Freshers: Expectation vs Reality

Now that the summer is here, it’s safe to say that Freshers week and the beginning of the term will be with us before we know it. This means that thousands of fresh-faced, wide-eyed, nervous 18-year-olds will be preparing for their first year and dreaming of what life will be like at a university.

However, the truth is that returning students will know that the pre-fresher dreams are a far cry from the reality of what you will experience during your years at University. So, to help all new freshers get started on their path to understanding the full goings on of University – I’ve decided to write this list of expectations vs reality so you get a real understanding of what to expect:

1. Your Student Loan:



That moment when you receive your first student loan payment will leave you with a feeling of being rich. The next round of drinks are on you, your wardrobe will be updated with brand new clothes and you’ll have enough leftover change to live like royalty.



Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. You’ll soon realise that your loan isn’t a lot of money at all. Once you’ve bought your food and your essentials you’ll be left counting your change trying to scrape together enough 5 and 10p’s to afford the cheapest larger on offer (even if you don’t like larger).

2. Your Student Halls:



For the amount that you’ll pay on halls, it’s easy to expect to get a modern day sanctuary complete with a huge double bed, TV, plenty of natural lighting and enough storage space to hide away all of your belongings leaving you with plenty of room for activities and to get your head down and study.



Your room will be a box. After Freshers your box will be full of pizza boxes, dirty underwear and general rubbish scattered around everywhere (and even hiding under your bed). As your room won’t be much to look at to start with, you’ll somehow get used to the mess and won’t care if it remains like this until Christmas when you’re waiting for your parents to come and get you to take you home to your spotless bedroom where your washing will be done and food will all be prepared for you.

3. Campus Architecture:



When you watch videos and see pictures of your university you’ll think you’re going to study in a castle. With huge stone buildings, mowed lawns, lakes, and bars dotted all around campus.



Unfortunately, the majority of universities aren’t like this and instead you’ll get modern buildings which aren’t very much to look at. There will be roads, the occasional hedge, and questionable looking buildings dotted around. Fortunately, this won’t be the case for many students so if you’re lucky you expectation could become a reality.

4. Your Deadlines:



With the amount of money you’re spending on your course, you will plan to be super-organised, all work will be completed before the deadline and you’ll have plenty of time to meet with your tutors whenever you need. Of course, not everyone will be as organised as you, but this doesn’t bother you because you know that you won’t be distracted.



Despite your best efforts, you will be distracted, the majority of your coursework will be left until the last minute and energy drinks will become your new best friend. You’ll perfect the art of skim reading, typing at well over 100 words per minute and you’ll be able to work perfectly with next to no sleep and a drip supplying you with a constant source of caffeine.

5. The Opposite Sex:



Now that you’re going to university you’ll start to think that everybody is going to be super attractive. Late nights studying, partying, and tonnes of alcohol won’t touch the stunning sex-gods of your university.



With pints of larger costing roughly £1.60, discounts on takeaways, and the lazy lifestyle of students, the average student will gain 1 stone within their first year at university – and that will also include you.

6. Your Lectures:



You’re taking your dream course, you’re inspired every day by lecturers are basically a modern day Einstein. You’ve seen enough films with depict university life to be brilliant and amazing and every student there is constantly inspired every day to become the best person that they can be.



Lecturers will read off powerpoints which are available on the student portal. The majority of the time that you turn up, you’ll be sleep-deprived, hungover or possibly still drunk. You’ll struggle to get the motivation to survive through the lecture, nevermind becoming the best version of yourself.

7. Freshers Week:



It’s amazing, you meet amazing people who become your best friends. You and your friends get freshers T-Shirts and you spend every amazing second of every amazing day together having the best time of your life.



You arrive home before 12:30am every day a drunk mess because you can’t handle the amount of drinking and shots that you have. You’ll have half eaten kebabs littering your room and your tongue will feel like a carpet. The chances of you remembering anything will be slim – let alone trying to remember the names of those you met on the night out.

8. How You Look:



When you’re preparing for life at university, you’ll pack your favourite clothes because you’ll want to look your best at every single moment because, you know, you never know who you’ll meet on any given occasion.



Your onesie will become your best friend. You’ll spend most of your time wearing it and it won’t be long before your onesie becomes an acceptable clothing option for when you’re leaving your flat.

9. Your Flatmates:



The people that you are selected to live with (although it’s random) will become your best friends. After university, you’ll all live in the same apartment building and you’ll have a friendship that’ll last the rest of your life.



Your flatmates will be slobs, you’ll hate at least one of them and no one will bother to do the washing up or run the vacuum around. Your kitchen will look like a bombs hit it and someone will keep on stealing your milk from the fridge.

The truth is that you’ll have so many expectations going into university and you’ll be let down on the majority of them. Regardless, you’ll still have the time of your life and you will make lasting relationships with other students.

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