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10 Things You Should Know Before Starting University

At times you may live the lifestyle of an unsupervised child, and you will probably make friends for life in some pretty unexpected places.

Shutterstock/ PeopleImages.com - Yuri A

Everything you should know about the adventure of starting university from someone who was there herself! From making friends more like family to trying new things, here are a few words of wisdom.

1. It will take you a while to find your feet

The first year is all trial and error: from cooking every meal for yourself to figuring out how to use the laundry systems to establishing boundaries away from parental control. It will take a while to get used to it all. Academically, you will have more freedom than before and more responsibility. It sounds cliché, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

@toanckd

Friends ss1 – Ross teaches Rachel how to do laundry.

♬ original sound – ToanCKD – ToanCKD

2. You will continue to get to know new people and make friends until the day you graduate

You won’t necessarily find all your best mates in the first few weeks.

Many people worry about making friends instantly, but there is no quick fix to finding your university besties. That kind of bond takes time anyway. You will meet new people in classes, on nights out and through societies you join. Yet you will also meet people in unexpected places, like in the stairwell as you take out the trash.

3. You will try many new things and fail at some of them – but you should still give them a go

Having the bravery to try new things is what university is truly about. You will find people with the most niche interests. In your hometown, the options might have been limited to a few ball sports or the drama club; but at university, you will find manga societies, belly dance groups and pottery clubs. Try anything you are interested in, and you might find a new passion or some new friends.

Photo Credits: Shutterstock/ PeopleImages.com – Yuri A

4. Grades aren’t everything. Uni is about so much more

There will be long nights at your desk, tears, and endless cups of coffee. If you put in the effort, you will be so proud when you get the marks you deserve. However, if you spend four years in the library alone, you won’t give yourself the full university experience you deserve. Create more memories for yourself than just the view of your laptop screen.

Photo Credits: Shutterstock/ PeopleImages.com – Yuri A

5. You may not find love at university, but finding yourself is more important anyway

University can be a bit like the animal kingdom. You will find anything from the most casual of hook-ups (the bonobos) to the most devoted relationships (the lobster couples). Everyone is running on their timeline. Because many people meet their partner while at university, it doesn’t mean you will. While the first year can feel like a sexual buffet at times, by the time you reach the third year, it can feel like old married couples surround you. Don’t feel pressured to fit into a specific category!

6. Savour the chaos, no time in your life will be quite like this again

You will enjoy going out, but you will also yearn for those quiet nights in. Some of your favorite memories with your flatmates will be made watching Love Island in pajamas as you eat takeaway. One day, you might live in a polished home with photo frames and clean floors, but for now, take the crumb-lined countertops, endless dirty mugs and post-it note wall displays in your stride. Whether you are waking up on a stranger’s sofa or dressing up scandalously for Halloween, know that being this irresponsible can’t last forever. This lifestyle isn’t sustainable, but it can be fun.

7. Not everybody will pull equal weight when it comes to household chores

There will be some awkwardness when assigning duties and figuring out responsibilities. It will become clear whose parents have been spoiling them and who has been contributing to household chores for years. It could take a few awkward conversations, but ultimately sharing the cleaning tasks and delegating duties is crucial so that one person isn’t left mothering the entire flat.

8. Like in Friends, you might find that your friends become your family

You might be surprised that by Christmas of the first year, university feels more like home than your parent’s house. Your university mates will inevitably witness sides of you that your parents never got to. They will probably see you at your best, worst, and everything else. The best friends at university are the ones who support you, cherish you, and hold your hair back while you vomit.

Photo Credits: Shutterstock/ Aila Images

9. You might regret your degree subject, but that’s okay

There can be much value in discovering what you don’t want to do. Although it could feel like time wasted if you scrap your career plans, the truth is that choosing the “wrong” degree might be what made you realize your passion in the first place. Every experience is a lesson learned, and society often dictates that you need to get things right the first time. There are different paths to reach any goal; you may not take the most conventional one.

10. You can start something new during any stage of university

@byrondempsey

It’s not too late to pursue what you love! EP. 4 #university #uni #20something #drivenyoung

♬ State Lines – Novo Amor

There is no rule saying that you don’t get another shot if you don’t start something in the first year. Want to try out for the swim team during your last year? Go for it. Want to learn a new language halfway through the semester? Go for it. University is all about following your instincts and taking every opportunity. Although you might be twenty years old, you will find people the same age as your parents sitting in the lecture theatres with you. Take a leaf out of their book, it is never too late!

I am a third year English Literature and Creative Writing student, interning here at Trill Mag. I am passionate about people, food and travel, and am endlessly curious about the world around me.

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