We all know by now that, as of Septemeber last year, I'm a full-time Uni student. I study English Language in a city University, I've moved homes, I've made new friends, and I've already had a bunch of new experiences. From the outside, looking in, you'll probably see my Uni life as a cliche kind of set up - friends, learning, drinking, and just all-around student vibes. And, to be honest, you wouldn't be too wrong because I certainly do wish to embrace these sweet years before it gets serious, but there are definitely some honest truths about University that you don't always get to hear.

If you're heading to Uni anytime soon and you've already got your Netflix subscription lined up, you might want to consider taking it down a tier and just keeping yourself on the standard tariff because there's no way you're going to fulfil your Uni experience by glueing yourself to a screen the entire time. Ok, yes, there will be times when you need those peaceful moments to yourself and, believe me, they're equally as good for you, but you're not going to necessarily achieve lots by keeping the laptop as your only friend. 
Doing things like joining societies, saying yes to more things, arranging things, joining group chats, or just simply trying something new can really open your eyes and, if you're lucky, help improve you as a person. 
When I started Uni, I said yes to a job that I thought was completely out of my reach, actually ended up getting the job, and now thrive in a position that I love while knowing that this will be great for my CV. Getting up, saying yes, and being your best self is exactly what will make Uni a great experience. 

Being on a course like mine where the most specialist equipment you possible get is a database for corpora, where others get lab coats, iPads, and whatnot, I can easily have days where I feel frustrated at the amount of money I pay for this experience. Of course, the money is loaned and right now not something I need to worry about, but I'll be delighted when the day comes that different courses are given different loan amounts. At the moment, my course is a hefty £9,000+ and, frankly, it only involves powerpoint slides.
Understandably, I'm paying for the environment and the expertise that I get to work amongst at University, but I just don't quite believe that courses like mine should have to pay the same amount as a course that requires lots of time and equipment. 

As I mentioned at the start, a lot of people see students as living their best lives, socialising and having fun, but I cannot sugar coat this experience completely. There are moments of stress, a fair amount, to be honest, moments of upset, weakness, or frustration but these are just the battles that you have to face to enjoy everything else and get good grades and memories by the end of it. Just like many things in life, this University chapter is supposed to challenge you - whether for you that is waking up for 9am lectures, finding friends, learning about yourself, or tackling deadlines - at the end of the day, these should be obstacles that make you stronger on the other side. 

Part of my role as a representative for my University has meant I've had to open my mind to every length and breadth of the University lifestyle. For example, I've had to engage with societies that would normally be of no interest to me, and open my mind to exactly how these niche places are such safe havens for others. I guess you have to put yourself in another person's shoes in some instances. Take my University's Boardgame Society, for example; that's something that wouldn't take my interest but for others has provided a space of safety, friendship, and a sense of belonging. To me, hearing about how joining the society had impacted some of the students warmed my heart because it really gave me the sense that University can bring people together from all stretches of the world and make them feel less alone. 
So, basically, if you're thinking of starting University but worry that there isn't something there for you or that you don't know anyone or even where to start, you can pretty much be assured that you'll find something and be accepted as yourself. 

... but believe me, I hated school but love Uni. However, I can't deny that you'll still find 'the popular kids', and the ones that never shut up in class, the days where you and friends just can't stop giggling through lectures at completely immature things, the fact that lecturers really can't get you to be quiet, and even sometimes do that 'I'll stand here silent until they notice', and the childish gossip that floats around now and then. These though, are the things that I think actually make it that bit more bearable. I guess it's like a home-from-home or a nostalgia that never left; these qualities are what keep us going, keep us feeling young, and keep us learning. 

So, it may not always present itself at face value but one of the best things about attending University is learning about the University experience. Even coming from someone who was doubtful as to whether I'd go to Uni, I would now completely and wholeheartedly recommend it.

What truths about University have you never shared?


  1. Loved reading this post Alice! It's made me feel much more positive for when I go to uni and I know I will be looking back at this nearer the time. I'm heading to an open day this weekend! My sister is at uni and it does seem like the £9,000 is mainly for powerpoints doesn't it haha. I'm so pleased to hear you are enjoying it, you are doing so well! Also can we just take a moment of appreciation for your highlight gal xx

    Amelia | http://rosetintedpics.co.uk

    1. I've gotta say, I was hoping someone would notice that poppin' highlighter 😆 Haha!! Thanks, gal! xx

  2. Couldn't agree more with this! So glad I stepped out of my comfort zone during my first year of uni and pushed myself to join some societies - I would have been that girl in bed every day with Netflix otherwise. I currently spending my third year in Madrid and this has been the most difficult part of it so far. I'm actually looking forward to returning to Leeds next year and having my English Lit lectures again. Can't say the same about the dissertation though! Loved this! x

    Evie x | www.eviejayne.co.uk

    1. Thank you so much, Evie! I'm so glad I'm not the only one haha - good luck with your dissertation :) x

  3. Such a great post, I totally agree that uni is what you make it. I decided to live at home and travel into uni, I think thats made a difference to my overall experience but I'm okay with that. I also believe its not always worth that £9k+ but I guess gotta do what we gotta do haha!

    Lucy | Forever September

    1. I completely agree! I chose to stay out of halls and, while that might have changed my experience of Uni, I've compensated in other areas and I think that's really what counts x

  4. This was so helpful! I'm planning on going uni after 6th form so it was good to see a little insight xx


    1. So glad this helped - good luck with your 6th Form exams! :) x

  5. Love this post- I agree so much about the saying yes, I wish I joined more societies at the beginning, but know that there is always next year! Also so true, I find it so weird that theres a 'cool group' in my accommodation but they're cool but not intimidating, so many similarities to school but also so different x

    1. I'm so glad you agree with these and I'm not the only one - haha! x