15 Things No One Tells You About University

Hello again,

I’ve written university posts before and a lot of people found them quite helpful. This is basically a list of things that no one tells you before you go to university. All I was told is “the work will be a lot harder than A-Levels” and “don’t come home if you don’t get a first”. I’m joking, sort of.

You will be lonely 

Student halls isn’t always the party that it’s perceived to be. Of course there’ll be plenty of times where you’re out drinking hot chocolate with your friends and splashing all of your student loan in the nearest shopping centre. However, there’ll also be times where you’re sat in your room by yourself wanting to pull the bricks from your walls.

Living with girls is just as bad as living with boys 

Let me tell you this, I live on an all girls floor and some of the girls are actual creatures. If we didn’t have cleaners in everyday I’m not sure I’d cope. There’s only so many times I can clean the oven and avoid certain showers before I never want to leave my room again. I promise you I’m not exaggerating. One day I wash into the kitchen and the toaster was toasting thin air. Or maybe they were toasting invisible bread. Who knows?

You’ll end up eating the same meals most days

You work out the meals that are easy and cheap to cook. Then you stick to them.

You will get lost

No matter how many times you’re told what room or block you’re in, it will always happen. Every corridor looks the same.

You won’t have any money 

Unless you’re living off of bank of mum and dad, you’re probably going to need to get a job. Or, you could eat tinned soup for dinner every day. But even that’s expensive.

You don’t need to buy every book on your reading list

You’ll find a lot of them free on Google Books, in your uni library or significantly cheaper as an ebook. If you look at your list and buy everything single one then you’re a fool. And probably a poor fool at that. Save your pennies and don’t buy a book unless it’s absolutely imperative.

The friends you make during freshers might not be your friends by second year, or even October

After a while you’ll find people who share the same interests as you and who you get along with easily. If you don’t find those friends in the first week or even in the first year, it’s not the end of the world and you’ll find them eventually.

You’re going to question if you’re on the right course

I’m sure everyone’s had this thought. There’s going to be some part of your course that you don’t like. Maybe it’s a little part, maybe it’s a big part. Try and remember that there’ll be other parts of your course that you’ll enjoy more because one bad module doesn’t mean that your whole uni experience will be bad. If your course is unbearable, maybe consider other courses?

You’re going to question if you’re in the right uni

Sometimes your lesson will last for half an hour and you’ll think to yourself “why am I paying £9000 a year for this?”

You can wear whatever you want

If you turn up to a lesson looking like you haven’t washed or brushed your hair in 4 days, nobody seem to notice. And when they do notice, they don’t say anything.

Knowing a lecturer for 2 years doesn’t mean they’ll learn how to spell your name, or even remember what your name is

I can no longer be bothered to tell my lecturers if they’re spelling my name wrong and I’ve also been called a few names that are definitely not Courteney before.  It’s all part of the fun. Try and remember that your lecturers speaks to hundreds of students on a weekly basis and might struggle to learn them all. Or maybe they don’t care what your name is.

You need experience to get a job but you need a job to become experienced

This is something that will never make sense to you. Even the unpaid internships want people with experience. I guess it’s one of those things that will never make sense but we just accept anyway. You’ll constantly ask yourself “how am I supposed to gain experience if I can’t get a job?” Don’t worry – everyone else is thinking the same thing.

Toiletries are EXPENSIVE

I literally paid £2.20 for Colgate mouthwash the other day. I’m pretty sure I could feed myself for a day on £2.20. You never really appreciate the cost of shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc etc until you move out.

You’ve never needed student discounts more than you do now 

Whether it’s free delivery on Deliveroo or a cheap cinema ticket, you’re going to need your student discount at some point. If you sign up to UniDays, you can see all of the discounts available to you. Check this before buying ANYTHING. Food, a laptop, a new coat, anything. Chances are, there’ll be a discount code for it.

Buying your own food is actually really fun

…until you have to carry it back from Morrisons by yourself.

As always, thank you for reading.

Hopefully you found this useful! If you don’t, hopefully you’ll feel sorry for me instead…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x


80 thoughts on “15 Things No One Tells You About University

  1. Loved this! I’m a second year and this is so true! *Currently in the library ‘doing work’ when I’ve been blogging/watching youtube this whole time* x

  2. Omg, this is everything I feel right now. Especially the first one about lonelyness, the one about making friends in the beginning who might not be your friends later and the you can wear whatever you want. When I was in High School, and my hair looked greasy/oily, someone noticed it and said something about it. When I look like a hotmess now, no one says/asks anything. That is just THE BEST!!

  3. Haha, I’m a recent graduate and this list was so accurate! Definitely experienced everything listed here, particularly the course/university crises! Best of luck with the rest of your time at uni 🙂 (and no matter how lonely/poor/fed up you feel at times, savour the time you have left because adulthood is a bitter disappointment!) x

  4. Thank you for the great tips, Courteney!
    This is a great post – I like reading this type of post because I will be starting on campus uni next week! 😀
    It is good to know other people’s experiences and advice.
    Thank you for sharing!

