How to adjust to uni after the girls’ boarding school bubble

No more ‘bend tests’ and Grey Goose birthdays

Going to university is a big deal. Flying the nest and adjusting to life in the big bad world is scary.

Seven years in the tiny bubble of a girls’ boarding school in the middle of Ascot leaves one with a slightly distorted perception of reality which doesn’t help with this transition.

There were a lot of differences between the outside world and our bubble so a few things took some serious adjusting to once freshers week was underway.


Apparently a talk on the importance of a good prenup doesn’t constitute as sex education. Neither does much of the Bible either.

Apparently this doesn't stop people getting pregnant

‘I used to think safe sex was locking the door’

You might need these too

It’s not. You need to use these.


When A Levels were finished at boarding school, everyone celebrated with champagne and Grey Goose.

Started from the bottom

When first year exams at Bristol were over, we ran out of mixers so I drank Berocca with my Sainsbury’s Basics vodka.

Now I'm here

Now I’m here


At school, our sports teams didn’t usually make it into the national competitions. Our overall rankings weren’t that impressive. The one thing we did have going for us however was our food.


Just a regular school lunch

Having mussels or sushi for lunch seemed great at the time but in the longterm it’s completely messed me up for university.

It was pretty tough going from this to whatever meat they claim the stuff at uni is. Not having endless supplies of bread and milk in the common room also came as a serious shock to the system.

#nofilter just a regular school lunch



There are a few things I miss about my school but the one thing I really don’t miss is having to do the “bend test” before going to a social.

Oh yes, the “bend test” is exactly what it sounds like. Before going to a social (our only interaction with real, actual boys that weren’t related to us) the teachers made us bend forward so they could make sure that our skirts weren’t too revealing.

Author (right) enjoying life on the outside by wearing a skirt more than three inches above the knee

Unbelievably bare midriffs and short skirts are tolerated in the outside world

Before school picture day we had to kneel on the floor so they could measure the length of our skirts. Although, to be fair, having a skirt more than three inches above the knee might be a bit offensive to the six male teachers at the school.


This was probably the hardest change to adapt to. People at uni don’t obsess over things like we did at school. Now I have to pretend to like One Direction in an ironic way.

Had to leave this guy at home :(

I even had to leave this guy at home

Admitting you’re still not over your Justin Bieber crush isn’t something anyone else can relate to.

Oh and if someone asks you if you’re into “tropical house” they aren’t referring to holiday homes.

Couldn't make these anymore either

Can’t make these anymore #thanksObama


We’re in the real world now so we won’t get suspended if we’re caught smoking. You’d think this would be great, right?

It’s not. Turns out we’re still not free.

People will laugh at you if you smoke these

But they came all the way from Monaco 🙁

People will laugh at you if you smoke your Vogues and there’s no point even pretending you know how to roll so you’ll be stuck smoking Malboro rubbish.


A lot of people think girls from all girls’ schools are juice-drinking, kale-eating, fitness gurus. Just to be clear, the only time I “spin” is after a few shots.

I asked a friend on what to include in this article and this was her response:


And she’s right. No boys = no reason to care about appearances. Zero effort was put into the way we looked. The whole sexy schoolgirl fantasy certainly wasn’t a thing at my school.

Never having to wear makeup at school has left me at a serious disadvantage at uni. If I want to wear makeup to a 9am seminar I have to start applying eyeliner the night before because that’s how long it’s going to take to get it right.


Considering there were only three other girls in my biggest A level class it’s no surprise we grew quite close with our teachers. It was great: they gave us relationship advice and even shared in our obsessions from time to time.

Cumberbitches love to reach conclusions

Cumberbitches love to reach conclusions

Given that, it’s quite annoying my seminar leaders at uni don’t understand I won’t be able to write an essay because I have plans at the weekend. Apparently my best friend’s birthday doesn’t count as “extenuating circumstances”. People are really serious about deadlines at uni and it’s weird.

Yeah but what if I'm busy?

But what if I’m busy?