University: The best years of our lives? Really?

My biggest qualm with the notion that uni is the best time of our life is the fact that life should get better when we graduate, says Victoria Ibitoye


Many of us started university with the belief that the years which followed would be the best of our lives. Fed ideas of endless, mind-numbing fun by our parents and bitter graduates alike, it’s not surprising that our initial impression of university was one of enthusiasm.

Counting down the days till freshers, we were about to embark on something amazing, a journey that not only marked the very pinnacle of adulthood as we knew it, but would also prove to be a life-changing roller coaster of excitement.

Not only was this clearly an exaggeration, but it meant that we started university with completely unrealistic expectations, placing university life on an unnecessarily high pedestal.

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We’re given three years to have fun and after that life is pretty much just doom and gloom, supposedly.

So what didn’t they tell us? Is university really the amazing bubble we’ve been led to believe it is or have we all just been fed a big fat lie?

Well, for one thing, no-one told us that university is basically one great big ball of pressure. Pressure to secure a graduate job, pressure to do well in exams, pressure to find your life partner…it’s exhausting.

In the space of a few years we’re not only expected to have fun but are also expected to sort out our lives out at the same time. It’s mind blowing in the most literal sense of the word, so not even in a good way.

Make it stop

Make it stop

Ultimately, university is one great big learning curve. We learn more things outside the lecture hall than we do inside and, even then, those lessons aren’t always necessarily what we’d intended.

University is a drama, everyone has a role to play and we all play them pretty well. We go through the motions and before we know it our time here is over.

In university we learn to be open but not naïve, lazy but not stupid, driven but in a way that is subtle and less intimidating. It’s the best and worst place to learn about yourself and that makes the whole experience both amazing and scary at the same time.

Let's hope the future's bright

Let’s hope the future’s bright

I like to think that university gives us the foundations and the path life takes thereafter is completely up to us.

I guess my biggest qualm with the notion that uni years are the best years of our lives is the fact that life should get better once we graduate. If university life, with all its trials and tribulations, is the best life has to offer then you can drop me out. Like, right now.

Life shouldn’t just be about three years and the rest a staggering decline, a life like that isn’t a life worth living.