Sure, you’ve thought about the lectures and the textbooks. But here are 8 unexpected ways that uni will change you (for better or worse).
1. You’ll lose some of your culinary sophistication
When you sign up as a uni student, you give away the time you might have had previously for culinary sophistication. When you’re hungry or busy, you’ll find that any combination of edible substances will do just fine. You might be surprised by what your palate can tolerate (or even come to enjoy) – even crackers with tuna, peanut butter and tomato sauce. Just be sure to keep your ‘creations’ off Instagram.
2. You’ll broaden your definition of ‘bed’
Uni students are amongst the busiest and most sleep-deprived members of our society. As a student, you might find yourself dozing off on the train, at work, on park benches or on reception area couches. When you really need sleep, you’ll get the same satisfaction out of a bony plastic chair as you would a lilo, floating on a calm ocean.
3. You’ll constantly wonder why you can’t just Google it
It’s hard to stomach, but when you’re writing an essay, your personal opinion doesn’t count. Ouch. You’ll need to back yourself up with legitimate research, which means trawling through the university library database. You’ll spend hours in this clunky treasure trove, navigating through hundreds of research papers, wondering why you can’t just Google the answer in 0.46 of a second. It’s for your own good, they’ll tell you. But still, you will wonder.
4. You’ll push the boundaries of a socially acceptable dress code
Studying means constantly putting yourself and your opinions on the line, which is uncomfortable enough, so why make it worse with restrictive clothing? Besides, you’re at uni because you want a career, and when that day comes, you’ll have to part with your beloved loungewear. So until you’re no loner able, you’ll put on those manky trackies every day, because your cat isn’t going to judge you… out loud.
5. You’ll see the ugly side of group assignments
Finding the perfect group dynamic is no easy feat – everyone has their quirks, and some people you’d even describe as an ‘acquired taste’. It would be pretty miraculous if a group of strangers just happened to perfectly mirror your values and work ethic. This is your first taste of what the real world of work looks like. You’ll get frustrated, you’ll consider a fist-fight, you’ll wonder whether you yourself are a cold-hearted monster. The weirdest part is that when it’s all over, you’ll have a good laugh (or file a restraining order).
6. Your head will swell with inspiration
At some point over the course of your studies, you’re going to have a class so thought-provoking that you’ll feel pumped to be alive. In an ideal world, this is what uni should feel like all the time, but the weight of things like assignments, time pressures and fear of failure can sometimes inhibit that. So when you do have one of those days, ensure you take a moment to breathe deeply and enjoy.
7. You’ll learn the importance of fresh eyes
There’ll be times when you find yourself on a roll late at night, after being stuck in a rut all day long. That glorious feeling of making progress can have a beer-goggle effect, especially when you’re tired, and anything you write seems on par with Einstein. You’ll type furiously as the ideas come pouring out, you’ll flick your masterpiece off to your tutor, and you’ll do your little victory dance. It’s not until the next morning, when you re-read your work, that you promise to keep your giddy late-night self away from the submit button…
8. You’ll realise that making mistakes is money well-spent
When you’ve put a lot of time and effort into an assignment, you’ll pine for a perfect result- so much so that just opening your inbox makes your stomach churn. That feeling may never go away, but you’ll quickly realise that purely positive feedback is not going to help you. If you’re already perfect, you’ve just thrown away a small fortune. You didn’t come to university to be told you don’t need to learn anything, after all. One of the things you’ll be proud to have learned is how to take criticism like a boss.