      1. My pleasure!
        OMG I read your post this morning and when I went to a information session at the uni, your tips were so relatable especially being ‘lone’ part!

  5. I love this post! I will be starting University in fall and I’m both nervous and excited! Thanks for the tips!

  6. Haha yes very true! I will add this one: long distance relationships whilst you’re at uni are super hard (for both parties!) But worth it in the end. I think one of the biggest things I learnt was try everything – or you’ll get to your third year and regret that you didn’t start things earlier.

    1. I can only imagine how hard a long distance relationship is, especially at uni! I’m definitely trying to do as much as possible while I can – I don’t want to leave uni feeling like I haven’t done enough x

  7. I love this!!! This is great, I’m studying a Masters at university. So my 4th year living out & gurllllll you cannot be more real with the Colgate thing! Toiletries are so damn expensive & all my siblings who lived at home whilst at uni have NO idea! Living with girls is deffo the same as living with boys, TBH could even be slightly worse than living with boys 🙄. Love your post 💋


  8. As a first year university student, this is accurate, especially when it comes to living with girls. I live in the only all-girl dorm on campus and they’re just as loud and messy as the boys. My residence hall is called ‘Tampon Tower’ because there’s regular occurrences of girls leaving their used tampons in the toilets.


  9. Things have definitely changed since the days when I was in college. Glad it’s so much easier for kids these days.

  10. I never had the true university experience. I either lived at home or on my own, but never on campus. I stopped going for a while and finished my Undergrad, and eventually my Masters online. Online school is such a different experience and I have been thinking about blogging about it.

  11. Wish I had this wisdom a million years ago when I was going to school. But, you are right. I like how “being lonely” is at the top of your list – because its a misconception that you immediately have a million friends or party all the time.

  12. Although I never stayed on campus during my time at college, I can relate to several of the emotions that you talk about here. I did often wonder if I was taking the right courses, in the right major, so on and so forth. I also got lost going to class on several occasions. It’s pretty easy to do when all the buildings and halls all look the same.

  13. We had dresscode in high school and so it was so nice when you could wear whatever you want! I so agree with quite a few of these! It’s been a long time since I’ve been at a university and I so miss those days!

  14. Great list. I think the fact that you’ll get lonely was the one that surprised me the most. I lived with 3 other girls and was involved in a lot of clubs but still had those moments of feeling alone Freshman year. It’s funny though, because my Junior year I began going to the movies alone just to have some alone time. College is a strange time Haha.

  15. You will never be more broke than when you’re in college. Most people go through the same thing. I had no idea I was going to have to support myself through school and it was tough!

  16. Sitting here chuckling as I’ve been hearing many of these things from my daughter. I’m sure pretty much all of them will be true next year when she’s actually living on campus. I never lived on campus, so my experience was quite different.

  17. I went to uni and pretty much most of these points ring true. Like realizing you need to work a full time job to pay rent etc

  18. These are spot on! I was in college 10 years ago (ouch) and these things were totally the case back then. We didn’t have e-books, but you could always find the book cheaper used, or even a prior edition if you were willing to figure out what page numbers to read since the syllabus wouldn’t match up completely. I cried the first week because I was so lonely, and I got lost ALL the time until I graduated! This makes me miss University :). Great post!

  19. I think people definitely go into Uni life with blinkers on. I did 2 years of college and decided I’d had enough. I knew a degree wasn’t going to get me any further as I wasn’t sure at the time what I wanted to do. It seemed stupid going into debt for a degree I wasn’t sure was going to serve me in the future. I wish more people would realise that a degree isn’t an assurance of a “good job” and for many careers you don’t even need it!

  20. I didn’t aware of this fact to be honest as I went work straight before college and made pretty good career along the years. I heard from my friends though that life as a college student can be pretty tough. Reading this, I guess they’re right.

  21. This a great post, expecially the parts about being lonely and questioning your path, i think so many kids expect to know exactly what they are doing and never feel lost and are blown away when they find out they don’t know everything

  22. Great info. I remember University and many of these are right. I definitely had to get a job and my freshman year friends many didnt cross over second semester.

  23. i remember my boardmates when i am still in a university. they are so good to me. i can still remember how i missed my family back then.

  24. Oh man yes! My first year at college was so rough and lonely! It’s hard when you are so young to deal with a lot of these things too.

  25. This really brings me back to my college days. It wasn’t an easy time but it really paid off in the long-run.

  26. The experience one will remain the same as you go throughout your career. You want bigger opportunities and advancement but you need experience in it… it all works out though!

  27. My cousin just came back from school for break and said the food is a hard ha he. She’s so sick of eating the same thing for every meal!

  28. Ahh, you have no idea how much I agree with some of your points even if I’m living in the opposite part of Europe.
    Having a bachelor in English is still something strange and not many people do it so getting textbooks is horrible, you can’t buy them in the local bookstores or the student sales group, most of the time there are not available in the library or you have to fight with your colleagues for a copy, if you are not lucky enough to find a free copy online Xerox becomes you best friend.

    TL;DR – I love studying in English but the textbooks are f#####g expensive.

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