What I Regret About University...


Today is the day that, after much anticipation, many people will be collecting their A-Level Results. Some of these people will be selecting which Universities they are going to and Universities have opened up Clearing for others to ponder over.

University is supposed to be the best years of your life. Today, as thousands of teens and adults alike collected their results and planned for their futures, I thought that I would reflect on my University experience.

I didn't really have a University experience per say. I attended lectures and classes and that was about it. Most of my University life was actually spent in my home town, with the friends that I already had, in the pubs that I originally drank at. I didn't hate University but if I was offered the chance to do it again, now that I've matured and really thought about what I would want, I would do it completely differently.

Below, I have compiled a list of things that I would do if I went to University as the person that I am right now.

In no particular order:

1. Move there

I didn't move to University. I stayed at home with my parents in order to save money and stay close to the boyfriend that I had at the time. (Dickhead move, he was cheating on me anyway.) I had a stint where I lived in Newcastle briefly for around a month but that was also an epic fail. Maybe one day I'll write a post about that experience. I wish that I had packed my shit and moved to University. Moved in with strangers, bunked with mates. I stayed at home for the full three years and missed out on a few vital life lessons as well as everything else.

2. Explore the City

I know Newcastle better than majority of my friends because I studied their for three years. I knew public transport like the back of my hand and I know majority of the city but I never spent time just really exploring it. I live 30 miles away from it and still have the opportunity to do so but I wish I had taken time as a not-so-busy student to really absorb the place I would be studying in.

3. Attend Parties/Nights out

I used to have the odd pint and catch the last train home at night but that sucked so bad. I would see students flocking around the student union or in mini gangs going back to their residence to change for an epic night on the tiles and I was at home, with my dog, doing sweet f.a.

4. Join a Club

I have hobbies now and I had hobbies then. I wish that I had joined a club. As well as looking good on your CV, I would have made friends with similar interests and maybe done something with a hobbie. I never joined anything but I wish I did.

5. Go to Freshers 

All of your bonding, epic stories and best memories will come from the first two weeks of your University Career. I had three chances to go to Freshers and didn't bother with any. I would have attended at least one so I could have some form of positive memory/fun story to tell.

6. Be Single

I don't for one instance regret any of my boyfriend's or love interests. I met Jamie whilst I was in my third year and I have had an epic relationship for three years with that kid. At University, I had four boyfriends. I had the one I entered my first year who dumped me soon after, a guy I was with for a year and a half, the one who kicked me in the head and then Jamie. If I could go back, I would have held off on the relationships. Formed friendships, skipped the disaster that ended in a court case during my third year and build relationships with a foundation of friendship. I feel that if I was alone when I went to University, I may have opened up more, made more friends, felt more open to opportunity without the tie of what people at home were thinking or doing.

7. Work part time

I have always worked and/or been in education but the job that I had when I was at University was 30 miles from my hometown and 60 miles from my University. I worked all summer, weekends and majority of night shift. Looking back it would have been beneficial for me to find a part time job, move to the city and balance all three in one place. Not three things in three places miles apart.

8. Study a sandwich course/placement/year abroad 

It would have been a great to really work in the industry. Build some contacts, feel the atmosphere of the workplace and get some relevant work experience on my CV. Plus, a year abroad would have been a fantastic opportunity to further learn some life skills whilst still in the safety of the student status net. I did work for a magazine whilst I was at University and I loved every minute of it but I could have done more.

9. Started blogging

I dabbled in many websites and blogs at University but I could have started something and really progressed with it whilst I had all of that spare time. I didn't really find my niche until I started this blog and I didn't learn everything I know now until earlier this year. I could have invested a lot of time into growing a great space on the internet.

10. Learn to budget

I blew so much money at University. I didn't buy a yearly ticket for the train but spent £20.00 a day on travel. I would buy crap out of boredom whilst I was travelling and spend what I had left over down the pub. I also helped out family but it was more common that they helped me. Now that I've grown up and pay council tax amongst the majority of other bills I have, I recognise all of the mistakes that I made living off the three years of student loans. I also have to stretch my monthly wage even further to cover overdraft payments that are due to my student status now being a graduate one. If I'd have budgeted, I'd have had plenty of savings, no overdraft and not have to get myself out of all that debt later on after University life.

11. Visited friends at other Universities

I had a group of close friends at college and we all went to different Universities. One of them even went to mine! I didn't visit any of them even though they relentlessly offered. I didn't try and eventually those friendships fizzled and faded and became nothing more than the odd like and interaction on Social Media. If I could go back, I would have budgeted and saved and spent my weekends exploring their University life and the culture of their city as much as I could have.

12. Taken a Gap Year

I was one of the last people to have the capped fees. I missed the £9000 fees by the skin of my teeth so felt pressured to go to University when I did. Now, I would have taken a gap year, explored more universities, more courses and really researched what it was that I wanted. I didn't move there for stupid reasons and stayed close to home so that I could travel. A year out could have changed my life for the better or the worse.

*****

That's it for this post. Saying all of the above and really reflecting on my time at University, I would have done it differently if I was going to University now but I don't regret what I did for the person that I was back then. I learned a lot of life lessons, even if they weren't neccessarily the ones that I could have learned, Jamie and I had a wonderful relationship and continue to be amazing friends. I moved out with friends and then lived as a couple, got myself a decent job and continued to meet amazing people that impacted my life for better and worse. If I had originally done everything I mentioned in this post, then I would be someone completely different. My relationships and friendships would all be different/not exist and even this blog may not exist.

I lead a good life and am thankful for everyone and everything in it so looking back, I did the best thing I thought at the time.

Here are some really awful photos from my graduation day. It has been 2 years since I graduated and I am still learning and growing every single day.








That was definitely worth the hangover.

Do you have any University advice or regrets? Are you preparing to go to University? Share your thoughts below or find me on Social Media! 

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