First Year at Luff: Expectations vs. Reality

The cold hard truth of the transition from being an A level toddler, to a teenager with an overdraft

Desperately trying to look happy on the first day, featuring a squashed brother.

Before we start here, it needs to be noted that not everyone is excited about coming to uni. In fact, a lot will have absolutely dreaded it and will have avoid thinking about it at all costs. When we do allow ourselves to ponder on the next year of our lives, we expected the common stereotypes; going out, joining societies, and meeting, well, more than a couple of new friends… However our reality doesn’t always match our expectation.

Expectation: Freshers week is the best week of your life. Reality: It wasn’t.

Freshers Week. What you think will be the pinnacle of first year, where you meet your new friends, and have the absolute time of your life. When really you’re walking into the dining hall to sign up, grabbing your freshers kit and basically legging it out the hall.

Then there’s meeting your flatmates. When the comfort blanket of your Mum has left, you have to face the dreaded meeting of the flatmates. It is an absolutely mad concept if you think about it. Meeting the people you’ve got to spend the next year with, what if you absolutely can’t stand them? Well there’s only one word to describe that experience, awkward.

Fresher injuries

Expectation: Going out EVERY NIGHT. Reality: Flaking after the first three days.

Now you actually have to go on a night out with these people who you’ve known for five seconds. Any credit to freshers week definitely goes to bonding through the mutual appreciation of alcohol. Especially when you are still ridiculously nervous. This soon gets old and going out on the lash all the time might seem like the uni dream, but in reality you end up a shell of a human; stumbling out of bed, dry mouthed and on the prowl for a bacon and egg sandwich. Only to walk in to the absolute wreckage of a kitchen, half empty drinks, spilt shots, making the hangover hit you in full throttle. And then only managing about half of the fresher events.

Expectation: Going to learn to cook and become the next Gordon Ramsey. Reality: Expensive catered food you didn’t want.

Day to day reactions to catered food

Wednesday Roast…

Staring aghast at the screen when your time slot for choosing accommodation opens. Robert Bakewell, GONE, William Morris, GONE, Hazlerigg Rutland, GONE. This was your only hope at uni, you were going to have lovely self-catered accommodation at uni, you were going to learn to cook and fend for yourself at uni. Nope. You got a catered hall. Oh and you’ve heard it all to try and make you feel better, ‘catered halls are more sociable…’ and ‘the food really isn’t that bad…’. When in reality, you were going to put on a stone from the gallons of potatoes, (not slagging off the curly fries, they are amazing). But, why would you put a mediterranean mix of vegetables with a roast dinner? You basically frequented KFC more than you cared to admit.

Where we spent most of our days…

Expectation: A year full of amazing memories. Reality: One big blur.

What is there to say about the rest of first year? You actually can’t remember. It’s a big blur of frequenting the PO and buying 2 for 1 dips and a family size bag of crisps, (and more often than not, a cheeky bar of galaxy). Sitting in your room with a couple of friends, eating, laughing and chatting about nothing. Going out sometimes, but not nearly as much as the student stereotype prepares you for. Oh yeah, and actually doing your degree, that somehow slips your mind.

Expectation: Best year of uni. Reality: You survived it.

First year isn’t what a lot of us expect, but as clichéd as it sounds, you wouldn’t change it. No, you didn’t meet your whole hall, but you made a couple of friends for life. 

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Loughborough University