10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Leaving For University

As someone who is about to embark on their final year at university, I’ve had countless opportunities to reflect on my experience as a typical student. It is safe to say that university life has not been what I ever imagined it would be. 

No matter how ready you think you are, starting your university adventure will bring about heaps of surprises. Here are 10 things to know to help you feel a bit more prepared. 

1. Your student loan money isn’t as much as you think it is 

Whether you get a maximum or minimum, your maintenance loan isn’t as much money as you may think. You’re going to have a lot to pay for. So, before you start splashing your “free” cash on new outfits, gig tickets, or even holidays, make sure the boring stuff is all covered. 

2. Focusing on your mental and physical health is a must 

It’s super important to keep an eye on both your mental and physical health whilst at university, as you won’t have anyone reminding you to take a breather. Planning your days, keeping on top of your workload, being sociable, and having some time to yourself all help. If you do find yourself struggling, don’t be afraid to talk about it. 

3. The library will be your best friend 

The thought of sitting in a library for an entire day may turn your stomach, but once the assignments start piling up you won’t be spending your time anywhere else. University libraries are jampacked with everything you’d ever need to complete assignments. Not to mention, they offer a quie space without distractions. So, try not to write the library off to quickly. 

4. First year does count 

There will always be those who will spend their first year skipping lectures, putting in minimum effort, and spending their whole first year partying; all under the assumption that first year doesn’t matter. Your first year is essential for getting used to university life and in giving you the tools you will need to succeed during the rest of your uni career. 

5. You won’t be living it up every night 

When I first went to university, I was under the assumption that I would be stumbling home every night at 3 am. This was far from the truth. There will be nights when you fancy getting into your pjs with a cuppa and watching a good film. Don’t feel pressured into living the uni stereotype. 

6. You may not get on with everyone and that’s ok 

Making friends at university can be daunting. You will be surrounded by people from different backgrounds to your own. Try not to feel downhearted if you clash with certain characters. In the real world, you’re not going to get on with everyone you encounter. It’s normal so don’t let it bother you. 

7. You don’t have to join every society 

During fresher’s week, you are bound to be bombarded by every society and sports team, all pitching their club to you. Don’t feel pressured into joining every society or team. If there isn’t any that you’re interested in, then that’s fine. There are many other things to do around campus in your spare time. 

8. Be as sociable as possible 

If I could only give out one piece of advice to freshers it would be to talk to anyone and everyone. Being sociable is vital at university. Your own company is good at times, but loneliness at university hits hard. So, go out with your flatmates, make group chats with your course mates, and get out of your room as much as possible… even if you just go and grab a coffee from Starbucks. 

9. You’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone 

You’ll soon realise that university life is completely different from anything you’ve previously experienced. Along the way, there will be situations when you are forced to do something out of the ordinary. Whether its presenting to your whole course, talking to strangers, or even just going food shopping, university is bound to challenge you. 

10. Make every second count 

Corny I know, but your university years will be the best of your life. No matter what is thrown your way throughout your three or four years of study, never waste a moment.

Karis Nash

Lifestyle Writer

Aspiring writer and animal lover, Karis, is a 20-year-old media student from the UK. If not found indulging in a chai latte and reading Vogues latest edition, you may find Karis walking around central London with a camera in her hands. She loves to travel and wishes to discover all that the world has to offer.

  1. That’s a wonderful insight to Uni life Karis. I’ve never been, so hadn’t appreciated how a student might feel on occasions. Well done.

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