A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Five Things I Didn't Expect About University Life


Today on the blog, a guest post from daughter, Olivia, all about things she's learnt since going to University.

I have been away from home and studying at university for 2 terms now, and along the way I have been surprised as many of my assumptions, or rather clich├ęs of university life have been challenged.
  • The drinking culture is frowned upon, yet often flags up as a pressure point for teens as all around students are inundated with the freedom of being able to get drunk, in my case for the first time. However, when getting to know my flatmates, I was surprised to learn that some of them didn’t drink at all, preferring to spend their money on more rewarding ventures such as climbing and kayaking. It was the same on my course, as many of my friends didn’t feel the need, or want to get drunk on a crazy night out. This helped me to see another side to fellow teenagers which dare I say it, I was grateful for. As much as I love to go out on a crazy drunken night, I love that us teens are capable of more than just downing booze to have fun. There is a sober regime out there, even at Uni. 
  •  I was surprised at how lazy I became. There, I said it. There were many times in the winter semester when I didn’t even see the sun at the weekend, because I slept all day. This didn’t mean I didn’t get the work done, I hasten to add. This wasn’t necessarily because I’d been partying all night; I guess I was just exercising a new found freedom, as never before had I been allowed to sleep all day. I never thought I would be the lazy type, but I guess Uni can bring out what you least expect.
  • One of the main concerns I had about moving away, was leaving my sister. We had never been apart for more than a week, and I had a good three months stretching in front of me, when I would have to fight my battles alone. Yet somehow, as soon as I moved in, it was like none of that mattered. I guess I have the many friendly faces I see on a daily basis to thank for that, and of course Skype – thank you for being free (my phone bill would really be extortionate without you). 
  •  I don’t know whether I’m just a freak of nature, but never once did I feel homesick. For that I am extremely grateful, yet at the same time it does unnerve me sometimes how easily I slipped into the Uni lifestyle, as though I had been training for it all my life. However, on reflection I think fitting in had more to do with the fact that University is a place for everybody – as long as you have a passion for your subject, you are welcomed with open arms, and it shows as I have never felt so happy with where I am.
  • There is a unique buzz at Uni, with a real sense that people have interesting things to say and opinions that could change the world. It’s a rewarding experience talking to someone that you know you never would have met if you hadn’t left home. The sense of community is something that I will cherish throughout my undergraduate years.
 
Calling all students, I would be very happy to hear from you and perhaps what surprised you most about moving away from home.

Copyright©2014 Olivia Anderton
 

13 comments :

  1. It is great that you have found friends that do not waste their first year of university with drinking. There is far more to university and if done correctly, it can be the best time of your life. I believe you are off to a good start.

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  2. I love hearing your daughter's perspective on university life. It's true that we easily can assume that students use their spare time drinking and 'carousing' so it's refreshing to have that view knocked down.

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  3. That's quite a refreshing view from your daughter, and completely at odds with how I perceive students to be spending their time at university. Great honesty.

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  4. So interesting to read.....I automatically assumed that all students go out drinking all the time....Nice to read it's not like that x

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  5. This is so encouraging! Great to hear today's students are coping so well, even with the added burdens of loans, social media, job insecurity etc etc. good luck with your course! X
    #PoCoLo

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  6. What a truly wonderful post :) It is such a relief to hear that it isn't all drunken escapades and very heartwarming to hear that they want to spend their money on more worthwhile things! Thank you Olivia - I really enjoyed your post and thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

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  7. What a fab insight into life at Uni! I love the fact that not everyone goes out and gets wasted all the time. It's great to hear that you are so settled, and not being home sick is probably testament to how well you get on with your family. Look forward to further updates #PoCoLo

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  8. This post is so well-put, and Olivia you sound like a natural, both at writing and at stepping out into the world. It takes a lot of confidence to go it alone and make new friends in an unfamiliar place. I'll bet a lot of parents will be reassured by reading your post.

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  9. Amazing that she didn't feel homesick. You must have mixed feelings about that. I remember I thought I'd be all big and brave and love uni, but I really didn't love it at all :(

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  10. How times have changed. When I went to Uni (the Dark Ages) it was very much about the drunkenness but we had an awesome time and I made great friends and I'm still in contact with a lot of them. We didn't have the technology back then for Skype and even mobile phones were very rare. We had one payphone to accommodate 50 students!! Great post #pocolo

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  11. Lucas says - I'm glad you're making friends and I love the idea of kayaking and climbing - has this worried your Mother? I know my Mother went to University and I don't think she was as well behaved as you. I think she liked the Mummy Juice even then............ #pocolo

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  12. I totally understand your reluctance to leave your sister, but sounds like you've settled in really well. Uni is such a special time. Enjoy it! #pocolo

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  13. Great to finally read a post from one of the daughters! This is such a comforting read for me, with daughters now in their teenage years and the eldest definitely hoping for a place at University. For us parents, I think the most worrying bit is the whole pressure over alcohol, pleased to hear it's not totally compulsory. Glad to hear you're enjoying it too. I wonder how your mother feels about you not feeling homesick at all!

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