Going to university is undoubtedly a life changing experience. It’s a time when we try different things, meet new people, and find out the people we want to be and hopefully leave with a degree. With all that being said, it’s important not to overlook a much needed reality check; not all of us are going to become the next Mark Zuckerberg of our campus, nor are we all going to find the love of our lives like Wills and Kate. It’s an idyllic ideology to have but simply isn’t realistic.
So here are the top five things you are likely to expect over the course of your university experience.
1. There is LITERALLY something for everyone.
Sure it’s a cliché but that’s only because it’s true. University is one of the few places where you can literally try anything without fear of ridicule (most of the time), for some people this means joining Mixed Martial Arts or the DisneySoc for others it’s being on the Quidditch team. Whatever you want to do or try you’ll more than likely be given the opportunity to give it a go at university. If you aren’t, you’re always encouraged to start it yourself- be it a pool/snooker society to a Speech Bubble.
2. Living in Halls is a different experience for everyone.
There is no one size fits all guide to living in halls. Some people automatically gel with their flatmates; others are able to be cordial while a few plan the assassinations of their flatmates over breakfast. Living in Halls throws you into this crucible with a bunch of people you have never met, sometimes it works and that’s wonderful, sometimes it doesn’t but that’s ok too because you can always move out for second year and choose who you want to live with.
3. Budgeting is ‘BAE’.
Your student loan, overdraft and grants for those lucky few may seem like a bottomless pit of money but believe me they all have limits and if and or when you reach them you’ll find your university experience to be a lot more sour than you had initially anticipated. Be it food, course books, socialising or clothes, you will need to budget. Failure to do so will result in you being a very unhappy, sometimes hungry, camper for the course of your studies.
4. Flawless. Just because Beyoncé woke up like this. Does not mean you have to.
Sure at the beginning of the new academic year you are all ready to turn up to lectures all dolled up to the nines but in reality there will come a time when you’re thankful for your comfy uni stash, I call this day the first Wednesday of semester one. Of course there are those fortunate few who require very little to look like they just woke up channelling their inner Beyoncé. However this approach does not work for everyone and most people would much rather spend those precious moments in the morning hiding under their duvet and throwing thoughts of self-presentation to the wind.
5. You actually have to study.
Shock horror! We all go to uni with the premise of studying for a degree but somewhere between Freshers’ Week and graduation we seem to overlook this major issue. Studying is key. Of course partying and socialising are nice bonuses, especially in first year but if you don’t want to spend your summer retaking modules, you might just want to turn up to that 9am lecture.