University is a whole new chapter in your life, a whole new set of learning experiences, ups and downs and growing up… it’s bound to be daunting and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Everyone has different University experiences, some people love it and some people hate it – either way, it’s fine to feel whichever you feel, it’s a learning curve! There’s nobody easier to relate to than other students who have already experienced stepping into the University life, so for this blog post I got on hand some current or graduated University Students attending UK or International Universities to tell you all about their Uni life experiences.
I’m studying Business Management at the University of Liverpool, and will be starting my second year
I chose the University because when I went for an open the day, the campus made me feel comfortable, I liked the content the course covered and the city drew me in. It’s quickly become home. The course itself reminded me of stuff I used to enjoy when I was younger, and I wanted to go back to that because I recall it making me happy. Do not regret that decision whatsoever.
We hired out city bikes a week into second semester exam season, and exam season means late nights in the library for me. I remember me and my friend biking it down a steep hill to get to the local takeout, full of students after a night out, and just loving the university vibe there and then in that moment. Exam stress, drunk students, and late nights.
Worst part of uni for me was not feeling like I fit in, which had a lot to do with mental health issues coming in the way.
YES! If you feel like it’s all getting too much, your tutor may be your new best friend. My tutors have been there for me, and frankly one of the main reason I didn’t drop out. They made me understand and feel appreciated as a member of the University community.
I am currently studying Forensic Psychology at Staffordshire University, I have just finished year 1, which has been an experience and a half but I’d never change it for the world and currently preparing for year 2.
The reason I chose to study Forensic Psychology was for the prime reason of being invested in learning about Psychology because I’ve had a huge passion for the subject for a while and I thought I’d persue it in university. I didn’t want to do a pure Psychology course just in case I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped so I was researching into it and I found this course at my current university that included the Forensic side also. Before university, in sixth form I studied Forensic Science which created a huge interest and I was stuck between choosing Forensic science and Psychology to persue in the future. I chose to go to Staffordshire university because they offered a combination of the two interests I had, they seemed really friendly at the open day and I felt I could fit in straight away.
My university highlight to date has got to be all the new things I’ve experiences for example; living independently and learning how to depend on myself instead of others, since university I’ve learnt how to budget money and it has also gave me the motivation to start up my blog which I’ve wanted to do for a while. Another highlight has been meeting new people, I never thought before going to university I’d be able to talk to as many people as I did and it really helped to combat my social anxiety. You never really know how many friends your going to make in university but I think the most important thing is speaking to as many people as possible.
If I had to pick the worst part of university I would have to choose the university Accommodation, in my case, non of my flat mates talked to me so I found it really difficult to socialise while being in my flat and when in the kitchen, this doesn’t happen with every flat but everyone in my flat was very closed off no we didn’t talk amongst each other so if I was to relive that experience again, I would have tried harder to communicate with them and to invite them to places then maybe we would have got on more.
My advice would be to never give up, when I first started university I hated it, I didn’t feel like I fit in and I never thought I would and I just wanted to go home but I didn’t give up and I made some friends and that changed my whole perspective on university. university is all about coming out of your comfort zone and I did that with going out and making friends, it may be hard, but it will all be worth it in the end.
I’m studying photography at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia. I’m a senior.
I chose SCAD because I felt like it was the place for me. There’s such a sense of community and togetherness that really pulled me in. They also have top-notch equipment that would definitely be out of my league to use outside of school. I chose photography as a major because I’m a storyteller. I love sharing stories. I love hearing them. Storytelling is how we exchange compassion and learn about others. As a writer, I wanted a visual way to translate my words. With photo, one click could tell someone everything.
A highlight was probably studying in Hong Kong. Going through it was rough. I was in a foreign country. I struggled with my mental health a lot. I was discovering my identity. But even though, it was a dark place in my life, a year later I see is as a lesson learned. Plus, I am grateful that I was able to hop on a plane and study there for a few months. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The worst part is my sensitive nature. My heart is on my sleeve. I feel everything. I see everything. In the beginning, I went through three roommates my first year. All of them took advantage of me. Even though I had (and still do) great friends around me to distract me from my living situations, I still struggled. I spent many nights staring at the ceiling while my roommate was blasting music or talking on the phone or having boys over. The roommate drama doesn’t stop there, and it is still something I deal with even now that I live in my own apartment. Another hard part about college is trying to find clarity through the haze that is Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Small achievements are here and there, but I don’t think I’ll ever have a grasp on it.
