You’ll have the best time of your life at uni, it’s all downhill after
It’s 100 per cent better than reality
Whether it’s your stressful final year or you’re a fun-loving fresher, there’s no doubt uni will be some of the best years of your life.
Although the prospect of a real-life adult job is exciting, it won’t be the same when you’re looking back nostalgically on those magical alcohol-fuelled memories of being a student.
You can binge drink any day of the week
Now is the only time you can consume copious amounts of alcohol on the regular and not be admitted to rehab.
In the wonderful and hazy realm of predrinks, you can legitimately earn people’s respect by bravely downing the dirty pint in a game of Ring of Fire. In the working world, downing a mixture of spirits and beer in a jug at your desk won’t earn you anything but a written warning.
Money is a lot easier to spend when you haven’t spent 9-5 earning it
Every term we get a nice sum of money heading straight into an account with a hefty overdraft. Damn does it feel good to see a bank balance over £20, and the best part is it feels like free money.
Yes it’s a loan, but it’s a long-term loan, and you’re safe in the knowledge you’ve got years to pay it back. The harsh reality is you’ll leave uni with crippling debt, but you can forget about that until graduation. Splashing out on some expensive shoes, or a family bucket for one at KFC is a lot harder when you’ve gruelled for hours to earn the money in the first place.
You’re living with a big group of friends
Don’t take for granted living with your mates, as even though you’ve got big dreams for when you graduate, you’ll probably move back in with your parents. If you were lucky enough in first year to be placed with people you actually like, you’ll know the feeling of warmth belonging to a “flamily” – flat family.
If you weren’t, second year’s the time to choose who you want to live with, and you can look forward to a house full of good times and good people. When your friends are heading off in different career paths, you’ll miss the piles of washing up and stale smell of leftover kebab.
If there’s ever a time not to give a shit, it’s halls
With a landline to Main Reception at your beck and call, student accommodation is a pretty cushty set-up. Like a newborn child yanked from the safety of its mothers womb, the cries of young, drunken freshers can be heard all night, every night, as they settle into a life of missed lectures and heavy hangovers.
You’ve broken the cooker, the bin and the chair, and the toilet’s blocked with chunder. But it’s okay, because maintenance is on its way to fix all your problems. In the real adult world, you better hope you know how to use a screwdriver.
There seem to be no expectations of respectability: you’ll sit eating breakfast on Sunday morning, watching various fancy dress characters do the walk of shame back to their flats. When you’re browsing through the Next sale spending a small fortune on boring office wear, you’ll miss the freedom of collecting your laundry in your Pikachu onesie.
All the work you do is for yourself, not for some big corporate boss
In the working world, you can fully expect to come across the stereotypical Gordon Ramsay type boss, whose work ethic is something along the lines of “I want it done, and I want it done now, bitch”. At least at uni, all the hard work you do is working towards your own goals, or part of an attempt to avoid the steep descent into failure. Either way, the only person telling you what to do (besides your mum), is the part of your brain acknowledging the 40 per cent pass rate.
Make the most of those cuppas your housemates will kindly bring as you storm through a five hour session of revision. In the near distant future you’ll be making them for yourself – and anyone else in the office who sees you even so much as glance at the kettle.
You’re trapped between adolescence and adulthood
Being at university is an uncertain and confusing time in many different ways. It’s a chance for you to step away from the protective bubble of your parents and flourish into a well-rounded, young responsible adult… right? Wrong. When you’ve burnt your third Aldi pizza of the week, the comfort accompanying your mum’s classic lasagne is sorely missed.
But eventually, you’ll find a balance between no longer being a childish adolescent and not being considered a fully fledged adult. You can float through your degree, simultaneously avoiding and obtaining the right amount of responsibility.
You can fall asleep in a lecture, but you can’t fall asleep at work
After a heavy night of dancing to 90s classics at Snobs, it takes all your willpower to muster the courage to make your 9am lecture. Your eyelids refuse to co-operate and the boring drone of your lecturer sends you into a hazy, hungover snooze at the back of the lecture theatre. Thank god for mandatory lecture recordings, so you can go home and replay what you missed as you realise you may as well have stayed in bed.
In the working world, you can’t tactically find a spot at the back of the office in which to pull your jumper over your face and nod off, and you can guarantee your boss won’t be repeating the long list of requests which need to be done by lunchtime. In adult life, the days of daytime napping will be a distant memory, as you struggle to glue your eyelashes to your eyebrows in the office loo.
Wearing sports gear all day is acceptable, and might even make you edgy
Leggings and joggers can liberate your limbs from the tight constraints of those jeans you’re still desperately trying to convince yourself you can fit into. The level of comfort you can achieve from soft-cotton, baggy fit clothing is enough to justify why you’ve spent your “revision day” at the library asleep on the fifth floor. And nobody will question your attire, especially if you have your sport team emblazoned on your chest. You might even look edgy, as the return of vintage 90s sports gear has us all across the country looking and feeling like Sporty Spice.
But you can say goodbye to the luxury of t-shirts and hoodies, and cry wistfully into your hands while trying for the 10th time to successfully knot your tie. In a world of brogues, suits and pencil skirts, you may feel a bit smarmy and professional, but you’ll find at the end of the day when you kick off those heels, it’s not even worth it.
Extended time off you don’t have to book in advance
Christmas, Easter, and, if you’re lucky enough, even reading week are all holidays in which you should be catching up with work, but instead you’re off to Greece with what you can salvage from your rapidly diminishing loan. These are all periods in which you can catch up with mates, family and spend whole days in bed with Netflix and your pizza of choice. Score.
Realistically, what kind of job will allow you three whole months of summer for you to indulge in all kinds of tomfuckery and travels with your friends? All the holiday time you can get you have to earn, and everything needs to be booked in advance which completely takes the joy out of those last minute plans.
A strange sense of youthful freedom
Opening a can of beer at 11am is completely acceptable, because you’re a student. The no holds barred feeling enabling you to order Chinese takeout for seven consecutive days, just because you can. Rocking home from a night on the town and staying up having drunken, thought-provoking chats about life with your housemates until 6am, and then stumbling to your 9am seminar. Or even missing it. Crazy.
When the responsibilities of a career, a house, and paying back your loans weigh heavily on your shoulders, you’ll flick longingly through your Facebook albums of freshers, wondering where the time went. Enjoy the bubble of uni while you can.