Ten things I wish people had told me about living at university

Fresher's week at the University of Portsmouth is now officially over and it's been a wild one, there are 'best friend' relationships many have PROMISED to keep with gaggles of other fresher's outside Ken's Kebab shop at 3AM because they shared the last of their chips together, and many, many walks of shame back to halls after a drunken night with the guy you thought was prince charming in the club, but turned out rather to be a bit of a frog. 

The past two weeks have been a learning curb for thousands of fresher's over the UK, there are memories and experiences that will never be forgotten, (at least until the next round of snakebites are in) and reactions to situations you may never have associated yourself having before starting university. It's still early days, but I've compiled a list of the top ten things I wish I'd been told before starting university:

10 - You will fight with your housemates 

The first two or three days you can see no fault in your housemates. They like Adventure Time AND Arctic Monkeys, so you are destined to be soul mates, but when the initial need to impress starts to break down, you notice that your housemate isn't the best at doing his or her washing up, or that they do quite like bringing their entire course back at an ungodly hour because there's nothing better than a post-clubbing party with the rest of the absinthe left in the fridge. If you're lucky enough not to fight with your housemates in the first few weeks, good for you, but it will happen, and when it does you will learn more about how you deal with confrontation than you ever have before. Your parents can't back you up anymore, they can try their best but they can't tell you what to do, you have to be the adult and see who's right and who's wrong in the situation, as shit as that is. The best thing you can do is just apologise despite who's in the wrong and stick an episode of Adventure Time on to make everyone happy. 

9 - Getting locked out of your room is one of the worst, and the funniest things

This one goes out to those in rented accommodation in particular. Within the first few days of starting university I managed to lock every possession I owned, including my next day lecture material in my room, with me locked outside of it. Although I was of course heartbroken, I've never seen a funnier site than 6 confused teenagers with hair pins in their hands try to unpick a lock like they'd 'seen in the movies.' My advice to those in accommodation, is ensure your landlord has a spare key and that you keep at the very least, your essential possessions in a space downstairs when you are in the house. 

8 - Food goes out of date 

You'd think this was ridiculously obvious, but almost everyone I've spoken to (excluding a few students with cooking expertise, the lucky buggers) have spent unnecessary amounts of money on food that will go out of date within the next few days and chucked into the rubbish bin. For most of my life I've been oblivious to the fact that potatoes actually go out of date, I thought they were some sort of invisible power vegetable, so watch out for labels and best befores, supermarkets know full well you are students and will try to catch you out. They prey on the young. 

7 - At some point you'll have your heart broken 

Bit of a miserable thought, but it's inevitable that at some stage in your three years at university, you'll find someone (if you haven't already) that you feel you are destined to be with, and they'll break your heart one way or the other. You might not, you might have three smooth years of being completely single or loved up, but it's likely for most students out there that you'll experience a break up at some stage or another. Best way to get over it? Ice-cream and a good old rebound with that hot bartender... 

6 - You'll miss a lecture 

Wether it's because you are tasting the previous nights sambuca as you chuck it all back up again the morning after, or because you just can't function at an early lecture, you will miss one or two. It's not bad, just catch up, you'll totally regret spending 9 grand a year if you don't... 

5 - You will trash watch a TV programme on Netflix all day, and have no regrets whatsoever...

Mine was Peep Show, and it was the best day of my life. 

4 - You will unwilling learn the words to every single club or chart song ever invented

I never ever want to hear the selfie song EVER, EVER, again, but I know for a fact it will be on at some point this weekend.. 

3 - You will google your essay question praying to the university gods someone was foolish enough to leave a 2.1 version of it online.. 

2 - You will at some point, get so drunk you forget where you are and find your home address on Google Maps, see that its a 2 and a half hour drive away, and freak your shit wondering why you're not still in Kent. 

And finally, you will have the best year of your life. 
Of course, I don't know this for sure, you might have a shit year. But from every second or third year I've ever spoken to, they've all told me that freshers was by far the best experience of their lives, and they are in fact jealous, that we can get away with so much alcohol intake and Saturday night kebabs and STILL not have to worry about getting any more than a pass this year. GO FRESHERS.  


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Hayley Sigrist