To those who have yet to encounter university life, it sure seems like a huge unknown. Understandably, Many are concerned about what it will be like when they show up, and this isn’t helped by the many typical fallacies about the university experience. Indeed, it’s impossible to tell precisely what your personal university experience will be like–there is too many volatiles, such as which university you get in, where you live, which course you take, your own self, and so on. But what is true is that there are some elements that virtually all pupils will come to understand or realize at some point of a time during their university life. In this article, we take you through a few facts about university life to encourage you to gain a better rational view of what it’s going to be like, and we believe this will calm your fears
1. Professors are people too You’ll probably have more in common with your lecturers than you expect. Many students–as they go to university for the 1st time–are predisposed to identify their professors intimidating. This fear appears indeed before they get to university because they’re often reluctant (whether they understand it or not) of the admissions tutors who will read their personal statement. This dread is simply overcome by recognizing that professors are people too. They have a life of their own beyond the university atmosphere; They have a family, colleagues, and hobbies, and they’re subject to the same problems, struggles, complications as everybody else is. They are individual and experience the same kind of human emotions as you: they’re just as good of being exhausted, frustrated, pleasant or miserable as you. Remember this in your dealings with them, whether it’s composing a personal statement that they would find attractive, chatting to them in Freshers’ Week over a cup of coffee, or debating academic matters with them in class. They’re not there to scare you, and you will almost surely discover that you have a better easy-going relationship with your professors at university than you did with your teachers at school Everybody is just as anxious to make friends as you are When you’re new to the university atmosphere, and you don’t know anybody, it can occasionally seem as though everyone else is better switched on than you, that they have something you don’t, or that they’re somehow better at making acquaintances than you. This is not the situation. Everybody is in the same ship as you, and everyone’s just as keen to make friends like you. If you walk into a place and everybody seems to be Talking to each other and already to be best buddies, don’t be deceived: they’re perhaps just as afraid inside as you are, and this external appearance of confidence is perhaps only skin-deep. Apply this knowledge to relieve yourself, and pluck up the grit to go and say hello–they’ll almost surely be as cheerful as you are that you did.
The medic on campus has seen everything before
medic are, as a rule, unshockable. Many students will, at some point of time or another, be struck by some ailment, which is why it’s advisable to sign up with a GP in your university and to be informed of where the campus medic’s office is. If you’re getting too embarrassed to go and see the medic, remember that they’ve seen all before. It’s much better to bite the bullet and go to the medic than it is to let whatever’s troubling you grow into something that’s tougher to deal with (and that may result into impacting more firmly on your studies).
You will never manage to study everything on the study list
When you’ve been accepted to A-levels, an academy reading list can show up as rather a shock to the structure. But, while a long list of books assuredly looks intimidating when you’re just sitting down to start working through it, commemorate that this is now the only subject you’re studying, so you have a lot of time for getting through the reading list. What’s more, few lecturers would expect you to read everything on it from cover to cover. If there are no page numbers mentioned, it’s because they want you to use your own initiative to find relevant passages yourself. If there are page numbers, but there’s a scary amount of pages to get through, it’s acceptable to skim over the bits that don’t seem relevant to the essay you’re writing. Part of obtaining a university qualification is honing your research techniques, which means learning to sift out relevant material from the rest.
There’s rarely a right or wrong answer
You will notice that there are various degrees of wrongness. A lot of students goes to university hesitant to say anything in classes or discussions because they might “say something incorrect” or be scorned for failing to spot the “Right” answer. In fact, once you go to university, you’ll soon realize that there’s rarely such a thing as a straightforward right or wrong answer. You might have started to assume this at A-level, but university-level work (particularly in the humanities subjects, but also in the sciences) is going to require a lot more consideration, working through various arguments before showing up at a more likely answer, rather than the “right” one per se. This means that your input to the debate is more than possible going to include to the debate in a meaningful way. And, let’s deal with it, anything you say is going to be a lot better than sitting in awkward silence when the lecturer has asked a question to the class and no one else has the courage to say anything.
