University has been (for the most part) an amazing experience. It’s stressful and it’s costly but it has made me into a resilient, multi-tasking critical thinker.
But, all Uni students are aware that despite the life skills we learn at Uni, it can be testing. These are some of the universal annoyances one faces whilst studying at a tertiary level.
1. Timetable clashes.
Twas the night before sign-on and all through the campus, all the Uni kids were screaming, because their compulsory courses clash.
It happens every semester. HIST2303 and ENGL2002 are both on at 9am Tuesday morning. And both your professors expect you to prioritise their course. Why??!!!
2. Email etiquette.
We’ve all been there, it’s 2am and you’ve just realized you have absolutely no clue how to start your essay. So you do the responsible thing and you email your tutor. Except, you’re 18 and you’re a baby and you have no idea how to email adults without sounding like a child. Don’t worry, you’ll figure this one out…by the end of your degree.
3. Prioritizing. Juggling. Multi-tasking.
Do you start your lab report first? But what about the quiz for bio? And you need to see a dentist this month. Oh, and your friend wants to see you for lunch to discuss breaking up with her grubby boyfriend that you’ve never liked because he smells like cheese. Also, you haven’t washed your hair in five days and even your pets are beginning to distance themselves from you.
4. Picking a major.
When you’re in high school the goal is simple: get to uni. Sometimes you’re a bit more ambitious and you narrow it down: get into law, arts, engineering. Then you get to uni and suddenly, you are very, very unsure of what you want.
5. Caffeine overloading.
So you’ve had a total of 8 hours sleep this week? Yeah, caffeine is your best friend. Just don’t overdo it. If you start hearing colours you might want to take a nap and put down the latte. Who am I kidding, you can’t afford lattes! Enjoy your instant coffee fellow stressheads.
6. Getting stuff done in the age of the internet.
Thanks to the world wide web I can now do most of my course reading online. I can also watch videos of cats proving that they are indeed the superior species, for ten hours straight if I wanted to. And sometimes, I want to.
7. Falling ill at the wrong time.
There are good times to get a cold, like on the eve of that family get together you’ve been praying will just go away. And there are bad, very bad, very, very bad times to fall victim to the common cold. Students know this all too well.
The bad time: beginning of semester, when you’re meeting all your new classmates, sure the content is introductory but you don’t want to be that person. Y’know, the sick one! No one wants to befriend the sniffler.
The very bad time: middle of semester. You’re coming up on assignments, the course content is beginning to get heavier and if you take even one day off, you will fall behind. Cue a bunch of miserable millennials hunched over a pile of tissues, usually found at the back of the room.
The very, very bad time: exams. Let’s not even talk about this, it’s like shouting Macbeth in a theatre.
8. Falling into a pit of self-loathing.
Uni is hard and it can rob you of a lot of your confidence. One bad grade can set off a whole weeks worth of I’m never getting a job, I’m a failure, I’m a big dumb idiot that still can’t figure out google maps and I’m in so much freaking debt. Don’t worry, it’ll pass. And so will you.
Thanks to uni you have no idea what a weekend really feels like. You’re either working, doing assignments or prepping for the next weeks classes. Your weekend is your one day off from classes, usually a Tuesday, and you spend it sleeping and eating oreos.
10. Making friends.
In high school you see your peers five days a week, with forced lunch dates and enough gossip to last you well into your eighties. Uni is different, everyone wants to make a few new friends but they’re scared and so they choose to scroll down their Twitter feed for the five minutes before class begins. The one person you make friends with decides they don’t ‘do’ attendance and only make three of your ten tutorials and you have no idea how to approach the subject of adding each other on Facebook (the first step in a long lasting friendship). Don’t be that person. You know those ice-breakers your tutor makes you do in first week? Excellent friend making opportunity. Join clubs. Speak to people in your class and if your the other members of your group project aren’t total assholes, have lunch with them.
11. Winging it.
Trying to figure out how to answer your lecturers question when you haven’t done the reading or you’re having one of your dumb days (they exist).
In your first year you spend a lot of money on textbooks. And then in your second year you realise you either don’t need them or you can get them for cheap second hand/online. Oh the money that has been wasted!
If you don’t live on campus you learn to tolerate public transport. At least you get a student discount. And when you have two trains and a bus to catch you get to stare dramatically out of windows a lot, so there’s that.