What You Don’t Get Told About University…

Winchester University

Source: The Guardian

It’s that time of year again where you’re either going back to school/college or waiting to start uni (unless you’re a “real adult” now have a full time job like me… No summer holidays for me anymore! D:) My graduation tickets came through the post this week for my ceremony in October. Timehop reminded me today that this time three years I was tweeting on Twitter about my excitement about going to uni exactly three years ago tomorrow.

Seeing as I have now entered the “big, scary world” of being a graduate and it was this time three years ago I was a “scared little fresher”, I thought I would share experiences of uni that you probably don’t think about or know until you get to Fresher’s Week. I went to the University of Winchester (shown in the image above) to study Archaeology & Journalism Studies.

Housemates: So on your arrival at the new residence you are going to call home for year, you think it’s all amazing that you live away from your parents and with people a similar to age to you which is all exciting and fun… Until about two or three weeks later when you’re having arguments with your housemates about mess, washing up, noise, etc. Luckily, I never personally experienced this problem as I lived in a university managed flat with one other girl who kept herself to herself and never made a mess or a fuss. However, I have friends that experienced these problems.

Don’t Expect the first people you meet to be your best friends: During Fresher’s Week, you will meet a LOT of people. You may end up being friends with them and yet again, you may not even see them again several weeks later. In my experience, who I consider my friends since leaving uni, I didn’t meet until several months after starting. The people I first met during freshers’ I wouldn’t have a clue as to what they are doing, nor have I spoken to them in several years.

Use Protection: I’m sure you hear about people “sleeping around” at uni which a lot of people do on nights out. If that’s what you’re into then that’s your choice. Obviously I’m not shaming it but you should make sure you use protection! I’ve known people at uni, who have caught some nasty STIs several times for being drunk and stupid. Sex education is not just a thing to scare you, these are real nasty things! Also, from the other perspective. Now I’ve never been one for sleeping around (it’s just not my thing) but do be aware that you might think someone is being friendly to you but they may just simply be trying to get into your pants. On nights out, I have had people try things on with me but luckily I can sense these things or tend to have some good friends that protect me when they can see I’m quite clearly uncomfortable.

Budgeting: Is something you learn to do very quickly at university. After Fresher’s Week/Fortnight, you realise your student loan doesn’t go quite as far as you thought. Drinking cheap alcohol and either buying Tesco Value/Iceland/Sainsbury’s Basics or shopping in the bargain isle becomes a regular occurrence so that you have money to fund your nights out.

Alcohol becomes one of your best friends: A large part of your uni life will evolve around drinking and probably making an absolute tit of yourself on more occasions than you’ve recently eaten decent cooked meals. Even if you don’t remember it, there will be photographic evidence that Facebook will notify you of the next morning. Due to drinking too much on a night out, you may end up becoming an emotional wreck that you might not remember doing the next day. (Yes, this happened to me a few times.)

Socialising: Joining societies is a great way to make friends. Although you’ll probably sign up to everything at Fresher’s Fayre, pick a couple of societies that genuinely interests you and give them a go. You’ll meet like-minded people who may end up becoming some of your best friends for the next three or four years.

Money Issues: Being in your overdraft becomes the norm.

The Academic Side: I tried to find some photos of me “studying” or spending time in the library but then thought, “Don’t be silly! Who takes pictures of that!?” You will probably leave a lot of your uni work to last minute and end up doing a vast amount of all nighters in the library, cursing yourself for leaving it to last minute. You never learn until you get to second and third year where the work load increases and gets a great amount harder. At this stage, freshers’ just annoy you partly because their workload is so much easier, doesn’t count and because they have the freedom of going out. Especially third year when all the fun of dissertation starts…

Here’s photo of two of my housemates and I just before we handed our dissertations in. Many breakdowns, stress, all-nighters and copious amounts of tea and biscuits were consumed over this bad boy! My advice on this is be prepared when people emphasise how hard it is and make sure you pick something you enjoy! This is your biggest piece of work you will be handing in at uni and employers like to ask what you chose as your topic.

*Not all of the above are my “personal” experience, this is based on some of my friends/acquaintances experiences too. Unless you want to mainly here about me studying and working my part time job, there isn’t much point me talking about my third or second year (unless you want to hear about the lack of social life you have *emphasis on third year*).

After three years of uni and achieving a 2:1 degree, it is safe to say I will miss it. I’ve made some wonderful friends and met my boyfriend but I’m ready to leave education now and actually *shock horror*… “Grow up”! Next month I also finally get to graduate!

How was your experience at uni? Is there anything you would change?



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