So last week I had a thought about writing a post on the types of questions that I would have loved to ask a university student but was either 1: too afraid to ask 2: missed the chance to.
The thing is, they always tell you to make sure you ask everything during events, but it’s a well acknowledged fact that good questions always pop into your head when it’s too late to ask them, right? So here are some that I thought of, and I hope it helps anyone who might have thought the same!
- Will I make friends?
Absolutely. The best thing about university is that everyone starts on the same boat: everyone is worried about making friends so you find that everyone tries extra hard to make some!
It’s great for people who might be a little shy at the start. Also there is no shortage of people to befriend – as I mentioned in previous posts, you will get exposure to course friends, society friends, and I’ve even found myself befriending people who just happen to sit next to me on the bus. At the same time, you won’t make friends if you don’t try – so make sure you’re getting out there, hitting those societies, meeting like-minded people and being yourself!
This links well to another question: I live at home, will I make friends? Answer: absolutely, I know loads of people that commute in locally and they seem perfectly fine!
- Is the studying intense?
Yes – and no. Being a third year, I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who has had three years writing the essays and completing the exams so for me, it’s intense in a different way. I’ll admit, the first assignment I had really stressed me out as I was so worried about doing it right! The truth is first year is about learning, making mistakes, and understanding the basics of the craft.
So, don’t worry too much, the timetable will seem intense at first but it is really manageable and you can do a ton of other stuff outside of academia. Also there is loads of support available for you – in first year Biological Sciences, they even had lectures on essay writing!
- Do I have to party all the time?
Nope. Actually you’ll find that outside of Fresher’s Week, a lot of people will slow down on the partying as going out is expensive! Being a Biological Sciences student, the contact hours are going to be denser than some other courses so keep that in mind. At the same time, some people might enjoy going out frequently and that’s okay too! But you don’t have to feel like there’s that sort of pressure culture here.
- Do I have to attend everything?
Fun fact, this was one question I genuinely asked a lecturer and you can imagine his facial expression! The truth is that you don’t (unless it’s mandatory), but my suggestion is that you should try. It’s too easy to get into the habit of skipping lectures and I can tell you it’s easier to read back on something if you’ve sat through 50 minutes of it already.
- Is the work hard?
Yep! But again, no. University work is supposed to be new, challenging and at a higher level that you’ve studied before. So if you are breaking a sweat over those principles, then it’s probably a good sign that they’re doing their job right. Plus, if you picked the course then you must be interested in it, so it should be enjoyable to learn nonetheless!
At the same time, there’s nothing you will get that you can’t ask help for. The lecturers here are pretty approachable and up for explaining things one to one if it’s confusing. Time management is the greater challenge I think, but that comes with experience!
- Can I see my parents?
Yes! Make sure you do! You can imagine how great it is to get a homecooked meal once in awhile. My parents live hours away so I tend to visit home once a semester. But don’t think that just because you’re here, you are cutting off ties!
- Is my course choice final?
If you start university and you realise that it’s not the course for you then there is room to change. I can’t provide specifics as it’s definitely something best consulted with people who handle these things on an everyday basis, and will differ between institutions, but I know people who have changed courses and are much happier where they are now!
So, that’s it for now. Feel free to pop any questions below if you’d like me to include it in any future blog posts!