18 aspects of uni life that are so hard they may as well be Olympic sports

I’d genuinely rather run a marathon than have to sit in another breakout room

The Olympics are well underway, showcasing the best sporting talent from around the world. And I get it. Olympic sports are pretty hard. But uni life can also be hard.

From actually turning up to 9am lectures, to carting shopping bags back home after doing a big shop, there are minor challenges everywhere you look. If you’re attempting to scrape 2:1 at the same time as launching a career as a professional drinker, you’ve already got a lot on your plate, and it’s no wonder that minor tasks feel like they take an Olympian effort.

Here are just 18 aspects of uni life that are so hard they feel like they may as well be Olympic sports:

1. Going to a 9am


How I feel about lectures

Oof, the struggle here is real. If you manage to actually wake up in time, you’ll find yourself paralysed in bed, caught between wanting to stay under the warm duvet, and knowing you should probably get up and go to your lecture.

If the sensible part of you overcome’s your desire for warmth, and you do actually get to your lecture, you’ve basically got the self-motivation of an Olympic rower, so props to you.

2. Carrying shopping home after doing a big shop

You live next to a Sainsbury’s Local but there’s a really good Aldi a 20 minutes walk away. What a dilemma.

When you do manage to do a big shop, carting your bags back to your house requires core strength that not even Tom Daley possesses.

3. Getting all your mates to buy tickets for a club night you’re desperate to go to

So there’s a big club night you really want to go to and you’re trying to round up the squad to get tickets. There’s always one that won’t get theirs in time and will be left trawling through a ticket resale page on the day of the event and will almost definitely pay over the odds.

Tbh, rounding up the squad to do almost anything is pretty damn hard.

4. Finding a book in the library


Omg she actually managed to find her book

It’s always really frustrating when you actually manage to get to the library and you’re searching for a book but you’re faced with what is essentially a quadratic equation. This is the toxic combination of letters and numbers known as the Dewey Decimal system.

Does anyone fully understand what it is? I certainly don’t. I just had to Google how to spell it.

When you actually do find where your book is meant to be (probably with the help of some disapproving librarian), it turns out someone has taken it out. I bet they aren’t even reading it.

5. Finding a seat in the library

You genuinely have more chance of winning gold in the 100m sprint than you do finding a seat in the library during the exam period

And it’s almost guaranteed that all the seats are taken up by freshers whose work doesn’t even count. Smh.

6. Walking up the big hill

There’s a special place in hell for these Exeter Uni steps

Every uni has one really steep hill that’s an absolute mission to walk up. On the plus side, trekking up it every day will tone you up and give you the fitness of an actual Olympian.

7. Navigating the laundry system in halls


The first time you try and use the laundry system in halls is almost impossible. When you do finally work it out, it’s highly likely you haven’t got enough money on your card.

8. Induction lectures in Freshers’ Week

Induction lectures are the worst and Freshers’ Week is absolutely jam-packed with them.

Lecturers will spout the most mundane shit at you for hours, none of which you’ll actually take in because you’ll be hanging out your arse…because it’s Freshers’ Week. If you actually manage to get through a whole week of these, you deserve an Olympic medal.

9. Winning the bin game

You’ll never have to take the bins out if you consistently win the bin game. For the uneducated, this is when the bin appears to be full but you manage to balance a bit more rubbish on top. This means you avoid having to take out the bins and any unfortunate interactions with the dreaded bin juice.

10. Taking out the bins

If you lose the bin game or you’re actually just “mature,” you’re going to have to take out the bins. Not only do you essentially have to be a power-lifter to do this (the bin game has lead to an increased density and weight of bin bag) but you also have to go all the way outside and whack it in the bin before bin day.

On a cold winter’s day this is a horrific task and if you accomplish it, you’re a gold medalist in my eyes.

11. Thinking of small talk in a breakout room


What do you even say to people you’ve probably never even met?

12. Typing the first sentence of an essay


So you’ve done all your research, read through your notes and gone over your lectures. But now the time has come to actually start your essay. You type out your first sentence, before deleting it and repeating this cycle at least ten times.

After three hours you’ve finally got an introduction, not that it matters, as you’ll almost definitely write a new one after you’ve finished the rest of your essay.

13. Timing your visit to the kitchen so you don’t bump into anyone

Okay this isn’t so much a physical struggle. It’s more of an art form. If aspects of uni life are like Olympic sports, this would be dressage.

You’re probs in third year by this point and you live with your closest mates. That being said, not a bone in your body wants to be in a cramped kitchen with them just right now.

You’re gagging for a coffee but you can hear someone clattering about in the kitchen. You can probably tell which one of your housemates it is by the sounds they make, as you’ve developed a sort of echolocation technique. All falls silent. You then hear them walk up the stairs and past your room. You creep down to the kitchen and make your coffee in peace. Well done, you’ve won.

14. Getting your flatmates to clean the kitchen


This can be really tough, especially if the kitchen gets really messy really quickly and people are like: “I didn’t make that mess so why should I clear it up?”

15. Working out how many marks you need to get a grade

First the Dewey Decimal system and now this? There’s a reason I didn’t do maths at A-Level.  Working out the relative weightings of each assignment, module and year is an absolute nightmare.

But it’s also excellent procrastination. One sentence and three hours into your essay, you’ll proudly announce to your mates exactly what you need to average in order to scrape a 2:1. You’re smashing the game.

16. Finding the time to actually exercise


You’ve already coughed up for a year’s gym membership but you never actually go because you’ve got far too much Netflix to watch. If you do manage to go to the gym once, you feel like you’re super productive and could take over the world.

17. Finding the motivation to listen in a Zoom lecture

Literally anything is more interesting than a Zoom lecture. It’s just so damn hard to concentrate.

18. Cleaning your house at the end of your tenancy

Post-exams, you’ve allowed your house to become a bit of a shit tip. And now you’re tasked with cleaning it so the landlord doesn’t steal all your deposit.

After a monumental effort and three bottles of all-purpose surface cleaner, you finally get it done. A month after leaving, you get an email from your landlord saying it wasn’t up to scratch and that he’s billed you for a professional cleaning service. You actually can’t win.

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