What I’ve Learnt Since Leaving University
I graduated from university three years ago! It feels like yesterday though, and I imagine quite a lot of my classmates feel the same.
University was a very strange portion of my life. A condensed version of primary and secondary school in one (as if the first two rounds were not enough). I experienced homesickness, depression, isolation, bad dance lessons and a lecture on farting. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Here’s what I’ve learnt since University
Friends need constant feeding
Not in the sense of physically feeding – although that helps – to keep friendships going you need to feed them with WhatsApp messages, meet-ups, genuine interest in each other’s lives and obvious care for them. Some of my best friends are from University – some were people I lost contact with and reconnected with later on and others are ones I’ve maintained throughout my graduation period.
The best of friends are those that you really integrate into your life and vice versa. They’re the ones that you have reminiscence with but also talk about what’s happening in your life currently with hilarity, joy and obvious interest. It’s not a matter of waiting for them to contact you either, you have to do the leg work sometimes people no matter how many WhatsApp groups you’re in together.
Homesickness will pass
Homesickness is extremely common at University. For the most part that is the first time that students will be away from their families for an extended amount of time. It’s also the time that you’ll mostly be financially independent, but we’ll get onto that in a minute.
No matter how lonely you feel at first just know that homesickness will pass. Just like Fresher’s Flu and cystitis. You’ll make friends, you’ll get to know your surroundings and you’ll start to feel more like yourself. It’s the same at university as it is when you leave university and move into the ‘real world’.
Money: And How to Spend It
Money is there to be spent but it is also there to keep you alive. Don’t spend it all at once is a phrase most of us heard at Christmas and on birthdays when our grandparents handed us a ten-pound note. It was then used again when student loans came in. Now, I hear it mentally whenever I get a paycheck.
University is not cheap and the financial freedom you’re granted tempts many of us to spend a large portion of our money on things we don’t need. Since leaving university this is still the case. I cannot understand how I survived on just £1000 spending money a year while at university – this included eating out, cinema, travel and more! Now I can’t survive on £1000 a month. How is that possible!!
This is one lesson I need to go over my notes for as I’m currently failing.
Student Houses are a Scam
As someone who has been contacted by the local council where her university was situated asking for back payments in council tax – 3 years later! – know that student houses are a scam. They are overpriced and cramped or super cheap and super illegal. My student house was run by a magistrate! Clearly, the worst magistrate ever because he was up to some massive tax fraud.
That being said I only paid £300 a month for 6 months a year. And it was a house right next to campus. However, because one of my flatmates was not a student for my last year we all got landed with a council tax bill. Because the magistrate didn’t file the right tenancy information.
Warning for student houses: keep all student house payment receipts for at least three years. This is when it comes to bite you in the arse apparently!
Housemates are not for me
I have had quite a few housemates now and I can tell you right off the bat that they are not for me. I’ve had a pervert, a serial adulterer, a compulsive liar and a clingier-than-cling-film housemate in my time and I have no time for it. When I moved to London I lived with my best friend and her boyfriend but even that wasn’t for me – as much as I love my best mate. University taught me I like my own space.
I’ve learnt plenty of other things since leaving university. From how to have a side hustle, travel alone and pay bills. But the above are the main things I learnt specifically from my university experience and the in-between.
What about you? Got any life lessons to share?