart for better or for worse. But this doesn’t mean you won’t still be friends.
3. There is nothing better than seeing your bank balance after that first ever student loan installment.
4. There is nothing worse than watching all of your money disappear from your bank on rent day.
5. It is ok to get homesick and if you don’t get homesick then something is seriously wrong with you.
6. University is hard. Gone are the days of the teacher spoon-feeding you the answers in the hope that you might be able to retain it for the exam. Oh no. You’re on your own buster.
7. Lectures have a life as well. I swear my GCSE and Alevel teachers were always around if you needed extra help but at uni you go to their office and the lights off and nobody’s home. They don’t respond to emails on the weekends even when you are having a crisis because your essay is due in tomorrow and you still don’t understand the title. Oh and they swear. A lot.
8. It is actually easier and cheaper to cook proper meals and plan them in advance than live off pizza.
9. Freshers 13 is real! There is a 100% chance that you will put on at least a stone when you first get to university.
10. Stock up on EVERYTHING – Toilet rolls. Tea bags. Shower gel. Toothpaste. Batteries. Seriously you will never know when that unwanted shower christmas gift set will come in hand – especially when you are scraping the barrel to by a tin of beans. Every little helps.
11. Don’t take everything. Although it is great to make your room all cosy getting it home in the summer, or moving house in second and third year with loads of stuff is a pain in the bum!
12. Going home at during the holidays is hard. Becoming independent at university is an amazing experience that benefits you so much later in life – but it makes going home to where you aren’t in control of what you eat, when you do things and having to work around everyone else is hard.
13. Not everyone ‘finds themself’. There is this misconception that when you go to university you become a different person. You make radical changes in your life, dye your hair, get tattoos, start or stop doing something but this isn’t always the case. If anything you will find out what you really want out of life and if you want something enough then you will work for it. But most of the time you are still the same person – you just grow up.
University is what you make of it and it can be an amazing experience that can open up so many doors for you. But don’t believe everything you read/hear/watch on TV because university is nothing like American Pie – it’s a lot closer to Fresh Meat.
What’s the one thing you wish you knew about university before applying?
© Emmi Bowles