All prospective university students think they have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to be like – making loads of new friends, going out every night, writing the odd essay here and there – easy, right? However, often students find it to be a whole different kettle of fish when they actually get there and realise that the idealised vision of university life they’ve been sold isn’t quite the entire picture. So to help you be as prepared as possible, check out our list of 7 things no one tells you about university life:
The beds are rubbish
Definitely one of the biggest letdowns, when you get to university, is realising the poor excuse for a bed that you’re going to be stuck with for the next year. Luckily, as you’ll probably be spending most of your first year drunk, you should be able to overcome the old, uncomfortable, springy mattress. Unfortunately, this isn’t limited to halls – student houses aren’t exactly known for their memory foam mattresses either. Ordering a new mattress is expensive, so go for the next best thing and invest in a decent mattress protector and you should be able to get enough sleep to see you through.
You will be doing a lot of napping and Netflixing
Most students think that going to university involves being super busy all the time – lectures and classes during the day, and non-stop socialising in the evening, right? However, this isn’t always the case. Most courses will only have a few hours of lectures and classes a day (if that), especially in the first year. And whilst you will be spending a lot of time doing things with your new friends, you’re also going to have your fair share of spare time. You could use this wisely and spend more time studying, but realistically you’re going to spend most of it catching up on sleep and binge-watching TV. So if you haven’t got a Netflix account, sign up now!
Being responsible is harder than you think
With all the excitement about meeting new people and having fun at university, along with the (slightly less exciting) thought of all the studying you’re going to be doing, it can easy to forget that you’re actually going to have to start looking after yourself. No more relying on your parents to cook your food, clean the dishes, wash your clothes etc. So if your cooking experience prior to university extends no further than burning toast, and if you haven’t got a clue how to work a washing machine, now’s the time to learn! You’ll get the hang of it soon enough, but it can be a bit of a culture shock at first, so be prepared to actually look after yourself.
You’re seriously going to have to budget
Even though students have a bit of a reputation for being broke, this can still come as a bit of a shock when it happens to you, especially when you think that you’re going to be getting a huge loan in your bank account – plenty of money to have fun with, right? Unfortunately, once you’ve paid for rent, bills, food and spent half of your loan on freshers’ you’ll realise this isn’t the case. So make sure you’re prepared – get yourself a student card, download some budgeting apps, check out the cheapest supermarkets and try not to go too crazy with your money.
You’re actually going to have to work hard
Another thing which all prospective students should expect yet still comes as a bit of a shock is just how hard they have to work when it comes to studying. And yes, for most courses the first year won’t count towards your degree, but you still need to actually pass. It’s a big step up from A-level, and if you don’t keep up with the reading and attend enough classes you can quickly find yourself falling behind. Remember, you are there to work, after all, and the more work you do during the first year, the better prepared you will be when it comes to crunch time. So keep on top of things and you won’t have to miss out on any of the fun stuff!
You will miss home
One thing that most students may scoff at is if you tell them they’re going to be homesick during their first year at university, but it’s something a lot of students experience. In fact, data shows that over half of students experience homesickness at some point, so you’re not alone. Whether you’re missing your friends, family, the dog or just those little home comforts (a nice bed, a bath etc.), being homesick is a common but strange and new feeling for most students. So it’s important to stay in contact with your friends and family and make sure you plan to visit home for a weekend every so often. This will help you overcome your homesickness and be ready to go when you get back to uni.
You might not meet your best friend straight away
One of the things that prospective students get told most often is how many amazing new friends they’re going to make during university life. However, this isn’t always the case and can leave students feeling a bit confused and lonely if they don’t instantly click with the people they’re living with. Recent research shows that 17% of students experience feelings of loneliness, which is a lot of people. However, luckily you’re going to meet loads of new people at university, so even if you don’t really get on with your flat mates you’ll make friends through your course, societies and other ways. As long as you keep positive, get involved and put yourself out there you’ll be fine, so don’t worry if you feel like you don’t fit in right away, as there are loads of students who feel the same.