13 things I wish I'd known about uni now that I've left

Take some of that pressure off.


It's hard to forget your first day of uni.

Creaking up the M6 in my Dad's old Peugeot 205 to Liverpool, I was bright eyed and full of optimism. And dread - lots of dread.

I kept picturing that moment I opened the door to my new shared flat in halls - who would be in there? Would they accept me? Would they be cool?

If anything, adults constantly telling me that these would be the 'best days of my life' put way more pressure on - in the same way asking someone whose birthday it is if they're 'having fun' every five minutes doesn't make them have more fun.

So, from someone who left uni a year ago - shit, make that two years - here are a few things I would have really liked to have known before uni started.

  1. 1 You're gonna put on a stone in first year

    But dw, you'll (probably) lose it by second year.

    All that fried chicken and Jaeger has gotta go somewhere.

  2. 2 Grades aren't everything - but neither is partying

    Don't slave away in an attempt to get a First if it leaves you miserable and friendless for three years.

    Simultaneously, don't let house parties and Frosty Jacks make you fail at your second year.

    Keep it real - if in doubt work on getting a nice, reliable 2:1. You'll be fine.

  3. 3 You'll have some awesome times and some shitty times

    It's three years of your life - give yourself some credit. You're bound to have bright and dark days out of the approximately 1,000 you'll spend there.

  4. 4 Mice are better than bedbugs

    Be grateful if they're just furry things that run around, ok?

  5. 5 Drugs won't make you cool

    Sure, drugs can be fun (if taken responsibly).

    But some people will loudly talk about MDMA in the library thinking that they're cool as a result. Trust me - they aren't.

  6. 6 You're gonna get around 26 diseases

    Fresher's flu, norovirus, glandular fever, herpes, you name it. There is no escape.

  7. 7 Dating someone in your friendship group is a bad idea

    Just... Don't.

    Unless you really think they could be 'the one', but do you really trust your judgement?

  8. 8 Frosty Jack's is one hell of a drink

    Add some ASDA smartprice blackcurrant squash to it, and away we go.

  9. 9 Close friends are better than loads of friends

    Sure, go to house parties - they're fun.

    But prioritise people you really have a connection with - they'll be the ones you're still talking to years later.

  10. 10 You won't be able to afford stuff, but that's fine

    Where do all the fashionably-clothed, cocktail bar-going students get their money from?

    If you end up dressed in head to toe Primark swigging basics vodka, you're the normal one. Embrace it.

  11. 11 You'll continue to make friends after first year

    New friends have a way of sneaking up on you like that - you'd be surprised.

  12. 12 Fun doesn't always have to mean blackout drunk

    Sure, get drunk enough for spontaneous karaoke, but not so much you wake up on a bench without shoes on.

    Which reminds me - where did those New Look heels go, Ellie?

  13. 13 Third year is actually ok

    By the time it's finally your third year you'll know who your friends are, know the town like the back of your hand and be safe in the knowledge that soon, you'll never have to take an exam again.

    And that feeling, ladies and gentleman, is worth whatever your uni years throw at you.

    Feature image: Frosty Jack's, iStock