A part-time job is often a necessity
If you get through university never having had to pick up a part-time work then you’re one of the lucky ones. With tuition fees at an all-time high and the cost of living soaring, it’s a financially more difficult time for students than ever. Universities are unlikely to have a problem with you getting a part-time work to supplement the income you receive from your student loan, providing it doesn’t impact on your studies. It will surely be a balancing act to ensure you have sufficient time for both, but it would provide you with a much-needed injection of cash, as well as more work experience to put on your CV. Many universities have their own job sites, on which both local work and part-time jobs on campus are advertised, so keep a lookout for something that fits with your timetable. It doesn’t have to be anything high-level; bar work, waitressing or manning a desk in the department library are all common student part-time jobs that teach various useful workplace techniques, which can be changed to any working environment.
You will come up with many ways of saving money.
There’s no disgrace in trying to save money as a student. It’s amazing how ingenious you can be when you’re watching the pennies, and as a student, you’ll soon discover a multitude of money-saving tricks. It’s easy to save money as a student because there are so many great student discounts and deals around. You’ll learn where the cheapest places to drink coffee or go out for a meal area, which evening of the week student nights are on, which supermarkets have the best deals, and so on. You’ll learn how to make economical meals, and you’ll find out which discount cards and mailing lists are the ones to be on. And you’ll almost certainly have a purse or wallet bulging with those “buy nine coffees and get your 10th free” coffee shop loyalty cards.
You can’t “wing it” with university work
If you managed to score decent grades in Sixth Form despite doing very little work, don’t expect the same to be true at university–particularly after the first year. The difficulty level of the work you’ll be set will take a big step up, meaning that you must put in a lot of hours if you’re to keep up with it and get a 2.1 or above. At some universities, your grades in the first year determine whether or not you can continue with the degree, so there’s often an element of pressure right from the start. There’s no replacement for long hours put in in the library when completing a degree, and, though it may feel a slog at times, it’s a time you will eventually look back on with nostalgia and pride.
Difficult social situations are as much a part of the university way of life as they are anywhere
Everybody ends up go through like the odd one out sometimes. The older you get, the more you realize that awkward situation are a fact of life, whether you’re at school, university, or in the world of work. There’s just no escaping them, so don’t go to university imagining that it will be a 100% positive social experience; it’s not always as rosy as the stock images of successful students in university prospectuses would have you believe. There will be crowds you get along with less well than you do with others; you might have an awkward romantic encounter with someone whom you then have to attain the lectures the next day; you might inadvertently offend someone or say something you didn’t mean; you might forget someone’s birthday; someone might not invite you to their party; university, like life normally, has the potential for all types of foul-up and social awkwardness. The trick is not to let them get to you too deeply or to spend days agonizing over them, detracting from your studies. Life’s too short to bother about such matters, especially when you have a mountain of work to do!
You name it, there’s a university group dedicated to it.
University is an area where you have the comfort of being able to continue your passion in a particular subject for three years or more, but the subject of your degree is not the sole interest, you can pursue during your undergraduate studies. Most universities have hundreds of societies, clubs and special interest groups available for you to join, which means that it’s a great time to take up a new hobby. You name it, there’s bound to be a society dedicated to it–and if there isn’t, you can ask the student union if you can start your own. Student groups are also a great place to make friends with other like-minded people, which can be a refreshing change when you’re around the same people all the time in halls or for your lectures.
University isn’t just about partying
This is a quite confiscate place to spend a Friday or Saturday night. Finally, the biggest stereotype about university life is that it rotates around partying and that students spend all night partying and all day sleeping. For most graduates, this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s perfectly acceptable to let your hair down once or twice a week, most conscientious students are serious about the studies they’re paying 4000 to 6000 $ a year for, and get up at a proper time each day, attend lectures and classes religiously, and devote much of their other time to working studiously in the library. What’s more, partying is merely one of many entertainment options when you’re at university. We’ve previously pointed out the profusion of university societies you’ll have available to you at university, but there are also plenty of quiet social activities such as meeting friends for coffee, going to the movie theater, going for walks and such like. Indulging in private activities such as these does not make you a “loser” and there will be plenty of others whose tastes match yours if this is what you’re into. It’s your free time to do what you want with, and there’s absolutely no need to accept peer pressure in order to “fit in”. University is an atmosphere that supports individual hobbies and tastes to a far higher extent than most schools do, and you certainly don’t need to compromise your individuality to fit in. In fact, you’ll perhaps find that those around you will value and praise you much more if you don’t.