Whether you’re an old, decrepit 4th year and are full of bountiful wisdom, or you’re just starting out on your freshers journey, it won’t take long to find out that your expectations vs. reality weren’t quite on par. Here are some of our top assumptions (to brace you if you’re still figuring this out, or to laugh at nostalgically for those who’ve already got there):
‘I am rich with my student loan – I’ve never seen so much money in my life’
Remember, your loan has to cover rent, food, bills, etc. for the year. So throw the idea of having money to spend on yourself out the window; they call it student living for a reason.
MEANWHILE… ‘I will get a job and learn to budget like a responsible adult’
If you get the time for a job, and actually manage to acquire some extra dosh, it will inevitably be spent on vital items such as that bonding experience of buying your flat a round of shots, 4am post-night-out Dominos, or tickets to see Spectre. Because… James Bond.
‘My health won’t slip with my succulent and nutritious cooking’
Time to cook is one thing, but buying all the things to actually make nice meals is another. Honing your culinary prowess at uni isn’t easy on a budget of whatever’s-leftover-after-I-buy-booze. Also, why is unhealthy crap so cheap? At McDonald’s prices, it’s surprising we aren’t rolling to lectures.
‘Partay time! Let’s go out every night!’
At some point alcohol stops being your friend, and Netflix and chill becomes the best thing in the world (the slacks and ice cream kind, not the sexy kind – though we always have time for the latter…).
‘All of my flat mates will be amazing and we will definitely become best friends for life’
Of course the 15 random people you get thrown in together with are all going to awesome. Think again. Unless you’re lucky, the halls lotto will have you wind up with at least one passive aggressive fridge-note person, a clingy one that wont leave you alone, or the lad’s lad who is takes everything too far. Good luck with those ones.
‘Campus will be my catwalk’/ ‘Time to reinvent myself’
All those new clothes you bought ready to strut your stuff around campus? Ha. When deadlines hit there are only three words: endless pajama days.
‘And of course, I will find The One at uni’
This ridiculous concept that we will find our hubby/wifey at uni is so widely accepted it’s nuts. But never fear… If the marriage gods don’t lead you to your destined partner in fresher’s week, or anytime during your blip of a time at uni, all hope is not lost. Average ages to settle down in the UK are 29 for women and 31 for guys. So chill. You gat time.
‘I will join all of the societies and be amazing at everything’
Whilst you may be sign-up happy initially, as work builds up and your course and halls network proves to be more than sufficient to quench your social thirst, you will rue the day you signed up to every sport from Korfball to Tai Chi when your Facebook notifications become nothing but never-ending spam.
The biggest one of all, and why so many move as far away from home as possible. We’ve got our own space our own money; we can do what we want, when we want, and be everything we ever aspired to be! Until you’re sat swaddled in fifty jumpers and blankets eating ALDI’s own pot noodle thinking home doesn’t seem quite so bad after all.
‘After university I will be a mature, responsible adult and I will have figured my life out’
You’re legally an adult now, but that’s about it. You probably have less of a clue about what you’re going to do with your life now more than ever, but we’ll bumble along nevertheless. All you have achieved is, thanks to the overdraft, successfully keeping yourself alive for the past 3 years.
And if you had the chance to re-live uni all again? You wouldn’t miss it for the world.