Day #45 Guest Post: 7 Common Misconceptions about University

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

 

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27 Comments

  1. Kayleigh Zara
    September 4, 2017 / 17:06

    These are some great tips! I do think you do need to sort your second year accommodation out quite quickly though especially in my university town they tend to run or of student houses very quickly! Totally agree with the others on the list though x

    Kayleigh Zara http://www.kayleighzaraa.com

    • September 5, 2017 / 20:37

      Aww thanks Kayleigh! Every uni is different I suppose – I went to quite a big uni so every year there were thousands of unfilled beds and rooms! Crazy!

      Chloe x

  2. September 4, 2017 / 17:09

    I’ve never heard of Freshers Week — American universities don’t have anything like that! And I found that #2 was true of far too many of the guys at my university…ugh!

    xx
    Emily
    emilyhallock.blogspot.com

  3. September 4, 2017 / 17:10

    Another great post on university!! My cousin starts this month and so ill be sending these types of posts over to her – we keep making jokes that she will live off pot noodles the whole time!!

    Sarah | http://www.sazsinclair.com xx

    • September 5, 2017 / 20:37

      So glad you found the tips useful! The other 7 are posted on my blog 🙂 good luck to your cousin!

      Chloe x

  4. Becky Shannon Farrar
    September 4, 2017 / 17:13

    I start University on the 25th, I’ll be in my third year which is so nerve wracking ah, esp with dissertation and the rest of the work load. For me I didn’t want to move out, I’m a very anxious person and being at home is where I’m most comfortable, my uni is local which is great! I deffo agree that you meet your friends for life, I’ve met my two best mates there and I know their life long friends! Xx
    Becky Shannon xx – Life-by-Becky

    • September 5, 2017 / 20:38

      Good luck Becky, you will smash final year! It’ll go so fast! So glad you feel the same way about meeting friends for life at uni.

      Chloe x

  5. September 4, 2017 / 17:13

    My freshers week was a fortnight and I think I missed 3-4 nights (including weekends). Looking back on it I have no idea how I did it at all, I couldn’t do that now. I don’t remember being that scared to leave home as I never really got home sick but I definitely gained so much more independence living away from home. I always tell people that I could never go to uni in my own town, I’d have to move away and would recommend it to everyone.
    Lois x
    http://www.lifeasloismay.wordpress.com

    • September 5, 2017 / 20:40

      Omg Lois mine was the same haha – a full fortnight and I don’t even know if I missed more than 2 nights?! My flatmate got freshers flu because of it and had the same chesty cough all year! Absolutely mad – freshers is like another world isn’t it.

      Chloe x

  6. September 4, 2017 / 17:16

    I agree with this post so much! Everyone’s uni experience is different and so people shouldn’t always believe everything they head!

  7. September 4, 2017 / 17:20

    I believed most of these as well – and some can actually be true, I think! It all depends on your personality, though 🙂

  8. September 4, 2017 / 17:26

    Hi, great tips indeed don’t forget the day time events as part of freshers week, it can be hard work but fun at the same time oh and you can definitely meet and stay in touch with friends after you leave.

  9. September 4, 2017 / 17:30

    Over here we don’t have anything like freshers week (or maybe I just completely missed it, ha!), but it sounds very interesting. It must be such a great way to meet new people and get acquainted with all different aspects of university life! I have to say that I didn’t move out to attend my uni because it’s only a ~15 minute commute by train and it didn’t really seem worth it, but you’re right when you say that moving away helps with becoming independent – after my 5-month study abroad (in Italy), I noticed a huge difference in my behaviour.

    xoxo
    Freya
    tgifreya.wordpress.com

    • September 5, 2017 / 20:43

      Freshers week really is bizarre haha! Just endless events day after day – it is good to meet people and find your way around uni! So lovely that you studied in Italy – I did too! 🙂

      Chloe x

  10. September 4, 2017 / 17:30

    Loved this most – all very true! Except about Freshers Week, I didn’t go out at all. I go to my local University so I had to rely on lifts/expensive taxis etc, I’m local but not on any bus routes, or living in halls a 10 minute walk away.

    xo Millie
    http://www.modishrambling.com

  11. September 4, 2017 / 17:31

    Great post! I’m from the States and went to uni in Georgia but got my masters in the UK and I found the uni culture to be so different but so similar. It’s cool to have experienced both; however, I felt old when I did my masters cause I was over the whole “going out” thing

  12. September 4, 2017 / 17:33

    Such a useful post for anyone starting uni and feeling unsure about it. I’m in my third year and I definitely could have used this kind of advice when I was worrying about what Uni would be like in freshers etc. I agree with a lot of what you mentioned, especially about friendships and not stressing too much and letting things come naturally. xo Rumaanah

  13. September 4, 2017 / 17:41

    I can relate to so many of the points you made here! Although I dropped out of uni after my first year, I was do glad I tried because it was a great experience. Also I agree with the friends for life part, the people I stayed in halls with I’m still really close with now even though we’re scattered all over the world lol!

    • September 4, 2017 / 17:47

      Aww, thank you so much Lauren! That is so nice of you x

  14. September 4, 2017 / 17:47

    Loved this post! I’ve just graduated and it’s insane how many misconceptions there are surrounding university, especially seen as most of the people who believe them are people that haven’t been! Can’t wait to read the post on Chloe’s blog!
    Tara x

    http://taradaniella.com/

    • September 5, 2017 / 20:46

      Thank you Tara! Congratulations on graduating – freshers seems like decades ago now doesn’t it!? The other post is up on my blog 🙂

      Chloe x

  15. September 4, 2017 / 20:09

    I agree with most things except the fact that you will meet “friends for life” at uni.. It all depends on the person you are, I’ve only kept a few friends from uni after leaving and most of my best friends are high school friends.. I also disagree with the fact that you don’t need to find your second year accommodation quickly. It’s not a myth that the best deals/best flats or houses are rented before the others, so if you want to actually choose your new accommodation it’s best to start as early as possible. It also avoids the necessary stress that comes with looking for a place… x

    Kirsty
    http://www.corinneandkirsty.com

    • September 4, 2017 / 22:46

      Maybe it didn’t come across right in what I wrote, but I meant that some friendships forged at university can definitely be those that last a lifetime, but not all will be! So not to try and look for lifelong friends everywhere, as usually they happen by accident anyway!

      And regarding accommodation, I think it really depends on where you go to uni. I went to a huge uni and so a shortage of accommodation can’t really even be an option. There were always thousands of beds left empty every single year, and those stats were provided by Unipol, so not even just marketing from estate agencies.

      Of course – a super plush, city centre apartment is going to be snapped up before others. But in my opinion, and a lot of people’s opinion I think, it can be more vital to live with people who you actually have things in common with, and who will create an enjoyable living experience, rather than having brand new furniture for example – those are the things that matter later in life, but during uni it’s about more than how nice the flat is. And I don’t think ‘best deals’ exist with estate agents haha! They’re always out to get us 😉

  16. September 5, 2017 / 08:32

    yep – fresher’s week was full of so much information i remember finding being hungover was a total ball-ache! i know so many people who didn’t go to any of the taster sessions at all because they were too focussed on going out…and they missed out on so much! most of my best friends at uni i met during that very first week!

    i actually went to a university that was 45 mins from my family home…but i very very rarely ever came back and despite being so close, it felt like a totally different world away! it was so lush though knowing i could be home in 45 if i needed to be, even though i rarely did! i guess everyone’s different, right?

    katie. xx lacoconoire.com

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