My advice is to be a sponge. Be a sponge to learning in class, observing the people around you, to your interests and hobbies, even to your major. Never stay stagnant in anything that you do. Being comfortable is ok from time to time, but if you stay that way, you’ll never know what the real world is like.
I am studying Fashion Journalism at the University of Sunderland and as of September, I will be a third year.
I chose the course because I love fashion and love writing so those two combined passions made up my course of choice.
My university highlight has been being able to publish all of my work online on websites such as Fashion North (https://www.fashion-north.com/index.php/author/faye-dixon/).
The worst part of university has been the lack of fashion experiences. While the university has everything I need to be a journalist, I haven’t had much support in travelling or experiencing the fashion industry as of yet. This will happen in my third year when I find my own work experience.
I would say to really make your self-known and mingle with many people to make new friends then you’ll have amazing experiences with them, remember that everyone is in the same position as you and study as you go along. Don’t leave anything til last minute and just try your best to stay on track. But, most importantly, have fun.
I am studying Sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University and have just finished my second year.
I chose Sociology as I loved it when doing it at college for A Levels. I like that with Sociology it is a really diverse subject and you cover so many different topics which are relevant to today’s society. With choosing Canterbury, I chose this university as even on the open day, walking around I just got that feeling that I knew I would be happy here. It’s such a beautiful city also and isn’t too far from home with just being a two hour train ride, which means it’s still far enough that it gave me the independence I needed.
Being able to see my hard work pay off as I came out of second year with a 2:1! I also met my boyfriend at university which is definetely something I am so grateful for.
Whilst you do make a lot of friends at uni, living with people you’ve never met before can be frustrating at times. When you’re an organised and clean person like me, it can get very annoying when people don’t have the same cleaning habits as you and are often happy to let other people tidy up for them!!
If you are going into first year then I would say just enjoy it! First year is always usually like an introductory year which just gets you used to how all your assignments and courses are going to work, so this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try as hard!!
Even if you’re not that much of a party person, try and go to as many fresher events as possible as I guarantee this is where you will make the friends that will stay with you throughout your time at uni.
Don’t pack too much! It may seem like you need your whole life with you at university but you really only need the basics, especially as student accommodation isn’t always the biggest either so you don’t want to be filling up all the space you have with things you will never need/use.
Make use of the library!! Second year is a lot tougher and I spent so much of my time at the library and with a course like Sociology you kind of need to when looking for resources to use for your assignments.
Personally I find it easier to work better there too as if I stay at home to try and do work I am constantly reaching for my phone or getting distracted by Netflix!
I just got accepted into Ramapo College in New Jersey (America) ahaha and I’m majoring in photography. I should have graduated this year, but I kept changing my major and I’m two years behind. But that’s okay! I’m glad I found what I love.
I chose this University because it’s very close to home so I can commute. I did the whole going away to college thing and I hated it! I love being close to my family. And it had the major I wanted. I chose photography because I’ve always loved taking photos, but it didn’t really hit me until I came across a film camera. I started experimenting with it and fell in love even more with photography. Not many schools have photography as a major, I’m blessed to have found one right by my house.
My university highlight would be two things. I met my Love in math class a couple of years ago and it was literally destiny. If our lives didn’t happen exactly the way they did, I probably would have never met him. Another highlight was when I was accepted into Ramapo College. It’s a very competitive school and I couldn’t believe that they accepted me AND Lucas (my boyfriend) for photography.
The worst part of my University experience would be this last semester actually. I had only one class left to finish up my associates degree (first two years), and I had the worst teacher in the history of teachers! She did everything in her power not to help us out. She only graded us by our tests not by participation or attendance. I even went to tutoring every day because I needed to pass this course! Long story short I didn’t pass the course -_- and now she is calling everyone asking the students who didn’t pass to take the final test again. It’s not to help us though. It’s to save her job because barely anyone passed. Not my problem though. I’ve already been accepted into my transfer school.
If you really don’t know what you want to study, go to a community college (its much less expensive than a University.) and experiment with classes! better to do it in a cheaper school than a school that costs $50,000 a year. Or! If you’re planning on majoring in something that you can find at your local community college, study your first two years there then move on to any university for the last two years. All your employer sees is your degree from your University and you save $100,000.
