What I thought uni would be like vs what it’s actually like

November 03, 2016
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Every high school graduate who dreams of going to uni builds up expectations of what they hope and think uni will be like. Sometimes, those expectations aren’t met and in other cases, those expectations are exceeded beyond your wildest dreams. Either way, university is such a rewarding time, but these were the parts of uni life we definitely weren’t expecting.

Expectation: You’ll land your dream job straight after uni
Reality: A degree doesn’t always guarantee a job straight away

Every student who attends uni is there with the aim of developing the skills and the education to gain a career afterwards. You'd think a bachelor degree would cut it and the three to five years spent studying will no doubt land you a great job.

Going that extra mile while at uni does great things for your resume when the time comes for you to look for a full-time job. Broaden your horizons and apply for an internship, volunteer for the industry you’re seeking to work in or consider a masters or graduate diploma after your degree. The more skills and experience that you have, the more interesting you will be to potential employers.

Expectation: Attending uni makes you an independent adult
Reality: You still need your parents

After 12 years of high school, graduating is a huge accomplishment. This accomplishment comes with the expectation that you’ll soon be an adult, doing your own thing independent of your parents. What comes as a shock after schoolies is the realisation that your parents are going to be your biggest support system during your uni years, and that isn’t just providing you with food.

Uni isn’t always laid out for you like high school. You don’t always value the wisdom your parents provide you when it comes to sorting out your life. The reality is, after high school, the barrier between your parents being mum and dad and you being the child fades away and you become friends. Don’t get me wrong, the free feed and having your laundry done is a great perk, but during uni your parents will bring out strengths you never knew you had.

Expectation: The notion that uni easy breezy beautiful cover girl
Reality: …not that easy

Uni is easy they said. Well, no, uni isn’t that easy. Uni is hard when it comes to managing your money. You need to pay your way through uni and the only way you can do that, without a little help from the government, is to get yourself a job.

Being a university student is much harder than I presumed and it’s not because of the assignments, or the exams, it’s the fact that I have discovered juggling skills that a clown would envy. As a uni student, you are caught between the limbo of real life and student life, both of which require money. You are confronted with the reality of maybe paying board to your parents while living at home, and all the money spent on food. Uni isn’t just hard because of exams, it’s hard because it’s a part of life.

Expectation: Party Party Party! Party?
Reality: Netflix is better

My mum always told me that during her time at uni, there were parties every week. She made out that uni was one big raging party. But it’s not – I haven’t attended one uni party, nor do I think one has been advertised outside of O Week which, by the way, also did not meet the expectations provided to me by my mother. Thanks Mum.

The expectation of partying my whole way through uni has been outdone by my reality of watching Netflix at home until 2am and submitting my assignments 10 minutes before they’re due.

Teaghan Burch

Teaghan is third year student studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Journalism and Politics at Deakin University. She loves travel, all types of food and is addicted to coffee. 

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