student life

7 things I wish I’d known before university

So I’m well into my second year at university and it’s safe to say that I’ve learnt a few things whilst being here.

So I’m well into my second year at university and it’s safe to say that I’ve learnt a few things whilst being here. Looking back, I wish there had been a list of things that I knew before starting this new chapter.

I wouldn’t change anything about my time at university so far but there are still some things I would have liked to have known…

You don’t have to buy everything on your reading list even if your tutors stress its importance.

In my first year, I bought loads of books that I didn’t even read and now they are either sitting in my desk drawer gathering dust or have been sold on to others. Go to the library and look for online versions of books. Simpler and cheaper.

You won’t go out at night until at least 11.30pm.

Being from a small town in a Southern county, we used to go out at around 7pm and be home for 1am—a great night out for us. Well I was shocked during Freshers Week when we didn’t leave our flat until 11.30 and got home at 4. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever get over the initial surprise of that one.

Sadly you won’t stay in touch with friends back at home.

The ‘I’ll come and visit you every month’ and ‘Ring you every Sunday’ soon faded and I now regularly only speak to one friend from home.

You will have a lot of spare time.

Get a hobby, join a club or volunteer. Sitting and watching Jeremy Kyle whilst eating a whole packet of biscuits soon gets boring. Trust me.

Extra-curricular activities are usually looked upon better than your course.

For instance, if you’re doing a media course, get involved with the student radio, TV and newspapers. These are what companies look for and this is what will enhance your employability.

You don’t need to rush to find second year accommodation.

As soon as Freshers is finished, you’ll hear rumours that all the best flats have gone and if you leave it too late then you’ll have to live miles away. This is absolutely not the case. We signed for our flat in October/November and even by March the following year there were flats left. Take your time, look at different letting agencies and choose carefully who you’re going to live with.

You will soon be drinking gallons of alcohol and abusing your body with pizza and kebabs.

I was quickly able to drink Tesco Value spirits and participate in vile drinking games even though I previously thought that is wasn’t really ‘my thing’.

Overall, your time at university should be filled with fun and good memories. Take the chance to do as much as possible. Make friends, go out, have a laugh and don’t take life too seriously. However, remember that you came to study for a degree, so as well as going out, concentrate on your work, and don’t leave things until the last minute!

Oh, and take lots of pictures.

What do you think? What would you add? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: francisco_osorio / Flickr