15 things graduates wish they had known about university
#1 Your loan is never really enough
Think about it, after you’ve paid for accommodation, food, university books and a few cheeky nights out here and there, your loan tends to be pretty non-existent.
Most graduates advise on searching for student jobs as soon as you get to university as there are plenty of vacancies as the semester begins!
#2 Living on fast food is a terrible, terrible idea
Living on fast food for your whole experience as a student is never a good idea. Not only is the whole venture incredibly expensive, it’s also super bad for your health.
Also, it’s handy to come out of university with the knowledge to cook at least one meal from scratch- and you definitely won’t be able to do that if all you’ve been doing for the past three years is heading to burger king.
#3 Every night doesn’t have to be a student night
Remember that every night does not have to be a student night.
If you don’t want to go out, then don’t do it! There can definitely be nights spent watching movies, chilling in the lounge of the accommodation corridor, or even just spending the evening by yourself phoning and chatting to home.
#4 There is nothing wrong with asking for help
Many students wish they had asked for help when they could, instead of simply suffering in silence.
Whether it’s due to stress, workload or just general worry, asking for help and guidance should never be avoided.
#5 Not every week is like fresher’s week
It’s important to bear in mind that not every single week is like Fresher’s week.
Although you’ll probably be drinking and partying in first year, the post fresher’s week crash can be a little debilitating so it’s always good to settle your mind set into the impending university week.
Get you bearing, seek out key buildings and know exactly where you are going to ensure that on the first day- you’re ready for anything.
#6 All-nighters are and always will be, a terrible, terrible idea
Trust all the graduates out there, all-nighters are and always will be a terrible idea. Although you might not have anything to do the next day, the experience can definitely mess up your body clock, affect mental health and, unless you are specifically adapted to work under intense stress and sleep deprivation, will probably end in a rather terrible piece of work…
#7 University is in no way like school
University is in no way like school. The learning is much more independent, the teaching is rather sparse and the whole experience takes a lot more self-determination- something that plenty of graduates wish they had known before they started!
#8 Work experience is brilliant, don’t take it for granted
Work experience, although at times a bore, can also be super invaluable-so make sure that you don’t take it for granted!
Even just a quick taster day here and there can look really great on your CV so make sure you take all the opportunities that you can.
#9 Those non-compulsory lectures are also good
Likewise with non-compulsory lectures, although it’s often easy to just not turn up, they’re super important and can be a great time to chat to your lecturer one-on-one, an apparent privilege that you have to normally head to their office hours for.
#10 It’s okay to change your dreams
It’s completely OK to change your goals, dreams and ambitions!
There are students that change their degree options multiple times before settling into what they really want to do.
Likewise, it’s perfectly OK to leave university if you feel that the whole venture just isn’t for you.
#11 Pants are important, washing is hard
Washing is like, really hard.
To avoid the pressure of forking out lots of money on the dorm washing machines, pack lots and lots of pants to avoid the embarrassment of running out! This way you’ll only have to do washing a few times a month…surely?
#12 First year does actually count, kind of
Although you might have plenty of students telling you that first year doesn’t actually court, it’s handy to bear in mind that it kind of does! First year grades are usually used to correlate if you end up appealing your marks further into second and third year, you also don’t want to drop below forty per cent because you’ll end up failing the year.
#13 Don’t be taken advantage of
It feels like as soon as people see the word student they start preying! When it comes to renting, don’t let yourself be taken advantage of and know you rights. There were plenty of graduates that we spoke to who felt that their student status was regularly exploited.
#14 You’ll probably regret the things that you don’t end up doing
Let’s face it, according to the vast majority of graduates, it’s usually the things you don’t do that you’ll probably end up regretting. Although this might sound awfully cliché, university is the one time when you don’t have that many responsibilities. So, if you fancy heading off for a year abroad, swimming with sharks or sky diving, hey, why not?
#15 Make sure you explore your home town, you don’t want to be a ‘one road’ student
Make the most of your student city. You do not want to be the one student who refuses to deviate from the main student road that is home to their university, we’re looking at you Manchester students, there’s more to life than Oxford Road!