10 Things That Every Fresher Should Know About University

May 24, 2019 9:47 am

Going to university is one of the best things that you will do, and you’ll remember these days for the rest of your life. In truth, it shapes you as a person, and it’s about a lot more than studying. You will make friends for life, become more independent, and figure out where your life is taking you. Sounds good, right? However, despite that excitement that you have for heading off to do your degree, there are probably some nerves setting in.

What can you expect from university, and what is it actually like? We’ve noted down 10 things that every soon-to-be-fresher should know.

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#1: Nobody tells you what to do anymore

In sixth form, or college, you get used to your lecturers and teachers telling you what to do. They give you homework tasks, check that you’ve done them, and go through things with you to check your progress. At university, your lecturers may not even know who you are, especially on bigger courses. You need to become your own boss, because nobody is going to be there telling you what to do now.

#2: You only get out what you put in

Due to the fact that you’ll have a new-found academic independence, the onus is on you to put all that you can into your degree. If you don’t do the work, you probably won’t get that 1st that you’re hoping for. Put everything that you have into your degree, and you’ll see it all culminate in a good grade by the end of the three years. Put no work in, and expect to scrape by with a pass grade.

#3: You’ll meet great people

When you make friends at university, you’re invariably friends for life. You’ve all discovered who you are at a really important moment in your lives, and you’re saying goodbye to your parents, and hello to spending the next few years with these people that you literally just met in halls. It will be a weird rollercoaster ride, but these people should be with you throughout your life as a result.

#4: There’s more to it than drinking

Let’s be honest, in the UK there is a huge drinking culture that runs throughout universities, but you can get by, and meet lots of great people, without finishing every library stint off with a nightcap (or seven). You have a lot more in common with each other than you’d think, and it’s totally OK to reject the drinking side of university if you’d prefer to. Forget the stereotypes, and do your thing.

#5: Joining societies is important

When you first go to university, the idea of joining a society can seem a bit of a strange one. You have to sit with a bunch of random people, and take an active role in what’s going on (most of the time) and this is pretty daunting. However, it helps you to meet like minded people, and is vital, especially if you’re living in the city. Bite the bullet, and pick out a few societies that you want to try.

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#6: Navigating finances is hard

Aah, finances. Nobody really likes to think about that stuff, do they? However, when you go to university, you kind of have to. Newsflash: stuff costs money, and most of it costs a lot of money. You need to factor in your rent, any bills, and what cash you actually have to spread across the term. Some people budget, and these people are clever. Others wing it, but it’s only for the brave.

#7: You’re not going to eat nice food

OK, so there’s always that one person in halls that appears to be cooking something delicious. No need to brag, Vicky, we can’t all afford to be eating fancy steak. However, the truth is that you’re probably not going to be engaging in much fine dining at university. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but cheese is expensive, microwave meals are cheap, and there are many variations of Tesco meal deals that you can purchase before you start to get bored. Go figure.

#8: You’ll benefit from post-uni planning

University is, essentially, three years of your life in which you don’t do a lot. You may not have to work, you probably go out a lot with your friends, and you’re pretty much free until a deadline comes around. This isn’t really prep for the real world, so it’s a good idea to plan out what you’re going to do, or to get an internship, so that you don’t have the post-uni crisis that most of us know so well.

#9: Finding accommodation can be a challenge

Working out who you’re going to live with in second and third year is a challenge in itself, but finding accommodation can be a bigger one still. Getting your friends to all view a house at the same time is basically like trying to organise a meeting with the Pope. However, going through a company like Mighty Student Living could help you to find your accommodation, without all of the stress. Winning.

#10: You have to throw yourself into it

OK, so enough about the price of cheese and the importance of joining the Marxist Ice Skating Society. However you choose to spend your time at university, be sure to make the most of it, and throw yourself into it as much as you can. These will be some of the best years of your life, and you don’t want to feel like you’ve wasted them. Do what you can, and you won’t regret getting involved.


If you’re heading off to university, then keep these 10 things in mind. You will have an awesome time, with some amazing people, so enjoy every second of it! However, be prepared as possible, and get ready for all of these things (plus some added homesickness, too. Sorry). Nevertheless, you will remember it for the rest of your life. If only we could be students forever…

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