University: The Sacrifices You’ll Make
Sure, the life of a student is exciting because it’s something new and signifies the first real step into adulthood. Most of us will have been told something along the lines of “your student years will be the best years of your life”, but what about some of the sacrifices you’ll be forced to make when attending university?
I have to cook for myself?
There are some who have already had years of experience making meals for themselves and perhaps, giving up mum’s wholesome, home-cooked meals doesn’t feel like much of a sacrifice when heading off to university. For those on the other hand, who were still getting their sandwiches neatly sliced and wrapped in cling film up until the final year of school, having to cook for yourself is likely to affect you. Since life after school is a time for personal growth, challenges, and “finding yourself”, why not give your inner culinary-whiz a chance to shine? A few issues which may get in the way of this include not having the time or motivation to cook amidst a busy study schedule, but there is plenty of information out there (especially on student blogs) dedicated to alleviating the somewhat trying life of a student. Have a look at www.studentrecipes.com, where you can find an area wholly dedicated to busy people looking for quick, cheap and simple recipes.
Why are there strangers in my room?
You may have spent your time at home wishing you could escape and taste real independence. But there are a few reality checks that come with this freedom at Uni; first, living in a dormitory-style accommodation – especially with people you don’t know – can be extremely challenging. There is a lot to expect when living in halls, besides sharing with people who have different backgrounds, lifestyles, and even languages to you, it’s also less secure due to the number of people that come and go. All those friends of friends of colleagues will undoubtedly notice your stuff lying around for all to see. Check with the respective body responsible for the dormitory accommodation as to what insurance policies can be taken, or if you are part of a house share arrangement – consider taking out a student contents insurance policy to cover you.
With the exception of a few that get a private room on a University campus, for the majority of students – joining a house share is the most common choice. If you’re going to uni with a friend or group of friends from home, perhaps you can all live together; otherwise, it is up to you to find your team of student housemates. Online forums can be very helpful when it comes to finding people to live with.
I have to pay for studies myself?
If you’re lucky enough to have had your parents pay for your schooling and who are now willing to pay for your studies then this won’t concern you. For most, however, the reality is that you will have to pay for a portion, if not all, of your after-school education. Once you leave school and home it is unlikely that you have any kind of financial stability behind you to ensure tuition fees are covered. This is where student loans come into play and give you the opportunity to broaden your career horizons and by extension, your future. There are plenty of low interest, student-friendly loans out there, it’s just a matter of finding the right one to fit in with your studies and lifestyle.
This is in no way meant to discourage anyone from attending university after school. Let it be your guideline as to some of the things you can expect from student life. The experiences which you have at uni such as the life-long friends made, that first taste of independence, and getting an essay in on time after the all-night coffee session, will be the ones you look back on with the greatest appreciation