Like many people who are probably inundating your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds with photos of them throwing weird hats in the air, I’ve recently finished uni and soon the same cliche photos of me will be gracing the Internet (not even sorry).
During this weird limbo between being a student whose main worry was how I can cure this hangover to worrying about how I’m going get a real, grown up job to pay rent and live in The Real World, I’ve become rather reflective about my uni experience and what I’ve learnt.
These are six things that I learnt at university that are completely unrelated to the academic things that I should have been learning. There are more, but these were the most important.
1. Waffle Sandwiches
I learnt that potato waffle sandwiches with processed cheese slices (those orange ones that probably reduce your life span by a year every time you eat one) and garlic mayo and/or ketchup are the best delicacy to eat when you are drunk.
2. Life is unfair
Being a student isn’t all fun and games. I learnt this every time I locked myself out of my bedroom and had to pay £50 to get back in. I locked myself out about 7 times.. that’s a lot of nights out and a lot of beans.
3. Sometimes you eat, sometimes you buy clothes.
When I was in sixth form, no one prepared me for how hard it is to actually live away from home, I soon learnt that blowing £500 of my overdraft on crap meant that I wouldn’t get to eat too much for a while.
4. Sexism is used to get students to go out
By far the worst revelation was how club promoters and clubs themselves sexualise girls and use them to get people to go to their club nights. One example that I was particularly horrified by was a photo of some of my friends compared with another photo of some other girls. This was posted on Facebook and people had to vote for which group of girls would get into the club for free that night.
5. You have to pay for prescriptions
This is a bit ‘first world problems’ but I was very annoyed to discover that you have to pay for these things when you leave school. Up until I went to university, I got everything, my glasses, prescriptions, check ups etc, for free on the NHS. Some people do qualify for help with these things but I didn’t and it was hard to part with £8 for prescriptions and even harder to part with hundreds for my glasses.
6. CHECK YOUR EMAILS
You need to be hot on your emails at uni because universities are a wonderful place offering many opportunities to you via email. For me, I was given the chance to do a group interview Norman Cook aka Fat Boy Slim in my first year. I missed the email and it has niggled at me ever since so I have definitely learnt from this, it’s just a shame that I had to find out the hard way.
I could go on, but really, you should find out for yourself what university is all about and learn from everything that happens to you, good or bad. Although I had many ups and lots of downs, it really was the best three years of my short life so far and I am extremely jealous of those of you who get to start this year.