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September, 11, 2013

5 (need to know) myths about university!

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Name: Sophie Bichener
Member of: Student Panellist
Joined: Dec 2010
Sophie's Full Profile

University is great, but in many cases it isn’t all it’s made up to be, especially not in this day and age where simply having a degree on your CV wont be getting you a job!

1. You’re going to have the best time of your life!

Myths

Photo by Mississippi State University Libraries


This is probably the biggest myth. If you, like I did, have extremely high hopes for university you may be disheartened. Yes, it’s great getting away from home, making so many good friends and enjoying your new found freedom. However, university can be tiring, living with people can be hard, alcohol doesn’t have the same appeal after a ridiculous amount of hangovers. There are even books written about it! It’s kind of like when Japanese people go to Paris and are so disappointed because it isn’t what they thought it would be they have to have counselling (I’m not kidding – Wiki)

2. First year doesn’t count.

Myths

Photo by Neil Turner


I’m guilty of not only believing this one but also advising freshers that they didn’t really have to put the effort in because first year doesn’t count. I was wrong. First year may not count towards your overall grade but it is vitally important to learn the skills your require to do the best you can in second and third year. It’s a good way to begin to understand the style expectations of your writing, what is expected of your work and how each lecturer marks your work. It’s a practise year and you will get back from it what you put into it.

3. People have matured.

Myths

Photo by Son of Groucho


I, and quite a few people I know, was excited about getting away from secondary school. Moving on to university was an excellent way to break away from the immature drama that was rife in my secondary school. I believed that people would have grown up and most of the immaturity would have disappeared. Oh, how I was wrong! Some of the gossiping, drama and immaturity is simply magnified because you live in such close quarters with others and everyone knows everyone… I can safely say I don’t have the same high hopes for the workplace!

4. Student loans mean you can afford university.

Myths

Photo by Benjamin Linh


It doesn’t at all.  I was luckily enough to have extremely supportive parents who were prepared to pick up the bill when my student loan fell £500 a term short of my accommodation fee. Yes, you can get a job to help with all of the costs university imposes on you but with text book fees, club sign up, accommodation, deposit and many other hidden costs it can all pile up.

Yes, there is a lot of help which the university can provide in order to support students who can’t afford to go to university but sometimes this can be extremely tight depending on your individual situation.

5. You’re NEVER going to get a job.

Myths

Photo by Penn State


When I talk to most people, students and real life working people alike, it seems to be universally agreed that the current employment situation in England is horrific and it is unlikely a student with a decent degree will be able to find any sort of decent employment. However, I personally do not agree with this. I do believe that just having a degree under your belt isn’t enough these days. Degrees should be a basis on which a student builds their employability. Joining clubs, teams, volunteering and taking part in internships will show any future employers you have what it takes. Moreover, you will stand out from the crowd of desperate students hysterically waving their 2:1s in the interview room.

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32 Comments

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  1. Emily Christie

    At the end of the day, everyone should know that going to university is hard. But that doesn’t also mean that it can’t be fun at the same time. It’s just what you make of it, and if you put effort into your work and enjoy yourself in your free time, well then it’s worth it isn’t it? You get back what you put in.

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  2. Gennie Neo

    Thanks for giving a heads up! Got to get mentally prepared for uni.

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  3. Deborah Russo

    I’m amused at how this article basically demolishes any expectations people have for uni.

    Best Time of Your Life? False
    People mature with time? False
    Hard to get a job? True

    Now this is rather depressing.

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  4. Daniel Robinson

    Interesting and most of the points are true. Although there is a feeling that this is a rather one sided view.

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  5. Kyle Davies

    Some very good points have been made here, however it does seem ever so depressing knowing that the work you will be putting in will not help to get a job, but it is sure better than not having anything under your belt.

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  6. Ellie Brice

    Really helpful

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  7. Jazmin Pook

    I am so glad I read this. I was genuinely under the impression that the first year counted for nothing so thank you for correcting my beliefs!

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  8. tayba ali

    this is so helpful. i held many of the views as you and am now assured that i wasn’t just being a cynical cow, and that my reason to hold low expectations of university are justifiable.

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  9. Gabriella Orthodoxou

    Its so hard to get a job so the more experience you have the more chance you have of being employed!

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  10. Gina McBride

    Thanks for this! Its good to know what to expect

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  11. Skye Jones

    I think the job situation depends on if you’re in a large city or a rural and ‘deserted’ area, I’m planning to be in a moderately sized city with a shopping centre so i’m REALLY hoping to be able to get a job there.. if that doesn’t happen i’ll be worried about being able to survive on the loan.

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  12. jade dickson

    I have been worying about how i will afford uni, and how countless degree graduates dont get the job they were hoping for, this is a very true article

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  13. keng Lam Chan

    I had been worrying about the problem with everyone getting a degree would reduce my employability. But I still believe that there are people who find it hard to gain higher than 2:1 or any qualifications at all, let alone other people who would not give effort in gaining any qualifications. So, I think gaining a degree would still give me a better chance of getting employed. Anyway, some people are only good at achieveing high level degree and yet lack of employment and social skills, the point is getting a decent degree does not say much.

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  14. Aaron Kler

    very good article

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  15. Alicia McComish

    Interesting article. I’ll take that advice on board for when I start soon!

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  16. Maddie Robinson

    This seems so true

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  17. Ryan Brennan

    I’m incredibly glad to have found this.

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  18. Rebecca Glazier

    This has really helped me, I will take this on board next year:)

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  19. Jamie Granger

    I can’t wait for university but then jobs is true! Experience counts more now!

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  20. Annabel Dodd

    good to know as a perspective student, thanks

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  21. Farha Iqbal

    great article :)

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  22. Kishan Patel

    Great article , and god advice , Thanks :)

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  23. Frederika Treeby

    I agree with joining in with clubs, societies etc. You meet so many different people and discover new skills and talants which really boosts your confidence and helps you to stand out from the crowd!

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  24. Jordan Smith

    Couldn’t agree more about the second point made in this article. I am in my third year and only really this year feel like I have began to write academically and at a level expected of me at university. While first year is good fun, go out, let your hair done, it is also good to get to grips with the library and how to write good enough essays!

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  25. Gargi Pandit

    I am so excited for uni and while discussing this with some friends we all came to the conclusion that you will enjoy uni more because of the friends you make and less about how much you drink and party. I think choosing a uni based on the course, amenities and accommodation is the best way to pick. Also when giong on open days make sure you talk to the students and see if you could see your self in that setting :)

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  26. Sophie Bichener

    There’s loads of ways to have fun without alcohol! Lots of societies (all of which you should try and join) actively try to plan events that don’t involve simply getting drunk! Why not round up some new friends and go bowling, to the cinema, or even to a local rock climbing centre or canoeing? I did all of these things whilst at uni with societies or friends and it’s just fun to go on an adventure every now and then :)

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  27. Rebekah Chapman

    Has anyone got any tips on how to have more fun (without alcohol involved) because I am terrible with this who sociable thing?

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    • Suleman Shah

      same here lol especially as i don’t live n student accommodation which i think takes away from the whole experience…hmmm

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  28. Larissa Nzikeu

    I am soooo excited about going to uni, but im also becoming increasingly worried about the expense, especially in London!

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  29. Adam Holding

    Clearly if you’re not having the time of your life you’re doing it wrong :P

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  30. Jenny Waters

    love this! thanks !

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  31. Kristina Doy

    What a happy article lol :p good work though

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