UCAS is mainly concerned with the admin side of going to uni: the grades, the applications and giving you the odd link to information about finance. What it won’t tell you are the aspects of day to day life as a student.
Going to university is an exciting time; you may imagine that you’ll be starting your days bright and early every single morning, spending the day in lectures, going home and working hard then getting ready for a big night out every night, or spending hours in the library every day. That will not happen.
- At best you may make it to a 9:15 lecture every other week. Mornings eventually cease to exist.
- The timetables can be that retarded you stop bothering with certain classes – when you have a 2 hour gap between lectures and live a 25 minute walk away it’s almost not worth going home especially as you know damn well once you get there you won’t be bothered to go back again. At the same time you have no money to waste on drinks/lunch in the union and no one to meet on campus for two hours, it’s chucking it down with rain and you don’t fancy sitting bored out of your mind in the library for ages. Solution? You go home and stay there, get comfy on the sofa (if you’re lucky) and look at the lecture slides on the internet if it’s a boring episode of Jeremy Kyle.
- You will begin to recognise guests on Jeremy Kyle. You’ve seen them all at least 3 times.
- You may or may not have a sofa (most likely not if you’re in halls). If you are in a student house the living room is likely to be less than desirable 70% of the time. Desks and chairs are usually old, rickety and just not that great, so get used to sitting on your bed.
- If you’re in halls it is more than likely that your ‘single’ bed will actually be a small single or 3/4 bed, whichever you prefer to call it. Fine for sleeping on solo but you won’t be in any rush to be sharing so often…
- In fresher’s week most people will practically be walking around wearing signs saying “I’m available” (in fact our union even provided a party which was exactly that. Traffic light party). It is also more socially acceptable to be a slut/man slag than normal. In fact it’s almost expected. Not that you’ll be judged for not doing anything, more that you won’t be judged if you do.
- You will sign up to things you’ve never even heard of at the AU (sports) and Societies fairs. You will come away with your name down for at least 5 different things, 3 of which you will instantly forget about, 1 which you’ll plan to go to but then can’t be bothered and the final one which you probably will talk someone into checking out with you. Cheerleading is not as fun as it seems.
- If you do join a sports team the odds are that around 80% of the girls will sleep with guys from their partner team and vice versa. By partner team I don’t necessarily mean men’s hockey and women’s hockey, it could be any team but AU teams do tend to pair up for socials and have a relationship with a specific other team. For example as Cheerleaders our other half were the American Footballers (as you’d probably expect). At one social we were playing I Have Never. One was “I have never slept with an American Footballer”; out of about 30 girls only 4 stayed sat down.
- Expect a similar thing with rivalries. Some teams hate each other just because. At my uni, netball league and netball squad hate each other. Squad are known as the ‘sluts’ and in return they call league the ‘snobs’.
- You don’t need to spend a fortune on books. If you can, check out the module handbook as soon as possible to find out the core text (I wouldn’t bother with any extra reading) or email the lecturer to ask what it will be (contact details and module leaders will be on the website). EBAY! EBAY EBAY EBAY! Do not pay full price for books. They are normally minimum £30 ish, most of mine were £40 new (I probably spent max £10 on each book). You don’t always have to get the newest edition. If a lecturer specifies 7th Edition, 6th or even 5th will be fine it has the same content. The only real differences will be maybe an extra/newer case study which makes no difference and the page numbers. If you ever have to use a case study for an assignment the lecturers will put it up on the website. Uni classifieds on the uni website are also swarming with 2nd/3rd years trying to offload used books.
Part two and the next 10 tips to follow
- Ucas application: how to reply to your offers (telegraph.co.uk)
- My first UCAS fair completed… (adayinthelifeofaplacementstudent.wordpress.com)
- Six Personal Statement Mistakes That Could Cost Your Application (socyberty.com)