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Articles > Student Life February, 25, 2022

University… expectations VS reality

Lauren Shepherd
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Nobody can ever fully prepare you for the adventure you are going to embark on when you become a university student. And why is that? Because everyone’s experience is completely different.

Whether you are going for the social life or as a steppingstone for your career, there is always a surprise that is unpredictable and it can either make or break your experience.

New experience… new me?

A common misconception is that ‘university is a chance to reinvent yourself’ allowing you to become known as the person you portray yourself to be.

You can only keep up a façade for so long before the truth comes out. Usually, students can keep up this façade for a couple of months. After Christmas break is when true personalities are revealed as everyone is now comfortable and confident. Thus, it is important to note that just because you haven’t found your crowd instantly, it doesn’t matter as majority are just pretending to be the type of person they think people will want to be friends with rather than themselves. Remember to be yourself!

Night-time… what every early bird dreads.

For me, it is as bad as they say it is. Luckily the noisy nights usually correspond with clubbing events. You will hear chairs being dragged across the floor, terrible karaoke, random thuds and so much more but as long as you have a pair of headphones at the ready you should be good for the night. BUT do not be afraid to confront those who are making this a frequent occurrence as your university experience is just as important as theirs. This confrontation does not have to be in the form of an argument but instead can be brought up in a joke so that at least your opinion and discomfort have been put out there.

Now for the early mornings… those dreaded 9am lectures.

It is so important that you do not let yourself get into a slump of missing those lectures. Once you form this habit it is very hard to escape. If you’re struggling to get out of your nice warm cosy bed, try counting down from 30 and as soon as you hit 1 GET UP! This is an amazing self-discipline technique and as long as you follow through you should have no problem with those early starts.

Finally, clubs and societies.

You may have been involved in an activity in your lower school years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Things are a little different at university. If an activity does not fulfil your expectations, do not feel obliged to have to participate! Your happiness and enjoyment is much more important. Instead, try finding another activity you enjoy and remember CHANGE IS GOOD. Sometimes scary, but good!

I personally went through an experience like this… I found that a sport I used to love with all my heart made me miserable at university. Rather than forcing myself to play I put my time into another sport to avoid hating it altogether.

To conclude, university is for most a once in a lifetime experience so go into it with an open mind and don’t be afraid if things do not happen as you expected.

It is a learning experience preparing you for the big wide world and as you probably know, life is not smooth sailing so do not let the hard times discredit the good and most importantly put you and your mental health first

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out some more on student life, university and life experiences. If you’d like the chance to win £50 for your article, send us one here! Get published! 😁

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