Here is a list compiled by some of my nearest and dearest friends of things that they wished they knew before starting university:
- Do not worry about making friends! You’ll find a group to slot into and you will wonder why you ever let it worry you!
- Don’t leave all the referencing to the end of the essay – you’re going to hate yourself for it at the end.
- Everyone has different backgrounds when coming to university – you have to respect that, even if they put the milk in before the teabag.
- How to budget! So many students say they wished they had more experience of budgeting before coming to university. Check out this post or this post about budgeting. Why not ask whoever does the shopping if you can be given the responsibility a couple of times before you come, to try it out for yourself?
- It’s okay to feel lonely or homesick sometimes – it doesn’t mean you’re not ‘making the most’ of your university life. It happens, and it is a normal feeling. In this case, I’d always suggest contacting friends from university to speak with first; they’re likely to be a 10 minute walk away for you to go and have a cuppa, but obviously stay in contact with home friends too.
- You may become distant with your friends from home, and that is okay too. You have whole new different experiences now, especially if you’re doing different courses. For me, it was important that I stayed in contact with those people, and made sure to do so with the people that were interested in staying in contact with me.
- Lecturers and tutors don’t chase you up for that piece of work you haven’t submitted, or that book you’ve read about, as much as your high school and college teachers insist that they do. You’re gonna have to motivate yourselves, guys.
- How to cook! Similar to budgeting, my recommendation would be to practise cooking some easy meals before you start at uni, particularly things that you know you’re going to be able to afford to cook. Alternatively, make friends with people who really enjoy cooking…
So there are 8 of the (many) things that my friends and I wished we knew before university. Don’t worry – we’ll keep you informed of anything else we really wished we knew.