10 Nottingham Uni moments that make you feel like an adult

So this is what they really meant by the ‘uni experience’

People view university life as not really counting as adulthood. Its more like a trial run before the real thing. After all, unless you’re on placement, you don’t have to work 9-5 every day, most people aren’t commuting, and you literally get your meals cooked for you for the first year if you’re living in catered accommodation.

All this might be true, but some people underestimated just how quickly you have to grow up when you move to uni. A lot of people go and have no concept of how to look after themselves: how to do their own laundry, how to budget week to week, how not to give yourself food poisoning.

So, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten moments at a Nottingham University that will make you fully comprehend the fact that you’re responsible for yourself now and that means the things you think about and get passionate about change quite a bit.

1. Realising how good the public transport in Nottingham is

Universal to Nottingham students, a moment that really distinguishes you as an adult is the moment you find yourself sat on the night bus that leaves town outside Maccies and magically transports you to Lenton, campus, Beeston – even QMC, and you find yourself really appreciating just how efficient the Nottingham public transport is – seriously, it’s literally award-winning.

And, the moment you really know you’re getting old, is when you refuse to get on any other bus onto University Park campus except the 34, because you just can’t get over the fact that it actually goes through campus.

2. Using “University phrases” in everyday conversations

This is another probably very niche example of realising you’ve really become an adult, but within three weeks of starting uni, had their mum take the piss out of them for calling Reading Week “the week commencing 7th November”.

Using university adult-y jargon in texts is jut so much more concise, so if you, too, have fallen victim to public shaming because you use the same language as your module convenor. You’re not alone.

3. Appreciating the careers service 

Most students start and finish first year with little to no knowledge of what the careers service at University of Nottingham actually provides. Most freshly-turned 18-year-olds, decide that my post-university life simply did not matter. And honestly, to any freshers (or even second and third years) reading this who feel the same way, that’s fine. You’re not meant to know what you want to do with your life yet.

However, come the start of second year, when you graduate, you may actually try and aim for a career that wouldn’t leave you crying in the toilets every five minutes. So, enter the careers service. From personal experience, they are incredibly helpful, there’s so much on offer, a lot of which is completely free, and it really won’t detract from your studies too much. Honestly, a true sign that I was becoming an adult this year has been freaking out over which “business casual” trousers I should wear for my networking event next week. Use the careers service.

4. Getting really, really frustrated about really, really, mundane things

Something I really didn’t expect to experience a lot at university was just how passionate I’d end up being about things only my parents seem to actually care about things I’d rarely give a second thought about at home.

I used to mock my mum for how annoyed she got when she had more lids for Tupperware boxes than boxes themselves, but I really do get it now. Seriously, where do they go? Same thing with odd socks, random forks, Lidl shopping bags, the list goes on.

5. Having surprisingly heated debates about (again) really, really mundane things

As a Notts student, one of the main moments of first year that’ll make you truly feel like an adult was when your first year flatmates inevitably end up bickering over whether you should or shouldn’t use the washing up bowl to do your washing. To some, it’s a no-brainer, you save some water, don’t run the risk of burning your hands under the ever-scalding hot tap, especially when you’ve been putting it off for a week and there’s a huge backlog of dirty dishes to deal with.

Other examples of grown-up debates you are likely to experience at uni include: whether frozen spinach is better value than fresh (it is), does it really matter if you put colours in with your whites wash (it doesn’t), was the 3 kilogram bag of penne you bought for £3 at the start of the year worth the trek to Hyson Green to get to Asda (still up for debate).

6. Sending emails 

University is a lot of just sending emails to people. Figuring out which lecturers you can use the word “hi” in an email to and which ones require a “Dear”. Others you should sign off with a “Best regards,” a “Many thanks,” or a simple “cheers”. It’s enough to make anyone feel ancient.

7. All the cheese and wine nights

Nothing will make you feel more middle-aged (and middle-class) than the pure excitement that rushes through you when you see that “who’s up for a camembert tonight” message pop up on the group chat.

And then someone else says they have garlic bread and someone else has Sainsbury’s own brand Pinot Grigio and then suddenly your Thursday night sat at the kitchen table surrounding that fateful wheel of French cheese is the highlight of your week. Your parents definitely had the right idea, thanks for the inspo.

Bonus tip: put crushed garlic and honey on top of the cheese and bake it for 20 minutes. Immaculate.

8. Board game nights 

Another evening activity sure to release your inner pensioner, but with all the excitement of the vivacious young person you still are, board game nights are the one. They are possibly the best way for you and your friends to escape the harsh life of a student, pretend you’re not currently living off potato smiles and ignore that looming deadline you have coming up.

Personal favourites include Scattergories, The Game of Life, Jenga, and even a Nottingham edition of Monopoly found in a Beeston charity shop. Never thought I’d be so excited to see the Rock City logo on the Talbot Street card. And honestly, I might be a Bonkerz Bingo fan, but I do question sometimes whether I ever pictured myself getting all dressed up to play bingo on a Tuesday night.

9. Referencing

Now on to what is arguabloy the worst part of adult/university life – referencing. For all the STEM students that don’t have to write essays, it must be nice. You don’t know the struggle.

Writing your bibliography and ensuring all your authors, dates, article titles, publishers etc etc are in the same order the whole way through is actually harder than writing the essay itself. You really know you’re an adult when you find yourself pondering which referencing style you hate the most.

10. The supermarket question

And finally, as the top tenth moment as a Notts student guaranteed to make you feel like an adult, is deciding which supermarket to shop at. Bonus points if you have a loyalty card to every one in the greater Nottingham region.

Lidl tends to be the safest bet in terms of finance, but Sainsbury’s local and Tesco Express are just so convenient, and who really wants to walk all that way with heavy shopping bags? Not me.

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