Huge parties, huge hookups, huge hangovers. That’s what the movies tell us. According to the silver screen, university mainly concerns drowning your lungs in alcohol and getting busy with your roommate or overdosing on way too much caffeine for those late night study sessions.
But how much different is university life in real life? Whether you’re planning to start university later this year, or have been deceived by the motion pictures, like myself.
Here are 7 things that I truly did not know before venturing off to university.
Student loans don’t actually give you that much money
When you first receive your initial student finance statement, those £££’s may look like a godsend, but do not get overexcited!
Whilst the money may seem like it could fund a few shopping sprees, resist the urge!
A good amount of it – if not all of it, will only just fund your accommodation, and the rest you will need to invest in vitals for living such as food, water etc. So it’s good to start budgeting if you want to use any extra money to treat yourself.
You’re not going to get #goals accommodation
Nothing is more aesthetically pleasing than your dream uni room plans. The films make it look so effortless and chic, but it never really turns out that way.
For one, you’ll probably be too preoccupied with either your work or your social life to unbox those ornaments and actually decorate your room.
Secondly, the living situations may not entirely be up to scratch; it’s not uncommon for student housing to be damp or even ridden with insects. Just remember that you may have signed for a four-bed house, but you may have to share with many more.
It’s not all about sambuca and screwing every night
Contrary to very popular belief, you will not be destined to sit and drink until you pass out each night. In fact, you don’t even have to drink at all.
Although for many, alcohol is very much a stress relief from the tolls of studying, it’s important to remember that for others, it isn’t. Under no circumstance should you feel pressured to have a drink if you don’t want to.
A large part of university is enjoying yourself and having fun, but this shouldn’t be compromised by inconsiderate friends. On the more intimate side of things, university is not one huge orgy. Yes, people have sex, but it’s far less glamourised than the movies; debauchery is rare.
You’ll feel smart and stupid simultaneously
Yes. That is possible.
At school, you may have been able to keep up good grades and outshine the rest of your classmates, but university is a totally different environment.
There will be people you meet who can effortlessly produce amazing work and those who work tirelessly, only to receive an average grade.
It is hard to not compare yourself to others; being at uni in the first place can make you feel smart, but those who surround you can make you feel stupid too. But at the end of it, as long as you focus on you, then that’s all that matters.
It’s so easy to get out of a routine
Unlike school or college, no one is going to be reprimanding you for skipping classes, and once you realise this, it can be hard to keep your enthusiasm up.
But, it’s important to remember that once your attendance begins to slip, so do your grades. Sure, missing a lesson here and there won’t really do you any harm, but it can be very helpful to try to stick to a routine.
You don’t have to buy every item on the reading list
I fell into this same trend every year. Tutor’s would release reading lists and rave on about particular books that would be essential.
Long story short, they hardly ever were. Although items on your primary reading lists may be fundamental towards your studies, leave the secondary reading until you know you really need it.
If it turns out you do, Amazon Prime for students is your friend. If not, you’ve saved a lot of money that can fund something else.
Plus, it’s always helpful to check your university library before purchasing anything; if there’s only one chapter you need to read, is there any point in buying the full edition?
It’s not as worrying as it may seem
Adulting can seem like one of the biggest challenges you’ll face at uni, and sure in those first few weeks in can be terrifying.
In fact, whenever I came back to uni to start another semester, adulting would dawn on me again and again, even after 3 years.
But you’ll be surprised at how quick you’ll come to grips with it, especially when you return home for the holidays and realise it’s not acceptable to wake up at noon and have ice cream for breakfast…