What to expect from University life

Is it a big transition from college? What do I need to bring to university? Is university life just drinking and partying? Will I feel homesick? These are just some of the questions you may be worried about moving to university. Hopefully, I can clarify some of the misconceptions surrounding university life.

You will become independent

One of the main differences between college and university is the change in independence. You are moving away from a home where typically certain things are done for you such as cooking, washing, household chores, and food shopping, to name a few. This may seem daunting at first. I found it helpful to set aside periods in my timetable where I could do these things and not get overwhelmed with my studies. This also involved created shopping lists, planning my weekly meals and creating a chore timetable I could follow closely. This independence also requires you to be proactive both in your studies and your free time. It is not like secondary school and college where we are spoon-fed information or told what to do and when to do it.

If it won't fit in the car it won't fit in your room

Bring only essentials

Tips on University life

One of the things I wish someone told me before moving to university is: “don’t bring your whole bedroom”. If you struggle to fit everything in the car on the way up, it’s going to be a bigger struggle getting it back down, as you will have accumulated more things over the year. Here’s a quick outline of what you essentially need to bring:

  • Clothes – bring clothes you wear regularly, meaning you won’t bring up a jumper you haven’t worn in 3 years, or shoes that don’t quite fit.
  • Bedding – you need to bring up a duvet, pillows, bedsheets, and covers.
  • Kitchen Items – you will need a set of pots, pans, cutlery, crockery, glasses, and mugs. However, you don’t need to bring more than 1-2 sets. This especially applies to catered students as your kitchens have less storage space.

For things such as stationery, remember that there are shops in York where you can purchase pads of paper, pens, pencil cases, staplers and so on. This will free up space when moving up, and doesn’t require you to lug more heavy items around when moving in.

The social life is not what you’re expecting

One of the biggest misconceptions of university life is the idea that “university is just about drinking alcohol and going clubbing” because it is not.

In Freshers’ Week, the university put on events during the day and evening that involved zero alcohol, including city tours, trampoline parks, quizzes, mocktail classes, bingo and movie nights. Also, there is no pressure for you to drink; I was in a flat where everyone respected other people’s decisions.

But, “what about society socials? Don’t they all involve alcohol?”. While some socials are club nights or bar crawls, societies tend to mix between alcoholic and non-alcoholic socials ranging from coffee shop crawls, movie nights, quiz nights, and many more.

Will I feel homesick?

The feeling of homesickness differs for everyone. However, here’s a few tips I can share to overcome these feelings.

If you are living in shared halls, purchase a doorstop. Make yourself open instead of closed off. This shows your flatmates that you’re up for a chat, and when you’re not, you can close your door. This is something my flat did, and it allowed us to distract ourselves when we started thinking about home.

Also, if you are feeling down, go into your kitchen and make yourself a hot drink whether it’s a cup of tea, a cup of coffee, or a hot chocolate. By this time someone would’ve walked in. Ask them how their day is going. Start a friendly conversation and in no time, you’ll forget about missing home.

While the thought of moving to university is daunting, I hope these tips help ease your worries a little bit.

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Chloe

Hello - My name is Chloe, I'm a Second Year English Literature student. I'm originally from the South Coast so York is far away from home but I enjoy walking in the Yorkshire Moors and Dales.

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