As a first year pupil, I suppose you could say I offer a real and ‘fresh’ insight into the life of a student. There are various things you expect from University life in the run up to moving away that are, in fact, proven to be quite the opposite once you arrive and settle in.
For example, I was worried about not getting on with flatmates, hating the Uni routine and missing home – some of which are inevitable yet can definitely be minimised or even resolved. Below, I have devised a list of just a few struggles that I, or my fellow students, face on a regular basis:
- WASHING UP
You may have not considered this a problem prior to your arrival at University, yet believe me when I say that washing your pots (or even your annoying flatmates) becomes the bane of your life. After dedicating time to preparing, making and eating food, the last thing you want to do is slave away at the sink scrubbing of the fat from your greasy bacon! You will soon realise that the most obvious thing to do is to simply leave them…let them pile up…clutter the kitchen counter and annoy your housemates. However, there comes a point when you simply can’t avoid the matter anymore. Your roomie is sending you daggers every time you pass them in the hallway, the smell is becoming unbearable and you need the dirty dish to re-heat your leftover baked beans from yesterday… This simple task really does make you appreciate your mum so much more!
- MISSING HOME
At some point throughout your life at university, it is inevitable that you will miss home. You will miss your mum’s cooking, your dad’s sense of humour and even your annoying sibling’s sarcasm. From experience, I can say that the worst thing to do is to go home regularly. You need to accept the fact that uni is your new life and persevere – because it gets so so much easier and so so much more ‘normal’ as the weeks fly by. I remember sitting in my room after the first week of study and simply thinking “why?”. Why have I moved away from all of my loved ones in order to study a subject that I can study locally? But now the only question I ask myself is “how did I ever consider NOT coming to Uni?” Yes, I still miss my parents, but I also look forward to the times we share together so much more. You also need to remember that EVERYONE is in the same boat, you are not alone and you are blessed to be in such a wonderful position. Enjoy your new uni family because time with them is so precious, too.
We’ve all done it. We’ve said we wouldn’t go out the night before a 9AM lecture or said we’d go out for “one or two drinks” only. Nah. It doesn’t happen. Sometimes the special offer jägerbombs are just too tempting to ignore and the next thing you know you find yourself being carried out of the club by the scary looking bouncer with whom you argued about twenty minutes before (this definitely isn’t a personal anecdote, by the way). The next morning, you wake up to the sound of your lovely alarm and you’re pretty sure you’re still drunk. Your head is spinning, your body aches and your mouth could be compared to the sahara desert, it’s that dry. This is the point when you question your existence. Are you really alive? Can you actually make it to your day’s lectures? The answer is yes. Yes you can! Get up, make coffee, grab some fresh air and get to your lesson. Being there and catching a few vital things is so much more beneficial than spending the day rotting in bed. As the day goes on, you’ll be on the path to recovery and you’ll be doing cartwheels before it’s time to head home! But no, seriously, stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with it. You have to have something to show for your amazing night, right?
- NETFLIX N CHILL
I used to laugh at the concept of people staying awake to watch continuous episodes of The Walking Dead or Orange Is The New Black – how hard is it to simply turn your laptop off and get some well-needed rest? Woah. I was so wrong. It’s a common ritual for students ruin their body clock because of their late night (or should I say early morning) catch up of Ex On The Beach or Geordie Shore. The temptation to watch just one more episode is simply too much, despite the fact that you are FULLY aware of your 6 hour day tomorrow…
We’ve all heard of the stereotypes surrounding the concept of being a student. Not being able to afford a pint of milk because you’ve blown your student loan on a month’s worth of tequila shots is not uncommon. It’s fine for some to say “my student loan comes in tomorrow so we can go out and party proper”, yet some of us cannot consider these ‘loans’ as income. Speaking personally, my ‘loan’ only just covers my accommodation costs and so I have to rely on support from my family – although I realise this isn’t an ideal situation for many. University is supposed to be about independence, flying the nest in order to cater for your needs – but regularly asking your mum and dad for more money in order to make it to both Stupid Tuesday’s AND Hey Ewe doesn’t sound very independent, right? Fortunately for me, my family couldn’t be any more supportive, yet it is important to be aware of the fact that others aren’t so lucky and so may have to seek part-time work in order to play hard at the same time!
I think its acceptable to say that sex at Uni is deemed upon as casual. You get chatted up at the union, share a snog and head back to their dorm after FND finishes – at least some brave people do, anyway. Being at Uni is the time where you can experiment. Most people break off their relationships prior to coming just so they can let loose and enjoy being single. However, I was surprised to learn how many people ARE actually in relationships at uni and even more surprised to learn how many of them were long-distance. This proves that it IS do-able, and that you can still very much enjoy yourself even when you’re in a committed relationship. If you feel as though you can’t do this, then maybe you should question the relationship you have with your partner…
- And finally… STUDY
It’s a given fact that everybody procrastinates at some point throughout their degree, definitely some more than others… Whether its coursework prep or exam revision, there’s always something else to do first, right? Whether it’s your room that needs tidying again or you just HAVE to paint your nails, avoiding the main reason that you’re at University is a given. However, the ideal thing to do is to simply get on with it. Smash your coursework out of the way as soon as you’ve been given the titles and begin your revision early to avoid last minute cramming – this results in less stress and, usually, better results. Procrastination is often inevitable, yet we actually have to do something in order to graduate from one of the country’s most prestigious universities, right?
All in all, there are numerous struggles that us students will have to try and deal with over our time at Uni. Fortunately for us, the positives DEFINITELY outweigh the negatives, so just get on with it and enjoy it – because time flies by SO SO quickly.