Hi! I’m Rebecca, I’m in my second year of studying history. I’m here to bust a few myths about living and working at university and tell you what it’s really like being here at York.
Myth 1: It’s all work
The biggest thing I worried about before coming to uni was how much work I was going to have. Was I going to spend every waking hour doing reading and essays? Was it going to be like A-Levels multiplied by 100? The answer is no!
Obviously, a huge reason of why you’re at uni is for your degree, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no time for anything else. University is more than just a bigger version of school, it’s also somewhere that you can socialise, try out new things, and volunteer in your local area.
I’m a member of the musical theatre society, I’m on my college committee, and I work at the university as a student ambassador, among other things – and I still have time to do my degree.
Myth 2: Every night is a party
One of the biggest uni myths is that you go out every night and get drunk, especially during Freshers’ Week, but that’s definitely not the case. Some people do go out most nights, of course, but a lot of people (myself included!) don’t bother very often.
During those first few weeks, it can feel like there’s so much pressure to go out every night. But one of the things I learnt early on is that going out and drinking is not the be-all and end-all of uni. Some of the best bonding experiences I’ve had with my friends have been during a movie night, playing board games, or talking in the kitchen. So if you don’t drink, or you don’t want to go out, don’t worry!
Myth 3: Freshers’ Week is your only chance to make friends
Freshers’ Week is always a bit crazy for everyone. You’re dealing with living away from home, being in a new environment, and learning the ropes of university. All while also feeling like you have to make friends with everyone you talk to.
A lot of people get worried that if they don’t make friends during Freshers’ Week that’s it. But, in reality, it’s very different! Some of the people you meet in the first few weeks might become your best friends, but often a lot of them won’t.
Societies and the college system make meeting new people after Freshers’ really easy, and often you’ll have a lot more in common with people in societies than those in your house!
Myth 4: You’ll live on Pot Noodle
Maybe you haven’t thought a lot about cooking yet, but it’s probably worth starting to! Beans on toast are great and all, but they can get a bit boring night after night.
If you need some ideas, there are loads of websites and cookbooks available for students that can give you advice on batch cooking, how to budget, and how to eat healthily – and it can be enjoyable!
My friends and I often cook at the same time, and sometimes we cook for each other, too. You can learn some important life skills and have a lot of fun by swapping from instant noodles!
Myth 5: You have to get everything right
Another huge thing I was worried about at uni was getting everything perfect. What if I wasn’t clever enough? If I didn’t make friends? What if I messed up my budgeting? If I couldn’t cook? Now I wish I’d known not to stress.
Uni is a learning experience, and no one gets it right the first time (or ever, really)! We all make mistakes, and that’s what makes uni such a great place to be. You’re surrounded by other people all in the same boat, and you muddle through together and support each other when things don’t go the way you want them to.
Hopefully, that’s given you a new way of looking at university.
To sum up my top tips:
- Take time off from work
- Don’t panic about going out every night
- Enjoy making friends
- Learn to cook, and most importantly;
- Remember that no one gets it right first time.
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