With September now upon us, it means back to reality for a lot of people. Whether that’s school, college or university. Personally, I am about to start my final year of uni and my goodness have I grown up over the past two years. Seeing all the freshers excited for their new adventure warms my heart and reminds me of how I felt back then. Scared. Terrified, in fact.
When starting uni there are so many things you get told. Like how crazy freshers is and how you’ll live off rice and beans for the rest of eternity. But there are so many things that people don’t tell you. So here are the 5 things that I wish I had known before going to university.
1- Your student loan wont even cover rent
The shocking reality that many students have to face is the realisation that they money you are loaned to live off won’t even cover your rent for the year, never mind food and living costs. The government expect our parents to pay the rest of the way but for so many that really isnt a possibility. It will become very apparent that you will need to get a part time job to afford food, drink and the occasional zara haul.
2- The walls are VERY thin
You will get very close to your flatmates very quickly. Partially down to freshers fortnight being very intense, but also partially because nothing is ever a secret any more. Need to pee? Your flat will hear you. Coming home drunk at 4am? Your flat will hear you? Bringing someone round? Your flat will hear you.
3- Food is expensive
I am so so fortunate to live in a family where my mum feeds us on organic produce, veg and the best food we can afford. Unfortunately, that is NOT a lifestyle that you can maintain when living off your student loan. I learnt that the hard way. Asda shops become a weekly occurrence and, top tip, if you go late in the evening they have loads of bakery goods reduced!! You’re welcome.
4- No one teaches you how to reference
I actually failed my first assignment because what the hell is referencing and why do I need to fill my work with other people’s opinions? Is mine not adequate? I don’t know about other universities, but mine did not teach us how to do it. So youtube that crap before you wing it.
5- You will need a calendar and you will USE IT
When moving to uni, one of the first things that you will realise is how important your calendar is. Suddenly i that little app is your best friend. Whether that’s planning in study breaks, reminding yourself when your next assignment is due or planning in brunch dates with your besties. Organisation is key.