15 Things You Wished You Knew Before Starting University


In this article, we take a look at some various things that student’s wish they knew before starting University. We touch on food, friends, halls and so much more. University is a life-changing experience, and contains so many lessons – way more than anyone could possibly be prepared for!


After all… knowledge is power

1. Everyone is in the Same Boat


While some people will appear to be cocky, confident and acclimatising to University just fine – on the inside this probably isn’t true. Everyone will struggle at the start of University – it is all about finding your feet in the first few weeks. The same goes for meeting people, it is a blank slate from day one, so make the most of it!


2. Freshers’ Fair isn’t Life and Death


For some reason, the annual Freshers’ Fair during Freshers’ Week has gained a reputation as being the single most important day of the year. Apparently there is only one chance to join societies… this couldn’t be further from the truth. Society meet and greet events often take place in the second or third week of term – giving you plenty of time to decide. Moreover, most information is online these days anyway. Anyway, you can always just join up next year!


3. The Importance of Budgeting


A boring one now, but an important one in any case. It is easy to dismiss the idea of budgeting, but it is actually a really key skill. The majority of students won’t be in a healthy financial state, and therefore spending money wisely is crucial. Giving yourself a weekly budget to adhere to is a great idea, and will save you money too!


4. There is no Need to Buy Every Textbook


It is quite a galling experience when you receive your reading list for a module. You get the impression that you’ll need to create a personal library to house all of your books. But, in most cases you can utilise the library – who in most cases will have copies of the books needed. You might even be lucky and have access to e-books! In the cases you do need to buy books – try and get used books from Amazon or eBay. When it comes to getting rid of them, check out this great guide!


5. Don’t Judge People When you First Meet Them


It is something we are all guilty of doing at times – judging someone before they’ve even opened their mouth to speak. But it is important to go in open-minded at University, and know that anyone might turn out to be your best friend. There are countless stories of chance meetings leading to life-long friendships, and even relationships!


6. Freshers’ Flu IS Real


You could be forgiven for thinking that freshers’ flu is an old wives tale, and that it actually isn’t true. Unfortunately though, it is a real thing, and the majority of students will come down with it. So be prepared… Stock up on paracetamol, Lemsip, and anything else to get you through the pandemic. We even have a full article on it.


7. Know How to Save Money


As alluded to already, money will probably be in short supply at University. Therefore, it is important to save money wherever you can. We have a great article which looks at different ways of saving money at University – there are ways of being smart with money!


8. You Don’t Have to Drink to have fun

clear glass beer mug filled with beer

Some people go into University with the idea that you must drink alcohol in order to have fun. This really couldn’t be further from the truth. You’ll be surprised at how many people aren’t into drinking, and many events are designated as alcohol-free events. And anyway, where exactly is the joy in stumbling home at 4am when you have a lecture in five hours time. Plus, you’ll save loads of money!


9. First Year IS Important


Unfortunately, it is likely you will be entering first year of University with the impression that year one doesn’t matter, and that as long as you get a pass, you’ll be fine. While this isn’t strictly false, it is a poor attitude to have. If you get into a situation where you are regularly skipping lectures, it can become a habit. You may tell yourself that you’ll snap out of it for Year 2, but breaking a habit is tough. Instead, get into good habits from the start! Plus, good grades look great on your CV!


10. Be organised!

library photo

Being organised at University is crucial, and can help you achieve some excellent results. By being organised, you will avoid last minute struggles associated with late-night assignments. As we’ve been saying, you will also get into good habits by being organised from the outset!


11. Don’t Leave References Until the Last Minute


This is something that may seem obvious, but is an easy trap to fall into! When you have reached the end of your assignment, there is nothing more frustrating than realising you haven’t been referencing as you went along. Avoid this frustration!


12. The Importance of Looking after your health!


This applies to both your physical and mental health. University can be a testing time for everyone, and mental health problems are on the rise. You can be prepared for physical problems by knowing where your local A&E is, along with a GP surgery. If you don’t look after your health, you might struggle to produce your best work!


13. Don’t Rush Into Year 2 Housing!


Every year this happens – with a mad rush ensuing just a few weeks into the new academic year. Unfortunately, rumours spread around the campus which suggest you must sort out a house straight away – and that you will otherwise be living on the street. But this really, really isn’t true. A few weeks into term isn’t long enough to know who you want to move in with, you might regret the decision. Therefore, it is wiser to wait until around December, or even January, before committing to such a decision. Remember, there is always going to be somewhere.


14. Be wise with food!

Food eat

Utilise the freezer wherever possible – this can help you get more for your money. You can even make multiple meals at once, before freezing some. This not only saves you money, but also time. Moreover, you’ll really appreciate not having to cook after returning home late from the library.




15. Enjoy Every Moment!


University is a time like no other! While some times at University can be difficult, it is a special time, and it is likely that you’ll look back on your University days as the best of your life. Use your time wisely, work hard, and then play hard! Overall, have a great time, and graduate at the end of the experience with a degree you are proud of!



Ways of Saving Money at University

Coping With Homesickness at University

Writing a Great Student CV

7 Ways to Save on Rail Travel

The Student Guide to Amazon

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Textbooks

Utilising Google Docs at University

15 Things You Wished You Knew Before Starting University


Thanks for reading. UniEel is on Facebook and Twitter.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.