I’m studying English Literature at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, and I’m going into my second year in September.
I chose English Literature because I’ve always adored reading. I’m also unsure what type of career I want to pursue, and I knew that this course would provide me with a huge range of transferable skills as well as allowing me to study something I loved. . I went on an open day to UEA and immediately fell in love with the campus, plus their Literature courses are entirely coursework based, which really works for me personally.
The extracurricular activities. I really value all the opportunities that I’ve been given so far and all the things I’ve been able to try. It’s also provided me with a real sense of independence, which has been amazing. You’ll likely feel overwhelmed many times during your first year, and university as a whole, but is the only time in life you will have such independence, and such a range of opportunities readily and cheaply available to you, whilst still having secure support from a system that knows this is your first time living away from home.
I’d probably say two things:
Making friends and the pressure of housing. I’m not sure how it works in other countries, but in the UK you move from university accommodation to independent student housing in your second year. Navigating finding and securing a property was a stressful blur of a week, but support is there for you!
The other thing was definitely making friends – I’m fairly shy so opportunities to make friends weren’t exactly hurtling my way, and university does challenge you to find amazing friends but also deal with those who aren’t so great.
Firstly, budget! It’ll make your life so many easier and allow you to budget in a bunch of cool stuff. Secondly, make sure that you make the decision that is right for you. I was originally all set to go to a different university, one that was way more prestigious and had a higher ranking for my subject. However, I realised that I would be happier elsewhere and changed my application last minute, to the dismay of some of my teachers! But it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Don’t be afraid to be selfish with this decision, you’re the one who has to study and live somewhere for 3+ years! And finally, enjoy it! It goes so fast.
I am studying BA English at City University, of London and will be starting my third year in September.
I have always loved London so the location of the university did initially appeal to me as well however, I went into the course coming from a journalistic education wanting to write more creatively. The course I chose has a combined curriculum of both English Language, English Literature and Creative Writing modules, which the opportunity to expand into Sociology and Psychology modules too. The variety of the course appealed to me as I was worried about limiting my options as I was now unsure of where I wanted to go, career wise.
My university highlight so far would have to be linked to my sport as well as my education. I am a keen athlete so keeping up with my sport was something which was key to my university lifestyle and experience, therefore my university highlight would be representing University of London at the BUCS Championships for the past two years, something I hope to also achieve in my third year. In terms of my studies, I had a rough start to university as I struggled to learn the specific way of writing to get higher grades in assignments and struggled in my exams, this year I knuckled down and worked extra hard at my studies and I finished second year not only bringing up my 2:2 grade from first year but gaining a 2:1 overall and a 2:1 in my exam (I barely scraped a pass in my first year exams but I secured a comfortable 2:1 grade this time around).
I have often found it tough to balance university studies with outside activities and seeing my friends, however this has been easier to manage and maintain in my second year. You just have to know what’s more important and what comes first.
Don’t be discouraged. There will always potentially be someone who is better than you, they get better grades, their grades are more consistent or they don’t seem to have to do any revision and they pass with flying colours. Based on my experience, all you have to do is focus on yourself, as long as you are putting in maximum effort and trying as hard you can with assignments and work then that is what matters, the grades will come, it may just take a little time for you to get into the swing of things – that’s what happened for me anyway. Another pointer related to assignments, the sooner you start preparing the more comfortable you will feel, I don’t know one university student who hasn’t panicked that they’ve started their assignment too late and ended up submitting right before the deadline. We don’t need that unwanted stress, prepare early and you’ll be okay.
I’m studying Computer Engineering at Qatar University. It’s my first year.
Well, Qatar University is the most famous university in my country and I believe it’s everyone’s first choice here.
So many! I can’t choose one.
The assignments and the stress that is followed by.
It’s all going to seem impossible and hard at first, but trust me you’ll learn so many things & you’ll enjoy your time. Don’t give up & don’t over-stress.
I am studying business administration with a concentration in management. I go to a California State University and before I attended and graduated from a community college and then transferred to UC Davis, but I didn’t like it so I’m now attending a CSU which I wish not to disclose for privacy reasons. I already have my AS-T in business administration. I am a senior, and I will be attending my last semester this fall. Next May, I will be walking on stage. However I’ll be getting my Bachelors of Science in December before I walk the stage.
