University – Expectations VS. Reality

Brace yourselves! September is coming …

And guess what that means?

Uni is right around the corner!

We’re sure that you’re going to have the best time of your life being a student, however, sometimes, especially if it is your first year being at university, things may not go as you’d always envisioned them.

We agree that every student has a different academic experience, yet, the past has proved that uni expectations usually vary from their actual academic practices.

Here, we have gathered a few of the most popular student expectations compared with the real-life uni experience.

Expectation: Textbooks will be provided by the university

We hope that you are prepared for a lot of reading because, at uni reading is basically your full-time job. Therefore, students tend to think that their university will cover all of their textbook materials.

Well, this is partly true because in some cases the academic library will have hard copies of your textbooks, however, there are usually less than the number of students in the course, so if you would like one for free,  that’s probably not going to happen if your university is not using Kortext.

Reality: Spending hundreds of pounds on academic books (that you’ll probably never use)

Following on from our last point, if your university doesn’t have the titles available, it’s both unfortunate and more likely that you will spend a fortune on buying your reading list.

The thing is, at the end of the year, your books will smell as fresh as new, as you’ll probably never use them.

So, top tip: Don’t rush to buy your books. Do some research to make sure if your university has a digital copy of them or provides access to platforms such as Kortext.
Kortext has a repository of two million texts – that way, you’re not only saving some coin, but you’re also saving yourself from the back pain caused by carrying those heavy books.

Expectation: Student loan = financial stability

We all know the good feeling of seeing the first instalment of the student loan in our bank accounts. It’s really a relief, but in some cases, the figure drops dramatically as fast as fresher’s week goes.

Reality: Student loan = financial responsibility

The truth is that the majority of it will go into rent, groceries, and other necessities. Therefore, our advice is to have a good think of your possible expenses and organise an example of your weekly budget which you can follow throughout the semester. You can create a spreadsheet or download an app that can track your spending for you. It’s that easy! Trust us, and thank yourself later.

Expectation: You will be on top of my productivity for the whole year

Study hard, play hard! Right? Well, usually this counts for the first week of Uni…which in most cases is your induction week.

Reality: ‘I need a break’ – you, 5 minutes into studying

Gradually as you progress through university, your workload grows with you and that is totally normal. Therefore, this makes it harder to always be on top of your A-game. However, we recommend sticking to a daily routine that makes you happy and gives you that boost of motivation which we all need sometimes to keep ourselves going. And remember, always leave some space for a nap!

Expectation: You need to make friends immediately

Often, there is a misconception that the people you first bump into will stay your besties throughout university. If you like to take your time before diving into a new friendship, this can be quite an unnerving and pressuring process. Luckily, this is not always the case having in mind how different we all are.

Reality:  People come and go and that’s okay

Yes, uni is a very sociable place, and you will meet a lot of new people, however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will stay in your life forever, which is absolutely okay. The most important thing is to learn and grow from your experience. Don’t feel pressured if you think you haven’t found your people yet, there is a big chance that other people haven’t either.

Top tip: You can always join different societies to experience new things and meet new groups of people.

Expectation: You will know exactly what is going on from the start

Usually, students tend to think that university is pretty much the same as high school. You just go to a different building and the classes are just called lectures to make them look fancy. Well…that’s not the case exactly.

Reality: You will learn throughout your whole academic journey

No matter if it’s your first-time cooking for yourself, doing your own laundry, or even opening your own bank account, there is always something new that you will experience which you might not be entirely prepared for. Although it might sound scary, the fact is that this is a completely normal way of maturing, learning, and finding your own ways of growing up.  You’ve got this!

So, these are our top 5 expectations vs. reality uni edition!

Let us know if you would add any more examples to the list in the comments! We will love to read about your own university experience!

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