September 2, 2019, by Alina
Expectations vs Reality of Student Life
Whether you’re getting ready to head into your first or final year at Uni, we’ve all heard the same comments from family and friends over summer such as ‘Enjoy your last proper meal before going back on the noodles’ or ‘Why are you tired? Did you too much partying this term?’. However, everyone has different experiences at Uni and it’s worth acknowledging that not all of the student stereotypes are true. In this post, I hope to de-bunk some of the assumptions I had of student life before starting Uni!
Expectation: I will create a revision schedule and stick to it
Reality: 13 hour long revision days leading up to exams
You’ve worked so hard to get into Uni, you’ve got the grades, and now you’re finally starting your first semester learning about new topics – it’s all very exciting until you realise just how much there is to do on the social side, as well as the academic side. Societies and part-time jobs can end up taking over your life (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!) however it can leave you tired when it comes down to studying in advance for your exams. This often leads to panic-studying in the weeks leading up to the exams, and we all know that too much caffeine is never a good thing!
My advice: make a note of upcoming deadlines and pin it up somewhere so that you can always see it. That way, even if you don’t end up sticking to your strict revision schedule, you won’t get a nasty surprise the day before a deadline!
Expectation: I will make my student loan last all semester
Reality: Fun and spontaneous activities are expensive 🙁
We all know the feeling of when your first instalment of the student loan drops and it feels SO good. Who needs this much money anyway, right? Until you start realising that the majority of it will go on rent, the many coursebooks that cost way more than a weeks worth of food, and having fun nights out with your pals can add up (even though they are necessary to keep you sane). If you’re about to start Uni, make sure you have a good idea of your likely expenses and set up a rough weekly budget to stick to – you’ll thank yourself at the end of term!
My advice: Look at some one-off temporary jobs that you can do around campus – it’ll help you out money-wise without requiring weekly time commitments.
Expectation: I can’t cook so I will invest in only pasta, noodles and beans
Reality: My housemate somehow knows how to make a risotto?
I know that everyone jokes that students can’t cook, and don’t get me wrong, I still have friends in their early 20s who struggle to make a cheese toastie without setting the fire alarm off. BUT, cooking can actually save you a lot of pennies in the long run, especially if you make a big batch of something to last you the week! I also started Uni absolutely petrified of my own cooking skills, which only increased when I left catered-accommodation in first year. However, in second year I gradually experimented with making food taste just that little bit better, and now I adore cooking in my spare time.
My advice: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Or try to become housemates with someone who already has a passion for cooking, they might even inspire you 😉