Monday, 9 June 2014

University: expectations vs. reality...

Hello my lovelies!

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how different my second year was from my first year, and how different my first year was from my expectations. Then I got to thinking that it might be interesting for people to know my personal expectations and the reality that hit me when I joined uni in 2012.

Expectation: student loan is going to be great, surely I won't be poor for long!
Reality: The first week of receiving the student loan is great. After that is down hill though. If you are anything like me then your parents will have jobs that give them an average amount of money. Which means that you won't get as much loan as many others. In my case my loan just about covered my loan with around £1.50 a day left over. I was poor pretty much instantly. One week I lived off of just beans for every meal. In hindsight I should have saved some money before I went. I have had a job at uni now for a while which helps so much, without that I don't know what I would do!

Expectation: I will get on with everyone, we will all have the same mentality, it will be amazing!
Reality: There will be people you just don't get on with, same with in any place you go to. There will be people you don't see eye to eye with on particular topics. But when you find those friends that you get on with and have things in common with, believe me when I say they will be friends for life. Uni is tough and you can feel lonely at times (I have had my fair share of this) but at uni I can almost guarantee you will have a close bunch of people that will pick you up and brush you off!

Expectation: I need to start liking drinking otherwise I won't make friends and I won't have anything in common with people
Reality: You don't need to love drinking to have a good time. I won't lie, drinking is slightly important in Freshers because it is how you feel a bit more comfortable and sociable (in my case anyway, I am sure that is not the same for everyone!). But once you have met some people alcohol really isn't an issue. Most people I know think of uni as a massive piss up where students are rarely sober - I honestly am not a big fan of drinking and I haven't felt left out of anything by not drinking every single weekend and I definitely don't think I am missing out on any of my uni experience!
Work load

Expectation: I am only taking one subject, there can't be that much work!
Reality: Woah. I realised how naive I was with this expectation but I really did get it in my head that I wouldn't have a lot of work. If you are going to uni because you think it will be easy, you are wrong. From my point of view anyway! Personally each year I have had 9 pieces of coursework and 7 exams, worked really hard, felt exhausted and got stressed out with grades. It is a big jump and a lot to get used to but it is definitely worth it for the pride you feel in the end.
Being a grown up

Expectation: I can't wait to be independent, make my own decisions and live in my own house!
Reality: Independence is hard and time consuming. You have to think about bills, taking out the bins, food shopping etc. and if something breaks you have to fix it! I do find myself missing a lot of my home comforts (and my cats) but moving out has definitely made me more ready for the real world. It has been tough but I am glad I have learnt all of these 'life lessons' while I am young. I feel prepared now and I definitely think uni was the best way to go about this.
While some of these may sound quite negative I definitely think they are character shaping. I have learnt to budget, think independently about situations, deal with people I don't get on with and manage my stress levels. All of these experiences are personal to me but I feel the general gist can be applied to most uni students!

What has your university experience been like?

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