This is a guest post by Andrew Williams for Pure Student Living, who provide luxurious student accommodation for students across London.
Ask anyone about their university experience and itís likely theyíll start reminiscing about times they spent making friends in a new city, the knowledge they gained from tutors, and the wild times they had when they weren't in lectures or seminars - which, letís be honest, is quite a lot of time.
University is great. Thereís no doubt about that. Although, letís not forget the more stressful moments: looming coursework deadlines, mounting revision and trying to find a job at the end of it all.
If youíre British and staying in the UK to study, or are coming to the UK as a foreign student, here are five things youíll definitely experience.
1.) Meeting like-minded people
From the moment you set foot in your shared accommodation to your first seminar or course night out, there are plenty of opportunities to make friends with like-minded people. Embrace every second, whether thatís introducing yourself on your first day or speaking to as many of your coursemates as you can.
Get involved in as many different extracurricular activities as time allows. Try something new that youíve never tried before, whether thatís hiking, creative writing or chess. You never know, you might discover a passion for a hobby you never envisioned you would. And the friends you make along the way? They could be friends for life.
2.) Exploring a completely new city
Getting lost is all part of the journey, and itís something youíll spend a lot of time doing in a completely new city (or country if youíre a foreign student).
Each British city has its own nuances: London seems to have small, suburban villages that merge into each other; Edinburgh has its grandiose boulevards; Manchester, despite having the biggest student population in the UK, is surprisingly small; and then Brighton is completely unique with its seafront and Victorian piers.
Wherever you end up, the sense of discovery you feel after youíve unpacked will be like nothing else youíve felt before. Read up on whatís happening, such as the best coffee shops, art galleries or pubs, and go from there Ė really discover the nooks and crannies of your city.
3.) Revision taking over your life
It wonít take long before the realisation sets in that youíve got lots to learn. Youíll have a mountain of reading material to get through, and it wonít read itself. Revision will take over your life. Youíll spend ever-increasing amounts of time sat in the library, or during the summer youíll most likely spend time sat out on the grass jotting down notes rather than enjoying the sunshine.
Take it from us, getting bogged down in revision and becoming worked up is too easy. So break it down into manageable chunks and take regular breaks, to avoid you getting too stressed out by it all.
4.) Wondering why you didnít write your references down as you went along
This is a mistake most (if not all) university students through time have made at some point or other. Before university, you probably didnít need to refer back to everything you quoted in an essay. Well, at university, things are different.
Dissertations require you to keep a record Ė references or a bibliography Ė of all the places you looked to for research. For your sake, do this as you go along. Trust us, weíve been there and know how much of a struggle it is to try and remember everything. No matter how much you think you will, you wonít!
5.) Wondering where the time has gone
Before you know it youíll be celebrating and throwing your mortarboard up into the air along with your coursemates. Of course, youíll get help from friends, family and connections youíve made during your course, but itís up to you to take the next step and get a job.
The time will have whizzed by, but thatís nothing compared to the years after you graduate. It might seem silly now, but before long youíll be the person offering advice to budding students who are in the same position youíre in now.
Finally, the best thing you can do is enjoy it. Make the most of every second you spend at university.