10 Misconceptions about University

81981-10misaboutuniUniversity is often renowned for the student lifestyle. The Devil-may-care attitude. The parties. And above all the drinking. From my own experiences, there are so many stereotypes about university and students that you hear everyday, very few of which are completely true. Though it should be remembered that everyones experiences are completely different, here is a list of 10 Misconceptions about life at University that people don’t always know.

1. Every night is party night.
One of the most common stereotypes of the student lifestyle, is one of excess. Drinking and clubbing are envisioned as the most popular pass time for a University student, but honestly this just depends on the person. Sure there are times when students have to blow off some steam and go have some fun, but it’s not party central every night. Chances are that if it is, those who take part won’t last very long at uni. Generally for those people, it’s only Fresher’s week which is mentally full of parties and nights out. It calms down when lectures start with a maximum of maybe 1 or 2 a week if your hard core. But everyone has to sleep at some point and sometimes a night in with your friends with some pizza and a film, is more enjoyable. 
 
2. You must drink to have fun and make friends.
I can not say enough that this is not true at all. Many come to university with the understanding that to be considered ‘cool’ or ‘fun to hang out with’ you must drink or take drugs. This is not true. If this is not who you are, then you will not make friends with likeminded people this way. Its far better to go into university as you are. If you go in as someone else, you will make friends with people who you may not necessarily want to be friends with. I went into university, from day one, and outwardly said that I wasn’t going to drink unless I wanted to. This lead me to the best friends I could have ever made. They never pushed me to drink, even when we went on nights out. There are hundreds of ways to make friends at university, you don’t have to be someone else to do so.
 
3. Fresher’s week is your best chance to make friends.
It is no secret that Fresher’s week is one of the most exciting weeks of university life, but it is in no way the most important. For those unaware, fresher’s week is the first week of university, before classes begin, where new students attend events and parties to get to know new people and settle in to university life. That doesn’t mean that Freshers week is the only week for making friends. When it comes to friends, you are more likely to meet more, similar people in the first week of classes, when you meet your course mates and go to society events. Thats not to say freshers week isn’t about making friends, it is, but there is more to it than that. There are also sports club taster sessions, society fairs and lots of free goodies. Its not only about making friends, its about expanding your horizon and views.
 
4. Students are always broke.
Okay, so maybe this one can be true, but only for those who don’t pay attention. It’s really easy in this day and age, to just flash your card against a contactless card reader and spend £20 here and there, but after a while this adds up. Not to mention how expensive textbooks can be. But, for the majority of students, as long as you’re careful and you don’t waste money on what you don’t need, you’ll be okay. There are ways around spending lots of money, some of which we will cover in some up-coming blog posts so do keep an eye out. The bottom line is, students are not always broke, as long as they don’t get a McDonalds every day or go blow their loan the day it comes in!
5. The student diet bases around pasta and takeaways.
Pasta is a great source of sustenance for many students, even I admit to cooking up a bowl with some butter or quick sauce when I couldn’t be bother to cook a real dinner. It’s cheap and quick. However, that doesn’t mean that they live off it. In fact, there is a variety of quick and cheap meals on offer for students such as, cereal, rice, jacket potatoes and stir fry. A lot of students also opt for the meal plan or catered option for their first year, which can definitely offer more variety. 
When it comes to takeaways, they are great once in a while, however its much cheaper to cook for yourself. Takeaways mostly make an appearance when it comes to exam and study periods, purely as a time saver. I think in my entire first year I got 4 takeaways in all, ¾ of those being at the end of the year around exam period. However, Jenny ended up purchasing around 25 takeaways in her first year.
6. Your flatmates will become like your family.
When you move in to your university halls and accommodation, a lot of people assume that your flatmates are going to be like your family and everyone will get on really well. From personal experience I can tell you that you won’t always get on with your flatmates. Sometimes they will use your things without asking, they might break them. They might hog the bathroom (if its shared) and steal your food. In my first year, my flatmates and I barely talked and never went out together. When I went to uni and I found myself disappointed. Why was it that you always here of these flatmates that became best friends, but we barely talked? As I started to talk more and more with my friends and other course mates I realised I wasn’t alone. In fact out of all of my friends, only 1 of them got on well with their flatmates. Its completely luck of the draw.
7.  Second year accommodation must be arranged as soon as possible.
This was a misconception that I made the mistake of falling for. Many landlords and renting agencies put out this idea that if you want to get the best houses next year you need to grab them super early. They do this so they can sell their properties quicker, but honestly its a myth. Properties become available only as the current tenants decide not to continue there for another year. You should only start looking for a second year property when you are comfortable with the people who you want to live with; after all you will be living with them for at least 9 months. If you’re looking for a good indicator as to when to look, find out when your university or guild is putting on their accommodation fair. They usually take place around November/December and are usually very helpful with everything from house to bills.

8. University living is easy and no housework is necessary. 

Moving out of your parents house can be tough. You get all these new responsibilities that can be hell, but need to be done. When you move into university halls, its easy to forget that the floor needs to be hoovered and the laundry must be done, especially with some universities get the communal areas done for you. Yet, it still needs to be done.

9. First year is super easy.

This is a well known myth, often supported by the olden generation (thanks dad!), and it is absolutely not true. A lot of people are going to university to study something new or far more advanced than what they have already studied and university courses can be tricky. For some reason, students tend to believe that lectures, seminars and reading lists are unnessessary to pass the first year, that all you need is 40% which you can get by signing your own name. University is hard work. Even the first year requires some hard work. Some late nights in the library are bound to happen. After all, you are at university for the degree and the course, not the fun.

10. First year doesn’t matter.

This kind of goes side by side with our last point, but this is probably the most important of these points. Again, many believe that 1st year does not matter at all. Once again this is not true. It is a myth. The first year of university is one of the most important years of university. In your first year, you are making your first impressions on your tutor, who will be the ones to open up all the doors in your future. If you make a bad first impression on them, they will be unlikely to offer you the best opportunities and give the to people who worked harder in their first year. Not to mention grades. Most think they can get through 1st year with a passing grade, but most forget that they need at least an average of 60% for a lot of future modules and opportunities, like studying abroad.
Your first year is important, don’t throw it away.


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