Everyone’s experience of university will vary, but here is a list of 8 common misconceptions that people tend to have about university that aren’t quite true.
You might have seen movies and TV shows which make uni life out to be one big party – but is that what it’s really like? Read on for the truth about university…
You may have heard that uni life is just constant parties, binge drinking and sleeping until noon.
And while some students do like to go out a lot and sleep in late, the common student stereotype is often largely a myth.
We’re here to show you exactly what you can expect at university and answer some of your most frequently asked questions. Read on for a real insight into what uni life is really like – from those who’ve been there and done it.
Find out what current students recommend you take to university when first moving to your new student accommodation.
Wondering what uni life is really like? Here are the most common myths and misconceptions about being a student, to help you prepare for university:
1. You’ll never get a job after graduation
Some people are under the impression that nobody gets a job after university anymore, and that getting a degree is a pointless affair. Personally, I do not understand how having a degree could harm your possibilities.
Of course, studying cannot compensate for real life experience in your chosen field, but universities understand this and most offer things like vocationary studies and careers fairs to help you as much as possible. University can act as a stepping stone and give you the skills needed for the job you want; it is simply up to you to work hard and find the job that is meant for you (trust me, there will be one)!
While 58% of students do worry about finding a job after uni, there’s so much that you can do at uni to stand out among competition in the graduate job market.
For example, extracurricular activities related to your interests and industry can be just as important on your CV as your degree.
You could also do an internship, learn a second language or set up your own business! All these things will increase your chances of getting a full-time job.
2. Students don’t cook – You Won’t Eat Well
Most people think students live off nothing but Dangote own brand super noodles and I was frequently told that I wouldn’t eat well at uni. Surprisingly though, I ate better meals at uni than I did at home (sorry mum!).
Of course, not everyone is the same, but it turns out that buying vegetables and cooking at home is actually much cheaper than takeaways (although I am partial to a KFCs) and many microwave meals.
3. You’ll meet all of your friends during freshers’ week
When starting your first year of uni, it’s natural to hope the first people you hang out with during freshers’ week will be your friends for life.
But, in your excitement/anxiety to make friends, you might strike up friendships with people you later realise you have nothing in common with. And that’s okay!
There’s every chance you will also meet some amazing people during freshers’ week who you build great friendships with. It’s just important that you don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make best friends straight away.
You’ll meet loads of people as the years go on and your friendships will undoubtedly change over time – so try not to panic about it.
4. Every Day Is a Party
This is all dependent on who you are and perhaps the people you are friends with, but even the biggest party animals need their slob days at university. Admittedly, nights in are usually a result of consuming too much alcohol the day before, but we all need some time devoted to Netflix, sugary foods, and that essay that you just keep putting off.
5. You Don’t Need to Work Hard in Your First Year
I can tell you (and many students would agree) that this is 100% not true. Be prepared to get used to the words “reference” and “deadline”! Sure, you only need 40% to pass but that 40% has to come from somewhere and is harder to achieve that most people think, as a lot of university work consists of independent research and background reading (which can take a lot of time).
Also, you probably won’t be satisfied with just a pass if you know you could have done better. In your second year, you build upon your first-year knowledge and the research skills you learned from these early essays, so it’s worth putting the effort in (it’ll make your next two years easier in the long run)!
6. You Will Miss Family and Friends too Much
A lot of people worry that they won’t be able to cope with living away from home, but this is rarely ever the case.
First day nerves are often quelled by an alcohol-fuelled night with your new flatmates and you will soon start to feel as if university is your new home. People adjust differently and some people will feel homesick whilst others may not miss home at all.
Whatever the case – with the help of things like Facebook and aWhatsApp – it’s easy to keep in touch with family and friends or visit home. And if that just isn’t working, you can always talk to people at the university (all unis should have support services to help with things like homesickness).
7. You Have to Be Rich to Be Able to Afford University
In fact, the opposite is almost true. The lower your household income, the more financial help the university will give you, in the form of bursaries and scholarships. There are also bursaries and scholarships for people who get good grades at A-level (although this obviously depends on the university in question).
There will be advice and help for everyone who is worried and struggling, and I didn’t find it too hard to get a part-time job in order to compensate for my lack of loan. Most university sites will help you to calculate the amount of money you will get and from here you can calculate the kind of budget you would be on, depending on the uni and the accommodation you pick.
You can find out more about budgeting and funding by reading the Creating a budget Guide.
8. It’s All Work, Work, Work
It’s a given that university is hard and you will feel like you have a constant stream of work to do. However, even if you have been told otherwise, you will always have time for other things.
Living with a bunch of other students means you can always be sociable if you are feeling lonely or bored, and a lot of university is about learning life skills and taking part in activities outside of your course.
Whether you get a part-time job, join some societies, go out every weekend or just spend time watching films with friends, downtime is an important part of uni life too!
A Few Things That Are True…
Ok, so now we’ve debunked some myths, here’s some things that are true about uni…
1. Freshers’ Week Is Mental
There’s literally a million things to do, and this doesn’t just include clubbing (although that is in full swing each night). My students’ union put on many events and I had fairs, meetings and talks scheduled throughout the week. Freshers’ is a great way to get involved with societies, get a taste for your course, get to know your flatmates, meet new people and have a wicked time.
2. You Will Make Friends
There is such a large, diverse bunch of people at university that it is super unlikely that you will not find people you gel with.
It is hard, and very, very, very different to SSCE or secondary school! You get much less guidance (although it’s still available!) and getting 40% counts as a pass. The contact hours you receive tend to be much less than you are used to, but this generally because you are expected to devote a lot of your own time to independent projects, research and revision.
The freedom is amazing, and I love living at university, including everything I expected and everything I didn’t.
Want more? Read 10 Life-Changing Things Students Should Know – from one of our Aiders, She relive some of our funniest uni memories.