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:

Expectation:

rich

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.

Reality:

poor

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:

Expectation:

posh-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.

Reality:

messy-halls.jpg

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:

Expectation:

amazing-university

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.

Reality:

ugly-univerisity

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:

Expectation:

organised

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.

Reality:

cramming.jpg

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:

beautifuk

Expectation:

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.

Reality:

beer

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:

Expectation:

standingovation

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.

Reality:

asleep-in-lecture

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:

Expectation:

amazing-freshers.jpg

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.

Reality:

drunk-student.jpg

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:

Expectation:

fashionable-student

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.

Reality:

onesie

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:

Expectation:

friends

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.

Reality:

messy-apartment-1

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.

The top 5 customisation ideas for Freshers Week!

Freshers Week is creeping up on us once again and students from all corners of the UK are preparing themselves to leave their parents, cooked dinners and having their clothes washed for them and be thrust into the big, bad world of responsibility. This time of year presents various different opportunities to get custom printed clothing and accessories.

Whether you’re looking for printed Freshers T-Shirts, pens, or even condom foils (seriously), if you want to be the fashion guru on campus or if you’re looking to be immortalised in stories which are passed around campus many years after your graduation – take some advice from me and read below my top 5 customisation ideas for this years Freshers Week.

1. CUSTOM BAR CRAWL T-SHIRTS:

barcrawl

Year after year, there’s an increase in printed T-Shirts that stems from groups of students who want their gang to go out on a night wearing their group’s colours. These groups vary between lads and ladies who are looking to spend their weekly food budget on having the best night(s) of the year – also known as the Legendary Freshers Pub Crawl.

The designs range from the simple to the artistic, with many people opted for names and numbers in football style letting on the back combined with humorous quotes on the front. Don’t worry about using rude phrases or naughty pictures – I’m sure that they’ve all been used before.

2.: CUSTOMISED NOVELTY ITEMS:

condoms.jpg

If you have a dream of being known as the campus’s Stifmeister then there’s no better way than spending your opening week walking around halls with a pocket stuffed full of custom printed condoms!

OK, so this might not be your ‘thing’, but getting other personalised accessories may just be right up your street.

Personalised accessories such as key chains, lanyards, tote bags, pens, rucksacks or even condom foils are actually not as uncommon as many people think. You might also feel like having your gear personalised might protect your belongings from the campus klepto, or you might think that it’ll help you achieve that legendary status that you’ve always dreamed of.

3: FOR THE ARTY TYPES:

arty.jpg

For many, showing off is a pastime. This is also the case for the arty types who love nothing more than donning their colourful scarf and sipping their cappuccino lovingly in the hope that they’ll be admired by many for their deep-thinking and their unique fashion sense.

Designers, artists and even psychology students from all around the UK will get Freshers T-Shirts printed in the hope that their designs make them the talk of the campus.

Joking aside, over the years, I’ve seen many-a-well-designed T-Shirt. Whether it’s a fairly simple design for yourself, or if you’re looking to earn some extra ££ by created a batch of mixed sizes and selling them during Freshers Week – just image all of that extra money for beer….err, I mean textbooks…..No, I actually did mean beer.

4: SPORTS CLUBS:

rugby1.jpg

The first few weeks are the best time to join one of the many sports teams or other clubs that are available. If you’re not the sporty type then there’s always the chess club?

Either way, each year printed sports kits are more and more popular showing off the team’s new badge. With recent cutbacks this has become more difficult though as theirs a large possibility that your university can’t afford to provide all of the kits for free (that’s if they can even supply them at all). Fear not my dear students! You can get excellent printed sports kits for a great price with no minimum order quantity as well.

5: BAND T-SHIRTS:

band.jpg

Students forming their own bands is incredibly common. Whether you’re starting out for fun, or if you’re a serious musician with dreams of hitting the big time – there has been many university formed bands who go on to make successful careers within the music industry.

As a student band, it’s not easy to gain and grow a following but one of the best and quickest ways to develop some loyal fans and advertising is to get some printed band merchandise created.

Whether you’re a folk band, heavy metal band, or if you believe that you can be the next Spice Girls – printed T-Shirts are actually one of the best ways to reach a wider audience as the wear of the T-Shirts is actually promoting your band for you.

These are my top 5 ideas for getting custom gear made for Freshers Week if you have any other ideas, let me know in the comments below!