Here are my 11 biggest regrets now that I’m in my final term at Exeter Uni

Though ‘regret’ is a strong word


As a third year who has decided to max out her final third term, I find the term “things I might have done differently” a more comfortable metric than “regret” – just so I don’t plunge myself into existential dread. Largely, I would say I have had a very well-rounded uni experience. One filled with late-night laughs that go on in the kitchen until the early hours, the dreaded walk to campus for 8:30ams and lots of Overheard battles for TP tickets. So, I have curated a list of possible regrets or “things I might have done differently” for any stragglers who are wondering how to equally max out their remaining time at Exeter Uni: 

1. Sport related societies 

Now I’m not someone who suffers from imposter syndrome. But if there was ever a time I felt close to having it, it would be partaking in sport-related activities at uni. The only reason being an innate fear that everyone else would be better than me. I think it’s because Exeter is a very sport oriented uni but I certainly have regrets over not trying or doing things that I enjoy at the cost of my ego. If you have also suffered from this complex, try doing intramural or Body Soc (recently tried out line-dancing, highly recommend). There isn’t the same competitive edge as some of the more intense societies with the BUCS attitudes.  

2. Guild Give it a Go’s 

I understand how this might come across. It’s very much “I like school a bit too much” coded but quite frankly, life’s too short. Having recently partaken in an inflatable assault course (for free), I’ve realised that the stuff the Guild organises is fun and affordable. A regret of mine is not doing more of them in my second and third years on a day where I might not have as much stuff planned.  

3. Sleeping on the £2 meal 

The £2 meal only opened in my second year of uni and I had heard about it before I was a £2 meal regular. But I seriously regret not getting it more in my second year. I don’t like to think about the amount of money I wasted getting Ram lunches or the extortionate Marketplace meal deals when I was lazy enough to not pack my lunch on a busy campus day. It’s also healthy and DEFINITELY counterbalances the damage I do to my liver.  

4. Exmouth only beach days 

Although this might seem like an obvious candidate, it is a lot easier than you realise to fall into the trap of going to Exmouth out of convenience when the sun is shining. Understandably the train journey is short, it’s a sandy beach and it has a Spoons for that post beach hydrating. But, there is more to life than Exmouth. There are many beaches within a 45 minute reach such as Dawlish or Paignton which are worth a visit since you’re already in the Southwest. If you or someone you know has a car, even better, because Sidmouth or Budleigh Salterton are honourable mentions to add to the list of beaches.  

5. Housing crisis 

It’s a canon event launching yourself into the Exeter Uni housing crisis trap. You might fall for a house that is either too expensive, too far away for what you like, or living with people you might not even like that much. I’m not implying there’s no urgency or that you shouldn’t start looking as early as October, but I’m saying don’t settle for something because you’re scared you won’t find something better.  

6. Not befriending neighbours 

People don’t necessarily consider this, but befriending your neighbours at uni can make a bigger difference than you think. They can be helpful over the little things: “Did anyone hear that banging?” or, “Cheeky pint in the garden later?” You never know what you might have in common with them! Don’t do what I did by hopping the fence after Batty Bingo and intruding into their lounge. Not everyone appreciates the uncivilised approach.  

7. Not exhausting my student loan 

This might not apply to everyone because the amount of student loan varies from person to person, but if you’re fortunate enough to have some spare after your bills and Pret membership, I recommend exhausting it because that is literally what it’s there to do. In my first year, I ended up saving some money because I was stingy with it and went three weeks without a food shop at times. Why? Was there any need? 

8. Exclusively pre-ing at home 

Arguably, pre’s is the best part of “going out” culture. A bit of vodka-squash is cheap and does the trick of easing into the night over card games. But sometimes, when the bank allows you to, there are many nice bars like Coolings or The Cocktail Club which, with a student discount, can also be a viable option.

9. Office hours 

Sorry to dim the tone but at the end of the day, we come to university to study and not purely just for the “uni experience”. Something that I depended on more in my final year was how valuable office hours can be to gain insight into your module. I used to find office hours quite overwhelming but as soon as I realised that I could just rock up with the simple question, “Do you think this essay title might work?”, I remembered that I do in fact enjoy the subject I study. Truth be told, lecturers are yappers just like us and LOVE a little gossip.  

10. Studying outside the library 

Again, old habits die hard, especially with routine, but did you know you don’t have to stick to one dedicated area to study? After doing a couple of 9am-5pm internships this was yet another realisation that I didn’t take advantage enough of. Being able to change up study spaces is such a blessing, especially in comparison to going to the same office every day for the rest of my life. 

11. Inconsistent sleep 

Lastly, I would like to stress the importance of maintaining consistent sleep. With all the clubbing nights and extensive social life alongside academic pressure, all our sleeping schedules tend to suffer. A regret of mine is not making time to catch up on any missed sleep and choosing to suffer with sleep deprivation when I didn’t. It was NOT fun for anyone to be around me then.  

Although hindsight is a wonderful thing, I don’t regret much about my uni experience but if I did, these are the things that I would change about it. Hopefully, if you still have some time left in your uni experience, you can utilise this list and live out an even better time than me!

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