University is supposed to be one of the best times of your life, and although it's been a lot of fun, it's also been an eventful time and there are moments where I can't wait for it to be over! I know a lot of people LOVE university but I am just done with it all now and I think it's because I expected a lot more from it.
So I want to be honest and not glamorise it - obviously this is my perspective I know some people will disagree!
1) You get given a hell of a lot less student loan in your third year. How is that advice? Well, if you find first and second year impossible to live on a rubbish loan and not be able to work too then you'll find third year even harder. This year they gave me £2000 less which has resulted in heavy budgeting, late rent payments and having to work in order to keep afloat. They give you less because they believe you won't need as much in your third year as you won't need it for summer as once Summer is up you're no longer a student. Flawed massively but do bear it in mind.
2) It's ok to feel like you've not made your life long friends here. Everyone says that university is where you find your friends for life and although I love the people on my course that help and stick by me and make the experience a lot more bearable. The truth is not every university or place will allow you to make those friends. Being at a London university means everyone comes from a million different places, some commute from Kent, Essex, Herts and further which means that we're not all around 24/7. With campus universities, you tend to all stay closer a lot more often. Even when a lot of people went on placement we barely got to say bye and that's that, we probably won't meet again. It's the way life goes! Don't sweat, you'll leave in your twenties, you've got another 80 years to make friends.
3)Work for you. It's so easy to think that you must get a first or you're failing. Even when I didn't get a 2:1 in my first year I considered giving up, I was failing and to me it was the worst thing. But just remember, you're the one who made it to university and got the place on a course that is accredited in whatever field you're in. You'll have a document and title to your name. If you want to do your degree to say you bloody did it, do it! Don't be disheartened when it feels like everyone else did better than you, because you probably haven't heard their grade that you did better than them in anyway. Work for you, it's your life and future after all!
4) Long distance relationships can work. This is one of them topics that bother me, the belief that if you move to university and you're going far away from your other half that you won't be able to see each other anymore is ridiculous. If you like someone you'll make it work and so will they. A new town to explore for you both, weekends do exists, trains and cars exist and so do reading weeks and holidays. Don't assume you have to give up because 'it seems the right thing to do.' Distance in the UK is nothing as well, people who think Manchester to London is far are short sighted because some people manage Australia or US relationships, remember that!
5)You don't have to be a heavy drinker/like drinking/go out if you don't want to. I felt such regret going to university freshers and not being able to keep up drinking. I got scared and didn't want to go out. I hate clubbing and it was a scary experience. I love drinking but I am not a heavy drinker, especially not everyday or weekend too. I learnt within the six months of first year, it didn't actually matter I didn't want to and no one cared! Don't worry if you don't want to drink, you'll still make friends, don't worry!!
I know it sounds like I really hate university, I don't hate it, but I haven't loved my time due to it not being everything I wanted. It will vastly improve my CV and career choices and I can't wait to explore the working world more! Do university for you and embrace what you want from it, if you try to conform to wanting everything it won't be what you want!