Throughout school, I believed that being a student at a good university was the ultimatum. For some unknown reason, I believed being a university student would be glamorous. I remember seeing TV shows with these girls and guys who would receive brown paper packages, discussing how they could tell whether it was an acceptance letter or not.
Now, I do not remember results night or regarding my university offers as extravagant. I do remember opening a small letter in a white envelope saying, ‘Congratulations…’. You see, it never was as fabulous as I thought it would be, even if you go to a top university. Unfortunately, this is the same for university life.
I made the decision to go to a university near home. This seemed like a great idea up to the point where I was up at 5:45am to make sure I could shower, have breakfast and get two trains for my 9am lecture. I do value my sleep, but smelling bad trumps sleep any day.
The thing about all the articles online is that they show university life as this amazing adventure, where you will be the most popular student, have 100 friends and attend events every Friday and Saturday night.
The reality of being a student is that, within the first two weeks, you will be hit head-on with a ton of assignments and almost 100 pages of reading without so much as a warning. Being a student is not at all glamorous. Yes, you can drink alcohol to your heart’s content and partake in any event you want. But being a student is not easy. It is just like a full-time job. Everything you do is constantly noted.
I wonder why TV shows and films present student life as amazing. Why don’t they show our generation working hard, instead of portraying how many glasses of wine we have had? The reality is, sometimes they are waiting for us to fail, to make a mistake. I think secretly, they are seeing which one of us is going to quit the race while we are running ahead.
In the past twelve weeks of being a university student, I have learnt more than I can process. Lecturers and tutors expect you to work like a madman, with sixteen arms and two brains. Student life is where you realise you have £4.00 left in your bank account and you are wondering which pot noodle flavour you are going to have next.
But as for me, a student who lives at home, I still have to budget my money. I have to think about which events I can attend and those I can’t. I still have to make time to have a social life, even though I am up to my neck in reading. I can’t always spend money on clothes or makeup because I have textbooks that cost more.
So as a first-year university student to others: I salute the experts! Because only we know the truth about this life and only we can warn others…