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20 Facts About Starting University That Everyone FAILS To Mention

by Emmy Griffiths Published on 3 September 2014

Before University, we had an idea of what it would be like. Huge fancy dress parties that looked like they were made for Instagram, decorating our bedrooms with fairy lights and posters as we made new lifelong friends and created incredible memories. Unfortunately the grass is always greener on the other side, and there are some hard truths about University we never saw coming...

The fire warden will install the fear of God in you

You’re on the top floor of a Halls of Residence, you can’t wait to go out and start the ‘best years of your life’, and all that’s standing in your way is this compulsory talk by the fire warden. Five minutes later and you are in a cold sweat working out how you’d escape the fiery inferno that is bound to happen 'if you are not vigilant…'

Someone will end up in A&E

Usually caused by trying to climb over a fence after a night out or throwing yourself down a flight of stairs in a dare, if it’s not you, it’ll be one of your housemates, and in support (and to mock) you’ll all go wait for three hours in A&E with them.

There'll always be one person you'll instantly HATE

Freshers week is a turbulent time and the people you enjoy it with will become your best friends. But it’s guaranteed there will be at least one person in your Halls of Resident that will grind your gears. It’s best to just grit your teeth and move past it – you’ll be spending a lot of time with them whether you like it or not!

You’ll get handed a rape alarm in your first week

Of course, it’s for safety and that’s great, but it’s still pretty disturbing to be handed one, even though it’ll stay on your key ring for three years. It will also accidentally go off in your bag at the WORST time.

The student loan will last about a week. Then you NEED to get a part-time job

You think student loans are this glorious thing which will let you go shopping with free money that no one realistically expects you to ever pay back, but no. The money left over from rent will last one glorious week, two if you live off biscuits and cheese alone, then it’s job seeking time. You will be screwed without one.

The boys you will live will be mercilessly disgusting

We knew boys were gross before we started uni, but we never…we never quite realised the extent. Chucking their spare change into mugs that once held their cup a soup, ripping up their sheets to use as a Halloween costume then sleeping on their grubby decades-old mattress for months on end and NOT FLUSHING THE TOILET, you’ll have an insider experience as to what happens when a bunch of teenage boys live together, and trust us, it's unpleasant.

You’ll always feel just a tiny bit grubby

From leaving mum and dad’s house with their vacuuming and polishing and ironing to living in Halls where everything is slightly unclean, cheap and damp will make you feel like you're constantly covered in a layer of grime, no matter how many times you use the shower. (When you're sharing it with 12 people it NEVER feels like a sacred place).

New clothes become a distant memory

Unless you money manage or rely on the bank of mum and dad, new clothes become a thing of the past. You won’t be able to nip out and buy that dress, or those shoes. You won’t be able to do anything but make the best of what you’ve already got! If you’re unable to wear a 'night out outfit' more than once now, you’re in for a horrible shock.

Procrastination becomes your full-time occupation

Cleaning, watching Homes Under The Hammer, and playing Nintendo 64 will become your life. Yes you’ll make amazing memories at Uni and have fantastic experiences, but there will be some lull periods in between all the fun!

If you have classes at 9am, it is guaranteed that you will not go

We know it, the tutor knows it, and the University knows it. If anything it’ll be more shocking if you actually show up. For the tutor it’s a time of reflection, not teaching. Don’t break the unspoken rule. Don’t be that girl.

The warden will spoil all of your fun

If you live in Halls what no one seems to tell you is that you will have a warden to keep an eye on you. So if you had ideas about running through the grounds at two in the morning in morph suits whilst chanting drinking songs, just know that the warden will be waiting on your doorstep when you get back. And they can fine you.

One of your housemates will be a psychopath, guaranteed

You think they are nice and normal, then about halfway through the year you are proven WRONG. You never really know a person…

Nothing will prepare you for AU night

The night where all the sports clubs get together to play drinking games and force each other to do terrible things NEVER ends well. Don’t even get us started on the Initiation process…shudder.

Your Halls of Residence will stink

Despite the cleaner desperately doing her best, the constant alcohol spillage, the smell of old fry ups and the congealing food on the unwashed dishes will make your Halls REEK.

There will be rodents

You will give said mice names, and scream bloody murder when you go to get a late night snack and spot one in the middle of the kitchen. Learn to live with them side-by-side, because they are going NOWHERE.

Dirty pots become the bane of your life

Everyone thinks it’s fine to leave a couple of pots on the side, but since there are 24 of you, there is a permanent stinking pile of mess that the cleaner refuses to wash. After that, it becomes a battle of the minds. Who can stand it the longest? Who will eventually give up and sort out everyone’s problems by cracking out the yellow gloves?

The cleaner will become your surrogate mother

She’ll fuss over you, worry when you look peaky and nag you when the place is a mess. You’ll gossip with her, gently persuade her to do your ironing and constantly disappoint her when everything’s a big ole’ tip.

In seminars you will become the mute or the know-it-all. There is no in between

Seminars are like marriage. You speak now, or you forever hold your peace. If you decide not to speak up in the first seminar, you never speak. Even when the tutor has asked a question and the long silence is unbearable. Unfortunately that shouldn’t be an issue though, because there’ll be that person who HAS taken on the role of know-it-all who will speak for all of you. And rest assured that person WILL be a mature student.

Freshers week assignments. Yeah, that happens

If your tutor is a total douche and wants a 700-word essay on your first topic to ‘get a feel for your writing’, just know that it’s ungraded and they’ll probably never read it, if you do write it, you'll probably miss out on ‘Hawaii night’ and the bitterness will never quite go away...

The choice between food and fun is real

Nights out can be pricey, despite cheap student nights because of just how much booze you can put away, so choosing between your weekly shop and your weekly going out schedule is a true struggle.

What was your biggest unpleasant surprise at University? Tweet us @sofeminineUK!

This article was written by Emmy Griffiths. Tweet her @emmyfg

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