For those who are about to start university or are considering applying to university at some point in the future, it’s likely that you’ve got some assumptions about what life at university is really like. Whether this has come from horror stories on social media or from friends and family, it’s more likely to be some myths in amongst the truthful tales and that’s why I’m here to help.
I’ve found some of the 9 common myths below so you see what you can expect from university life before the first semester rolls around.
- You’ll get stuck with awful flatmates
I’m sure we’ve all heard horror stories about anti-social flatmates with questionable hygiene habits, however, in reality, these cases come few and far between. In first-year especially, extra effort goes into making sure that you’re placed with like-minded individuals in halls. Even if you don’t get on with your current flatmates, living in halls gives you the opportunity to meet a range of new people without venturing too far from your own doorstep. So you’ll be sure to find people you get on with, even if you’re not living with them.
- You need to secure a house for second-year quickly and before the good ones are ‘all gone’
There is a common misconception that you have to start looking for houses as soon as your first semester is over in order to secure the ‘best one’, however, this is simply not the case. Especially in a major student city such as Leeds, there are so many accommodation options and areas to explore, so rushing into this decision could lead to regrets.
- You’ll have little to no money most of the time
This will largely depend on how you personally manage your finances, but in reality not all students are skint! I’ll be the first to admit that times can be tough in the run up to your next loan payment, but good money management and taking on a part-time job can help you to relieve the final pressure during these times. However, if you are having trouble managing your money it’s important to discuss your options with the university’s money and advice team to see how they can help.
- Everyone is outgoing
Another assumption about people at university is that everyone is loud and outgoing and a stipulation that often comes with that is that you have to be outgoing in order to make friends. Again, this is a myth so if you don’t see yourself as an outgoing person, don’t worry! Making friends at university is all about finding people with similar interests to you, regardless of whether you’re an introvert or extrovert. A great way to find people similar to you is to join teams or societies.
- You’ll meet all your best friends in the first year
Whilst some people do find all their friends in first-year, the reality is that many people don’t - and that’s okay! The pressure to find friends can be immense during those first few weeks of university, however, it’s important to think about the bigger picture and remember that you’ve got much more time to meet people with similar interests to you.
- You don’t need to try in your first year
This is a myth that you need to be careful of if you’re starting university. It’s likely that you’ve already heard that you don’t need to try in first-year because it doesn’t count towards your final grade. Whilst it’s true that the marks you get don’t count towards your overall degree (unless you fail first-year!), the theory and principles you learn will apply to the rest of your course. This is why it’s important to avoid slacking in your first year so that it makes life easier for you going forward.
- You won’t get to see your friends from home
Even if you move away from home for university, you’ll still get to see your friends from home as often as you’d like. Obviously, this depends on financial and time constraints, but if both parties make the effort then you’ll find a way to make things work around your studies and work schedules.
- Uni is all play and no work
Many people go to university just for the experience and lifestyle, so much so that it can be easy to forget that you also have to come out the other side with a good degree grade! In reality, you have find ways to balance your work and play so that you make the most of the university experience whilst getting the grades you need for your future career.
- You’ll only get a ‘good’ job if you go to a redbrick or Russell Group university
Finally, there is a common myth that you’ll only get a decent job if you go to a prestigious university rather than a ‘polytechnic’ or lesser-known university, but this is totally false! With the competition in the graduate landscape getting fiercer each year, employers look for other things that give a more accurate picture of your knowledge and experience, rather than just the university you went to. Things that are really important are: transferable skills, employment experience, your dedication to your studies, and more.
Are there any other myths that you’ve heard that aren’t on this list? Leave a comment below with some of the most outlandish myths you’ve heard about university and whether or not they’re true!