University Guest Post: Common Misconceptions

Another week, another guest post and today it’s coming from Georgia of Taking New York. She’s going to be talking about common misconceptions relating to university and let me tell you – it’s a fab post! I wish I’d read it before going to university all of those years ago as it would have definitely eased the nerves a little!

 photo University Misconceptions_zpsgs1tjigt.jpgHi I’m Georgia from over at Taking New York and this week I’ve been given the pleasure of guest posting here on Chloe’s blog! The theme recently has been all about starting university and, as a student entering my third year, I thought it was about time we addressed some of the common university misconceptions.

First off, the whole ‘University is the best time of your life’ myth.

I’m not saying it won’t be the best time of your life (by all means I hope you enjoy every moment of it) but the problem is when that pressure becomes so huge that you feel like a failure for not enjoying every second.

During your three years of studying, I’m sure you will have moments that eventually show up in your highlight reel but not every day will feel like the best time of your life and that is very much okay.

Whilst university involves a certain amount of fancy dress and alcohol, people often forget that it demands a hell of a lot of hard work too; something that isn’t always a barrel of laughs.

On those nights when you find yourself crying in the library because you just can’t see the end of the essay you’re working on, remind yourself that it is okay to be stressed, it is okay to question what the hell you’re doing and, most importantly, remind yourself that this is just a temporary glitch during the ‘best time of your life’.

Next up, one of the biggest worries students seem to have before starting university is:
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You will be expected to go out and drink every single night.

This is not true.

If that’s what you want to do then trust me you won’t struggle to find people to do this with and you won’t struggle to find a decent club on a Monday night. But, if this isn’t your idea of fun then don’t panic.

Whilst the university year typically starts with ‘Fresher’s Week’ which is admittedly very much alcohol-orientated, if you give it time, attend lectures and join societies you will soon find other like-minded souls whom would also rather swap tequila shots for a night of movies and pizza, a day in the Lakes or even punting in Oxford.

‘Getting a first is the single most important thing’.

I know this seems like an odd thing for me to include as a ‘misconception’ but bear with me.

During A-Levels the most important thing is to get the best grade you can in order to meet university entry requirements. However, once you graduate, employers are looking for much more than just a degree on your CV.

Instead, they want to see you have transferable skills, interests and experience too. Regardless of whether you have a first, if you have nothing more to offer a potential employer then there lies a problem.

Instead of putting all your effort into achieving that elusive first, my advice would be to develop a number of other skills too. Skills that will show employers that you can do more than just sit an exam, you can hold down a part-time job, captain the netball team and write for the paper too; a much more interesting and well-rounded person if you ask me!

Now for a ‘rule’ that seems to circulate university and pops up in almost all advice posts:
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‘Don’t get with your flatmate’.

I broke this rule and will happily admit that the first time I met my boyfriend was on the first day of Fresher’s Week, just as we were both unpacking our belongings into adjacent bedrooms.

Though the misconception is that it is bound to go wrong, bound to end in tears and bound to make it awkward for everyone in the flat, two years later and we’re still going strong and very happy.

Perhaps if you’re looking for something ‘casual’ I would agree and say look further afield but, if like me, you genuinely like someone, don’t let this ‘rule’ ruin what could ultimately be pretty special.

 photo IMG_4142_zpsg7rfcejw.jpgLastly, they say you make your friends for life at university and for once, I agree.

University is no different to school in that there will always be people you like and people you dislike, but, because university is so much larger, it is ten times easier to remove yourself from them. In which case, you can happily spend your time forming friendships with those who matter and those who will potentially go on to become, like they say, ‘life-long friends’; one of the very best things about university.

This for me is so true – I met some of the best friends I’ve ever had at university, and I can’t imagine not knowing them. Told you this would be a great post! If you want to guest post over here please email me on [email protected]!

What do you think are big misconceptions about university?