As an 18-year-old the prospect of moving to a new city fills you with so much excitement. There is this preconception that university is the best experience; a new you. But, for so many, the experience doesn’t live up to the expectation.
I’m sure we all agree that moving in day is the strangest day of your life. Moving your life into a small, overpriced room, with a shower so small you suddenly understand how Buddy felt. i feel you buddy, the elves defo had it easy. It’s all lols, your loved ones joking about how won’t be able to eat steak every night and how you won’t be able to shop in Waitrose anymore (I still have the record for cheapest Waitrose shop; £6 for a week shop…. “unbelievable Jeff”) But, then they go home and you don’t, it is an isolating experience, that we don’t talk about.
A roll of dice. The people you live with, in halls, is down to chance, realistically you won’t know them, you might not know their name. You can try to stalk them online, but let’s be honest no-one looks like their facey-B profile picture. its sort of like ordering a dress from China- it won’t be what you expected. Honestly, the truth is that you might not get on with them, any of them at the beginning. You will think you have nothing in common. …you might be a sheep farmer and they might be vegan….. But don’t judge the book by its cover too much, people are more than just an exterior!
Scrolling through Instagram all your school peers look like they are having the best time. They are always out drinking with their flatmates or playing pub golf with their new society buddies. However, don’t be fooled. I thought this was the case until I came home at Christmas. So many of my friends felt the same as I did and I thought they were loving it. We all can fake a smile for a post and write a caption ‘the best night with the best girls’.
You don’t need to change when you go to university, people will like you for you. Like school, university is cliquey but unlike school, these groups just get on with life. you can say goodbye to all that bitchy nonsense. Over time your group forms, you won’t even realise it happening.
Settling in at university takes time. You might feel like I did, by Christmas I wanted to drop out. I didn’t have a ‘tight nit’ friendship group and I wasn’t enjoying the course but I didn’t want to give up. I thought just make it to the end of the year and decide then. I went back and it was the best decision I made; 2nd year the city felt like home and by 3rd year I didn’t want to leave.
Don’t feel like you have to be drinking 24/7, my flatmate Sophia (no we are not together- together, just pals thanks) and I hardly went out. Why? because it was too much effort; instead we watched netflix, moaned about life and cooked pancakes. (and burnt chicken, I burnt a lot of chicken). Social lives don’t have to survive in a cup of double vodka coke.
Simply; talk. Talking helps, it doesn’t just help you, it helps the listener. If you are brave enough to talk about your emotions the stigma will be broken down. It is OK not to be OK.
some tips that might help you:
- talk- to your friends from home and people at uni- they might feel the same
- don’t rush your decisions
- eat actual food, chicken nuggets doesn’t help the mind, sadly
- be social- go for coffee, to the cinema or shopping etc
- University isn’t for everyone, there’s no shame in leaving but give it a chance
You don’t have to wear glitter, shop vintage or do drugs to get the most from University. You will change as a person; you grow into an adult, you experience life and had opportunities thrown in your face.
you will also probably get a bit fatter. I haven’t met many people that regretted university, most of us are still clinging on to our student cards in the hope that we save 10%.
If you want to talk about university give us a holla, we are great listeners!
btw Ellie went to Leeds Arts University to study Fine Art and Maddey is at Manchester Met studying Nutritional Sciences!
PS. Cheese is expensive.