I would like to welcome you all to Claire’s Year university week!! How exciting is this? I have been looking forward to sharing with you some blog posts I have to help us all get prepared for university life. I have advice posts, interviews and mini hauls too! But today, the lovely Chloe from wanderwomanco.com has teamed up with me on this post all about university myths and misconceptions. Chloe has already gone to university and graduated so she is the perfect girl to ask which of these myths are true and which are just a little bit of rubbish. Half of the myths are here on my blog and the other half are on hers so I will link her post at the bottom so you can also go over and read her post too. So, let’s get started!
1. Freshers week is just one massive party where everyone goes out, makes friends with everybody and is drunk for 7 days straight
A: There is no doubt that at the majority of universities in the UK, Freshers week is one huge night out. Though a lot of people go out every single night to get to know the city and the union, in my own experience a lot of people did a couple of nights in a row, took a night off and then a few more nights out towards the end of the week too. Some people might go out every other night – it really is up to you and there is no pressure to go out every night, but it’s definitely a great way to get to know your flatmates (you will be living with for the rest of the year!).
The other thing to remember is that there are daytime events too. Taster sessions with different societies, the Freshers Fair where lots of sports teams and societies will set up a stand so you can learn more about what it would be like to be a part of that society. It’s pretty important to make it to these events too – even if you’re hungover.
2. Everyone’s hygiene levels plummet and hardly anyone cleans up after themselves
A: There is reason why people tend to think this about university students. I didn’t come across anyone at uni who had a spotless flat/room/house through their entire degree. In 1st year particularly, you can be a bit overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything – making it to those 9am lectures after a night out, going to the gym, maybe training with a team, socials… and so sometimes things get messy.
Everyone is different and the scale to which this ‘myth’ is true will therefore differ. In my own experience, I lived with a few people who were just untidy (clothes left out, the odd mug on their desk, leaving washing up for a day or so) but also knew people who actually seemed to give up on personal hygiene altogether. As long as other people’s messiness doesn’t infringe on your own space or make too much mess in communal spaces, this is one of the things you tend to have to learn to live with at university. The good news is that things change pretty rapidly after 1st and 2nd year, people knuckle down and spend more time studying through final year, so in general I found people were also tidier.
3. You should move away for university if you want to have the “full uni experience”
A: I don’t think this is a myth, but it also depends on your own personality and what you feel comfortable with. Some people don’t feel at ease moving hundreds of miles away from home for university, and so they might move out but still attend their local university. I met lots of people at the University of Leeds who had grown up in the areas surrounding Leeds city centre, places like Harrogate, Doncaster etc. Other people might choose not to move out at all, whether this is to save money or because they don’t want to leave home (and the comforts of having food cooked for you!).
I would say that moving away from your family home, especially if you are attending university straight out of school at 18, is empirical in gaining independence. I cringe when I think of the meals I cooked myself in 1st year but that’s the way you learn. Having to actually take care of yourself (to the point where you see people getting ill because they’re not taking enough care of themselves) is a good incentive to learn.
4. Everyone lives on takeaways and pot noodles
A: Diets do suffer when you want to cook quickly and efficiently. I know I put a hugeee amount of weight on during first year, not really because I was eating takeaways a lot but just cooking rubbish frozen food like chicken nuggets. It’s easy to sink into this state where you have loads to do so things like cleanliness (see above) and diet become lower priorities. It seems weird to say it but it is true!
You quickly learn how to cook a little more nutritionally and how to shop more effectively though because the chicken nugget diet can’t last forever.
5. You meet your friends for life at uni
A: Not a myth at all – this is one of the greatest parts of university.
Some people seem to be aware of this from the outset and so are almost on the lookout for those ‘friends for life’, which is just not how it works. Friendships tend to stem where you don’t expect them, so be friendly and open throughout and you’ll probably be surprised by who stays around. Not everyone you live with (especially those you live with!) will become a good friend, not every course-mate will be a lifelong friendship, but the beauty of university is that you will definitely find your type of people throughout your time there.
6. University is so much work and is so stressful
A: A degree is a lot of work. At times it is stressful, but at other times it is exciting, hilarious, intense, helpful, interesting, educational, eye-opening, difficult. Going to university *literally* opens your mind, you think in different ways to how you did before.
To expect your university life to not be hard work, and to be surprised at the stressful times, is naive. Nothing worth doing is only ever great fun. To get to university you’ve probably just finished your A Levels – stressful, manic, hard work. There’s a balance in everything, but if you expect good results then yes, it can be a lot of work and late nights.
7. You need to sort out your second year accommodation quickly
A: This is a myth. You can sort out your accommodation for 2nd year as quickly as you like, but this makes very little to no difference on the quality of the accommodation or the price of rent you will pay.
It’s also difficult to know if you will enjoy living with the people you live with in 1st year so early on in the term. I would recommend to start thinking about 2nd year houses in the January, as this gives you time to make friends on your course, in societies and elsewhere. The standard of most student housing is the same, so you won’t be missing out on the ‘really nice’ places if you don’t get it sorted quickly.
Take it easy and make sure you’re asking your parents for advice and help – it’s pretty easy to be fooled into paying for unnecessary extras when it’s the first time you’re renting a place!
If you would like to learn about other myths about university life then you can go over to Chloe’s blog HERE and have a read!
I would like to say thank you to Chloe for getting involved with my university week. It hasn’t only been lovely to have a post written by you but it has been amazing to have someone who has already completed university share their wisdom. I fully recommend going over to Chloe’s blog and giving it a read because she is an incredible writer.
I hope you have all enjoyed this blog post and I will see you tomorrow with day #46 / day #2 of university week!
Where to find Chloe:
Blog – wanderwomanco.com
Instagram – instagram.com/wanderwomanco
Twitter – twitter.com/wanderwomanco
Pinterest – pinterest.com/chloeboston1