I knew I wanted to study business since I was 11 years old. When I was 11, I was working at a grocery store with my mom and the owner of the store became a family friend. I liked seeing all the control she had for her business. At the time I started my own little business at school selling Mexican candies. I did that for 2 years until some kids in one of my classes stole my money which was around $100. In high school I joined a business pathway which allowed me take business classes like accounting and marketing and I loved it. I would like to own my own business in the future. I chose the university I’m currently attending because it was one of my top choices but at the time I didn’t think I would be able to afford it so I decided to attend UC Davis since it’s a more known school and it was the cheapest compared to every other school I applied to. I like that my campus is small, the teacher to student ratio is around 1:29 and I live in a city compared to living in a small town most of my life.
My university highlight has been succeeding at community college and then trying my best once I transferred to UC Davis. I’ve had 3 jobs while going to college and I just started a job that is full time and will help me get my foot in the door for the industry I’d like to be in the future. I also made a best friend in college who I fell in love with.
My worst university memory is feeling alone throughout the beginning of my journey and then going through depression. I didn’t have any family support nor did I have anyone who I could talk to about my college journey. When I transferred to UC Davis I was struggling academically because I later found out economics is nothing similar to business. I felt so much pressure to stay at that school because I didn’t want to admit failure. I had too much pressure to admit how I was really feeling.
My advice to current and new students is to follow your heart and go with your gut instinct. Do what you believe is best for you and don’t let your pride get in the way. Just because you have to take a loan to attend your school doesn’t mean you won’t graduate. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and go to tutoring or talk to your professor to ask for help. Go to a counselor if you have no one to talk too. Don’t be scared of what could happen all alone, try to find help before your problems escalate.
I am currently in 3rd year of Law course and I am studying in Pune , India.
My city Pune is known for its education/colleges so I decided to stay at home and commute from home to university. And I decided to take law because it is something I am interested in.
Making new friends and taking part in competition even with my anixety.
Putting myself into the rat race and comparing myself to other people. Which took worst turn for my mental health.
Don’t compare yourself with others. Because everyone has different timing in life. So even if you think you are behind your friends or classmates you are not because you have your own time and phase which is different from others.
And to all your college work on time. Don’t Procrastinate.
I’m currently in my first year of studying a Bachelor of Digital Media and Communications at SCU in Australia.
I chose this course due to its relevance in todays society, honestly I picked SCU because they were the only university that gave me a spot.
Finishing my first semester, passing the units and receiving my first Distinction mark.
The resubmissions on work you thought was pretty great, turns out they failed you…
Do exactly what they tell you regarding format, referencing styles and grammar. They mark you down on the tiniest flaw. Which can be discouraging but you just need to keep trying and achieving.
I studied English and Creative Writing at MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University) and I’ve just completed my third year. I’ll be graduating at the end of this month with a 2:1.
English has been a great passion of mine but in my homecountry (the Netherlands), you can only become an English teacher with the subject. I’ve not got anything against teaching, but I wanted to write in English.
After completing an English course in Manchester during my gap year, I fell in love with the city and decided I wanted to move there for my degree. Manchester Metropolitan University has a great Creative Writing faculty, which is why I chose this university for my degree. It’s been a great choice, the course and teachers were absolutely amazing and I feel like I’ve gotten the most out of it.
The best thing about university is that I get to study what I love. It’s amazing that I can put so much time and effort into something that I truly enjoy and am passionate about. The people on my course, too, as a big highlight of my university degree. Not only do we share a passion for writing, I also believe that some of these are friends for life and I feel very blessed being friends with them.
As a foreign student, I don’t get any maintanance loan from the government. This is why I’ve worked 20-30 hours on top of my degree every week. That’s probably been the hardest university for me. I’ve never minded working on the side, but you soon start to realise a week only has a certain amount of hours. And it’s hard to plan in lectures, studying, work, friends, relaxing and housework.
If I could go back in time to my first year and give myself some advice, I would tell her “Make the most of it!”
It might sound cliche, but the last three years have gone incredibly fast. I’d love to do it all over again in a heartbeat. Go out with your friends, join some clubs, go to the gigs you want to go to, enjoy the city you live in whilst at uni and try to make as many awesome connections as possible!