10 things I learnt at university

A little insight into everything I think I’ve learnt over the last three years! And basically a way of me saying in a subtle way ‘GO TO UNI YOU WON’T REGRET IT’. Yes. My sister is having to decide in the next few months where she wants to go/if she’ll go, so I’m doing the casual pushy big sister thing. Like everything, it has it’s ups and downs, but it is absolutely amazing. For me at least. So I want to share just a few of the things I’ve learnt here, but I could honestly to go on forever.

And yes, that is us looking super classy with a bottle of Buck’s Fizz.

1. I can spend day after day in bed.

After handing in essays nothing feels better than buying a small mountain of goodies (chocolate, pizza, cake, everything) and getting all tucked up in bed with a good film or TV series. Giving my mind a chance to catch up with all the uni work I’ve just done by doing nothing makes me feel so much better. These days are good when the work gets a bit too much and all you want to do is have a mini breakdown too. They may have happened a few times over the last three years. I have gone through SO many TV series because of these days, not sure I could list all of them. And I don’t regret it one bit.

2. Frantic writing can sometimes be my best writing.

For every essay I write I promise myself to get them done super early, plan loads, and write the best piece of writing I possibly can. Does this happen? Nah. Don’t be silly. I’m good at the planning part! I could seriously spend months planning an essay if I was allowed to. Seeing as I normally have about three essays due over like two days I tend to get like one and a half written in plenty of time, and my last essay gets written two days beforehand. But honestly, my grade has never suffered for it. I think writing it all in one go made my mind wander less so it probably ends up flowing better than my other essays. So don’t worry too much if you’re short for time! A day or two to hammer it out sometimes works out better.

3. Take away food can fix everything.

Now, I can cook. Let me just get that out of the way for starters. Every few weeks though I get the biggest craving for pizza or Chinese or Indian. Y’know how it just has that taste to it that says ‘you did not cook this’? Yes, making things for yourself is better for you, but sometimes all I want is something that tastes like it should be bad for me. And it is just so so satisfying. Having flatmates who share this idea are also the best, then you don’t feel too fat. Who am I kidding, we always feel really fat afterwards, but it’s more comforting when you have someone there to lie on the sofa with and complain about how full your belly is.

4. Part time jobs aren’t the be all and end all.

I didn’t have one in first year, but I have the last two years. One job waitressing and two in cinemas. Just for the experience rather than money. I’d say the best thing about my job is the people I work with. I know that’s such a cliche but at the first two jobs I just didn’t have any fun at all because of the people there. Y’know the kind who don’t seem to like newbies and make you WELL AWARE they don’t like outsiders coming into their social work circle. Yeah, that sucks a bit. But at my current one, even though most people have been there for over three years, everyone includes everyone. It feels really good to look forward to working so I can find out the latest news and have a laugh. So basically, don’t be in your job for the money! Really try to make friends because you’ll probably spend more time with them than your flatmates. And make any newbies feel like one of the gang, I know they’ll truly appreciate it.

5. I suck at weekly reading.

Every semester I tell myself that I’m going to do ALL the reading for each week so I can know everything for the seminars. It is a great idea in theory, I just don’t have the time! Anyone who says they get it all done, as well as all essays to a high standard, are lying. I don’t have time to read two novels, two theory chapters, three articles, AND work on things that are actually assessed. Priorities, man. Work on them grades!

6. I’m pretty awesome at saving money.

I know I sound like the weirdest student ever for this, but I just don’t understand how people end up with no money! My parents are in the lowest income bracket so I get the maximum amount of student finance, but still. I just don’t get it. I’m saving literally hundreds of pounds each year because I just don’t be silly with it. I see flatmates going out for breakfast most days then Starbucks a couple of times a day. THAT’S where the money goes! Little things you don’t really need to spend money on. I’m happy with my toast and juice, thank you very much! But seriously, give yourself a budget (mine is £40 a week for food and travel), and you’ll be fine! If you stick to it that is. Then you end up saving and can treat yourself to tings that last, like clothes! I’ve had plenty of cheeky splurges on ASOS and boohoo.

7. My railcard is a life-saver.

Since I go to uni over 200 miles away from home, and the boyf’s family lives another 200 miles away on top of that, train travel has become an essential. For anyone in a similar boat, I’d definitely recommend buying a railcard. I ended up saving more on the first ticket I bought with it than the card itself cost to buy. So yeah, so worth the money in the long run! Same with your student card, use it whilst you can!

8. My confidence has increased tenfold.

This probably sounds like a cliche thing to say but it’s true. In first year I would purposely avoid going to the kitchen at certain times so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone, and just two years later I spend all day in the kitchen doing uni work without a care in the world. I don’t know exactly what happened. I guess getting used to living with strangers makes you get over the fear eventually.

9. I know who my real friends are.

Going to uni away from home where I know zero people has made me better at figuring out who the genuine people are and who aren’t. Which is super helpful when it comes to things like ‘Who do I live with next year?! Who ate my food??? Who do I ask for this favour?!’ For people who don’t go to uni this probably sounds pretty trivial, but when you’re trying to work out who you want to live with it’s important to know who is going to take your stuff without asking and who is going to be there when you have a breakdown about uni, relationships, family, being homesick, and wanting chocolate for dinner. Because life.

10. It’s the greatest experience I’ve ever had.

I could probably moan about uni for a long time. The cost, the people, the workload, no space in the library, buses being late, cooking for one. But I could go on for just as long about all the good stuff. Its about learning to thrive off all the bad stuff, learn from it, and meet some pretty amazing people along the way to help you. The memories you make are incredible, so remember to take so many pictures. I couldn’t recommend uni enough, easily the best decision I ever made. I may not be prepared at all for what lies after, but never mind! I’ll just enjoy it whilst it lasts.

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