When Fresher’s week draws to an end, the shot glasses are cleaned up, the cold and flu tablets taken, and the new undergraduates have begun hibernating in their beds, the real life of university will begin, and that can be exactly what living in halls is like. Higher education will hopefully be an entirely different process that you have encountered before, although, there are things that you’re going to find hard at university, in the first part we looked at procrastination, nights out and moving out, here are some other examples of what you’re going to find hard to deal with whilst at university.
If you consider all of the movies that you have watched that feature the University or American College lifestyle, they are incredibly unrealistic and portray the scene of constant partying and social gatherings. Although you will spend a lot your time hanging out with your friends, going out and letting your hair down – it, sadly, won’t be the same. There will be exam seasons, reading weeks, and horrible deadlines that may occur at the same time, and the film business doesn’t show you this. It may difficult to learn how to balance the two, work and play, to establish a decent routine and to get the most out of your learning experience.
Another issue is that even if you are studying a subject that you’re comfortable with, and have spent many years in the area prior, you will have to work harder than you thought you would. This is mainly because university lecturer’s do not always give you the full information, it isn’t like previous courses where exams and coursework are simply regurgitating the information you learnt in class, from your teacher, or what is on the worksheet. The majority of university learning is by independent study – where you explore and research everything you need to know yourself.
Unfortunately, if you find you don’t get along with your tutor or are finding the course challenging, all responsibility falls on your shoulders. Higher education demands a great amount from its students, and you need to feel prepared for whatever comes your way, or know how to deal with it and who to go to for help. The tutors and staff at the university aren’t going to magically know if you are struggling or what is occurring in your life during study time, it is your job to disclose the information to receive any help you are entitled to.
University will feel like it is the same thing every week and you might try to escape this routine by going out with your friends or not completing work, but this will only affect you. There will always be coursework that has to be done, readings that have to analysed, email correspondence with your tutors and teachers and feel like you have the same lectures every week. Even if it seems like Groundhog Day number 385, you need to be able to overcome this feeling of boredom because it will help you adjust later in life!
You won’t have a glamorous lifestyle that you see in the movies – there won’t be parties every night (okay, maybe in Fresher’s), eat take-out every day and be able to do the minimal amount of effort needed. You can do all of the things listed above, but unfortunately, you’ll be in debt, in bad health and might not even pass your degree. Unless you have a part-time job alongside studying your student loan won’t stretch as far as you wish it could, so be prepared to watch your wallet.
Lastly, one of the hardest things to overcome is the fact that you can’t get everything you want – even now with a student loan in your bank account, student discount and the freedom to do so. The only way you can buy what you want is to live off of beans on toast for the entire year and that might become problematic! You’ll find yourself thinking about the things you can’t afford a lot of the time instead of what you physically can afford. Those new boots in the window will be staring at you, that phone on the advert is calling out to you and you will constantly be reminded of what you can and can’t do. But don’t let that affect you, though!
In our second part of what you’re going to find hard to deal with at university shows that university is an experience in itself, but it isn’t an easy process that should be taken lightly. University in a way is a completely different lifestyle change and even if you find these things too hard to handle, have peace of mind that thousands of other students are going through the same things as you are, and there are people you can talk to if you need help!
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