Uni life wasn’t what I thought it would be. From what I’d heard I assumed we were all going to be lazy, reckless, and living off booze and fast food. But all those stories i’d heard about students staying out all night drinking didn’t come true! Here are the top 10 things that I didn’t expect about being a student and living away from home:
The Foodie Life
When I first started living away from home pot noodles were on the menu but I quickly found my way around the kitchen. I went from being the world’s worst chef to learning to cook from scratch, with the help of my Nosh for Students cookbook. Me and my friends also often shared the cooking and washing up – bonus!
Shopping for myself was a huge learning curve. The first time I panic bought a month’s worth of food. Dragging the bags home felt like I was taking part in a bodybuilding competition. I learnt to shop smart and paid attention to food prices and the ingredients on labels. Instead of buying ten packets of noodles I reached for the hummus and carrot sticks.
Binge, binge, binge!
Watching The Great British Bake Off was our guilty pleasure but we spent most of our time binge watching on Netflix. Unfortunately, my mum wasn’t too impressed with us constantly using her account!
Becoming a Night Owl
Staying up all night sounds fun in theory but not when you’re frantically trying to complete assignments or cram study. My nights were filled with caffeine, not booze! On the upside, I lived with five housemates, so there was always an equally tired friend to talk to. Who would have guessed that students actually spend time being studious?!
The Deep Conversations
Not sleeping led to some of the deepest conversations I’ve ever had. These usually happened at 2am on the landing (not really sure why this became our meeting place). Sleep deprivation does weird things to people! We talked about our futures, our ambitions, and the fears we had about what life after uni held. Knowing that I wasn’t the only person feeling that way was a huge comfort.
Youtube and Chill
Me and my housemates weren’t huge party animals. Our idea of fun was chilling with cheap cider and getting takeaway each Friday. Instead of jamming out to club music we sang along to Youtube videos.
The local Weatherspoons practically became a second home. It was the go-to meeting place for me and my mates to discuss and read each other’s work. It’s amazing how much can get done whilst sharing a jug of purple rain and a portion of chips!
I can’t count the amount of times I’ve heard the words ‘financially irresponsible’ and ‘students’ paired together. I was hyper aware of how much money I was spending. Our house had a kitty that we all chipped into. We shared the costs for items such as milk, dishwasher tablets and toilet roll. Cutting down spending on the regular stuff meant I could treat myself. I also saved a whole bunch on delivery costs by using Amazon Prime Student!
I flaunted my student I.D wherever I could. It became my most powerful tool. With a flash of that card I could enjoy a film at the cinema, buy new clothes and get stationary for the upcoming semester without the guilt of burning a huge hole in my bank account.
Home away from home
Moving out and leaving my family and hometown behind was a big change. Up until then I’d barely gone a day without talking to the people I loved. Skype and Google Hangouts were a lifesaver. I could go from chatting to my mum about how long to cook chicken to having light hearted banter with my best friend. It was like I hadn’t left at all.
The typical student stereotypes that are often thrown around come nowhere near to matching up to the actual reality of every day student life. We have fun but for many of us it’s also about learning about ourselves, becoming independent, forming new friendships and trying to figure life out. Our experiences are personal to each and every one of us. Let’s get out there and celebrate our uniqueness!
Written by Rose Drabble