It’s been a while since a university post and I’m sure some of my readers will be heading off to university soon. This gave me the perfect reason to write this blog post. I started university last year and there’s plenty of things I weren’t told, that I wish I did know! Last year, I shared my girly university room decor and a day in my life at university to hopefully help some people out. Now you’re not here to listen to me ramble, you’re here to learn about university so let’s get started!
You’re not in lesson as much as you think
Your teachers have probably drilled into you that you’ll have long days in university and you’ll have multiple lectures in one day. In first semester, I was in 3 days a week for a total of 10 hours- yes only 10! For second semester I was in for 4 days for a total of 16 hours. It’s possible that you’ve heard teachers say that university is also a lot of your own learning- this is true. You’re expected to read more around what you’re being taught to understand the subject more thoroughly. I can understand why they didn’t tell you this about university but it would have been nice to know!
You’re not expected to do anything
Kind of contradicts that last point but what I’m getting at here is that nobody’s going to check up that you’re doing the work. The lecturer’s do their part then it’s up to you. If you don’t do it then you don’t do it. Lecturer’s decide if you’ve put the work in based on your grades. You won’t get spoken to by your tutors or lecturers about your grades but if you’re constantly failing, you’ll be emailed about resitting modules or even resitting the year.
First year usually doesn’t count towards your final grade
I know at my university, many courses don’t count the first year towards the final grade. I’m not sure if anyone knew this because I certainly didn’t know before I started university! My thought is that it’s because they know that first years want to get the true “university experience.” In second year, you’ve had a year to party so it’s time to put more work in. Most of my exams this year has been multiple choice and I’ve only needed 40% overall to move on to 2nd year. Even though this year hasn’t counted, I’ve still put the efforts in. My opinion is that it’s better to start off right so I’m more prepared for the heavier workload next year.
You might not get on with everyone in your university halls
This for me, was a huge misconception. Obviously on the first day I got on with everyone well because we were all in the same boat. Before I explain, don’t get me wrong, there are some people who get along with everyone on their corridor but it wasn’t the case for me. The boys on my corridor (apart from my boyfriend) just stopped talking to me after Fresher’s and the only other girl on my corridor was trying to steal my boyfriend. I’m not being dramatic. At the end of Fresher’s, I told her I liked him, she also said she did so “let the best woman win…” Luckily I found my best friend during freshers and made some good friends on my course.
It’s easy to balance studying and social life
I spend a couple of hours studying each day and most of the day on weekends. Most of this is just copying up lectures. Despite this, I still have time to eat meals with friends and go out at the weekend whether it be to an SU event or in the town. My friends and I decide to go out on a Friday or Saturday night so we have a day to recover at least. Personally, I’m not the type of person to go out every week but I know some who go out everyday and are still passing. If you can pull that off then well done, I know I definitely can’t!
You’re not completely poor
You just need to have a budget plan! My boyfriend is on one of the lower student loans and he has managed without a job all year. He also manages to eat normal food! He does work over the holidays but he manages completely fine. My student loan is a little more generous but I still set myself a budget for the week and in Aldi (lifesaver!) I can get a weekly shop for under £20! If you’re someone who likes to buy themselves new clothes etc then I do recommend getting a job. You could get an overdraft but I feel it’s a constant cycle. Your next loan will pay the overdraft so then you’re unlikely to have enough money so will end up back in the overdraft again.
Shared bathrooms aren’t completely disgusting
Now, for this one, I’m only speaking from my university. I was in shared bathroom and I never once has a problem with the cleanliness of the bathrooms. We made sure we had air freshener as well in both of the toilets to keep it, let’s say, fresh. Thankfully, because I shower fairly early, it was always free when I wanted it and had no issues with that whatsoever. If you’re worrying about money, shared bathroom accommodation may be a better, cheaper alternative. We also had a proper shower rather than a wet room like the en suite rooms had. I heard a lot of stories about wet carpets because the water leaked under the door.
Do not overpack!
Now, I feel like many people have been told this but I wasn’t so it’s getting put on this list. When I moved out, I literally packed my whole wardrobe bar 3 items. I wish someone told me this before I started university. You don’t need that many clothes! You pack all the cute outfits but by October you’re wearing the same 2 pairs of leggings and alternating between 4 different hoodies! Maybe not that extreme but there’s no need for 100 items of clothing! I had to keep bringing full suitcases home with me when I visited for the weekend because otherwise I wouldn’t have managed to pack everything!
You will either put on weight or lose weight!
Honestly, I was completely expecting to lose weight when I started university. So many people said you’ll lose weight, but no one will tell you that you might put on weight. When I came to university, I was walking more but I also snacked a lot more. On top of that, I had the implant which had the side effect of weight gain. Unfortunately, my body image started to disappoint me which is why, when I came home, I started my at-home workouts. These have thankfully helped me lose some of that excess weight and I’m starting to like my body again.
Get a planner
Nobody told me this tip before university but it’s so helpful! I already had my bullet journal so it became even more used the busier I got. Even if you don’t have time for a bullet journal, I still recommend that you have a planner because it’s always useful to note down deadlines. I like to start assignments straight away even if I don’t finish it so I have at least something written down. If you do have some extra time on your hands which you should on this super long Summer holidays, then you may want to start a bullet journal. I have a very useful guide on how to start a bullet journal for beginners that you may want to read!