#17- The real university experience

What is the real university experience?

There aren’t many shows or films that show what the real experience is like, the ones I have seen are Fresh Meat and the Riot Club. Now I don’t know if the Riot Club actually depicts Oxford, or wherever it is based, but Fresh Meat kind of depicts Uni.

The run-down student housing, the drinks at the pub, the different personalities, the arguments, it 70% accurately shows what uni is like from the other side of student life.

The older generation, the media and people who haven’t been to university say that it is a waste of time, students are lazy and that all it is drinking. For the most part, you can argue that these are true, however, I believe they are not.

It is only a waste of time if you don’t put the effort it, it’s only a waste of time if you don’t use the time you have in uni wisely.  But what does a ‘waste of time’ mean? If you’re studying a subject you want to learn about and go into that job, it isn’t a waste of time, even though there are many different ways to get to many jobs, it isn’t a waste of time if you WANT to do it, don’t let anyone define what you want to do. If you want to go to uni and dedicate 3 years to learning your degree, then don’t let anyone tell you it is a waste of time.

Even if you drop out or stop putting in the effort, you still haven’t wasted your time, you are still learning how to live independently, you are meeting new people, learning new skills, experiencing new things that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t go to uni, therefore NOT a waste of time.

My real university experience was full of emotions, ups and downs, stress, laughter and worry. People think that being a student is lazy and that we are not responsible with our money but in reality, the majority of students don’t get enough of a loan to ‘have money’.

I got £5000, and over the four years, that got depleted to about £4,200. That was my student loan. That wasn’t enough the cover my accommodation and have enough to live off the in the year. My average weekly rent over the four years was £100, and I was living in Preston if I got into my first uni choice, which was Exeter, I would have the need to work to afford living there, as their rent was £136 a week.

I was lucky and privileged enough to have monetary help from Aunty, but other students weren’t lucky to have help. Many of us, including my close friends, had to have a part-time job to afford the rent and living in the flat (food, drink, car payments, and of course a little extra money to treat ourselves) so this just adds worry and stress, as the real uni experience is juggling money, the time between classes, studying, assignments, sleep, work, friends, relaxation. It pisses me off when the older generation says that ‘students do fuck all’ when we never really have time to ourselves, which is why when we go out we get drunk, we save up money, to go out and blow off steam.

That is the real uni experience, it is juggling a lot and it is stressful but it is rewarding, it does teach you how to manage and organise your time, even though I can’t physically do it, I am just incapable of organisation but it teaches you what life will be like, in away.

It’s a mini-crash course on adult life, but with the added benefits of you being able to relax and do nothing whilst you are writing essays and clubbing.

That was my real uni experience. I am curious what your real uni experience was, and if you have any misconceptions about uni and students the comment down below and I will discuss your points with you.

KatyNella xo


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