The Grim Realities of University

by Anu Ajayi-Obe on April 14, 2016

Universities are not all that particular, sound and precise as they seem on the outside. There are certain grim realities of universities that are hard to digest but the truth is that these realities do exist and one should always be careful about them. There is a lot that goes on in universities. Some of these grim realities I will be talking about today which have derived from my own personal experiences.

Students Tend To Live In the Moment

Most of the students in universities tend to live in the moment. They don’t really know what they want in the future or how to work towards their goals, instead, they go to university to party. Most people go from college to university just because ‘it seems right’ and it’s an easy way to escape from reality, leave home and enjoy that newly found freedom. The problem with this is, they never know what tomorrow might bring because they don’t plan or focus on what is it they are set out to do.

A lot of the students who go to universities tend to go to universities outside of their area and therefore, are new to the environment they are in. Due to them missing home, they can be feel the urge to go out, enjoy and party too much to fill the missing void. Exploring the area and the people is no problem but depending on them to fill your happiness is where the problem lies.

A lot of Students refer to university as ‘living in another world’ and therefore, they tend to separate themselves from reality. The problem is, reality is REAL and it will hit you.  Not having enough to pay your bills, developing bad habits, having bad relationships, coming out with low grades, not having any work experience or any money to take back home  with you are REAL problems. These things can be avoided through wise thinking and decisions and not losing heign sight of who you are because every decision you make has a consequence.


It all looks good and well when you receive that first sum of money from student finance. Go ahead, go and splash your money, don’t plan, or save, spend it all in one week. This would be by far the dumbest idea ever, yet some people do it. Don’t rush to spend all your money, plan carefully and save for a rainy day! Do not, I repeat DO NOT result to WONGA or Quick Quids for additional loans because you will be in for the shock of your life. Debt is not a good thing. Your already in one debt don’t add to it! Control your finances, plan and save! Only spend when you need to and if you lack control, give your parents the money to hold for you.


Dating- Boy Issues

One of the main things that go on in universities is dating and general boy issues. Separation from their families, can cause a big university bubble that endangers their future again. As a result, they become far away from studies and tend to indulge themselves in other things.

 Boys can wait! I know it is every woman’s dream that they will find their future husband in uni but someone definitely lied to you. The reality is 99% of boys are out there for one thing. To smash. Don’t get caught up trying to find your Mr right because this is not the place to look for him. There are the few exceptions but chances are, you’re only digging yourself into a hole of heart break. It is important that people don’t depend on any one or get attached because for 1. Summer will come when you will have to depart and 2. He isn’t looking for a relationship anyway. The best thing to do is work on yourself, your health, your wealth, your life. You can be selfish because these are the only precious times you have left for yourself before life really begins.


Just because people are sleeping around doesn’t mean you should join them. STDs exist. Not even that but do you really wanna catch feelings for a fuck boy?

Some people go to uni just to see how many girls they can smash so watch out. If that's what you came to uni to do and it's something you love engaging in then by all means, each to their own. But don't get caught up just having sex for the sake of having sex because they are always repercussions, whether you catch an STD or catch feelings or even fall pregnant. Don't let society fool you. Going to uni doesn’t mean you have to engage in sexual activity. There are people out there who are saving themselves for marriage! if you choose to take that path, go ahead with it and don't let people steer you into this. 


But who are really your friends? Most people have their party friends, their close friends, their drinking friends, their I'm going to ask you for a favour friend, whatever you wanna call it. Problem is, people use the word "friend" too freely. Not everyone is your friend! To become your friend is supposed to be a privilege. Going into university especially when you come with no friends can sometimes be daunting and scary. However people need to realise although it's nice to have a group of people around you, it’s essential you pick the right kind of people and not just consider everyone as a friend to avoid being lonely. You don't have to be instantaneously best friends with the your flat mates.  University isn't always the place that people will find lifelong friends, so people should come prepared for that. Surround yourself with wise and like-minded people who will lead you in the right direction and push you towards your goals. As the saying goes "show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are" very much exists today.  Just remember friends come and go and some friends are only supposed to be in your life for a certain season, so don’t try to drag them into the next. Also some people’s intentions are not to build a long-term relationship with you so evaluate people carefully before you let them in in your most inner deep self. Friends can make or break you and sometimes you need to remove yourself from a specific environment and JUST DO YOU. Watch out for the "friends" that are constantly pushing you to drink, to come out, to smoke and to do things that are not of you. 


Discover Yourself & Your purpose

As a result of all these problems and the grim realities of the university life, there are certain things that student’s should do, including the following:

  • Focus on your goals: One of the main things students should do is that they should focus on their goals well. Without setting and focusing on goals, you can easily become distracted and therefore, not able to achieve what you were set out to do.
  • Go to church: I for one love going to the church because it strengthens my faith in myself and in my own being. It helps me search for my desires and as a result, helps me understand what I want to do. Church helps students get a good solace and peace of mind and they as a result can then focus on what is important for them.
  • Your purpose: Students tend to forget their purpose. They tend to indulge themselves in such activities, wasting the fees of semester and going overboard without thinking right. There are many students who tend to repeat or change courses etc when they are in university. Uni isn’t for everyone! Know why you’re going and what you want to get out from it. Don’t just do any course! A lot of people come out of uni with a degree but don’t work in a field similar to their degree. Why waste 3 years and £50k of debt? Everybody has their life’s purpose, listen to your gut feeling. Some people find it difficult to find their purpose immediately but it is there. Start by searching for what interests you, work and build on that and eventually you’ll know.  
  • Set targets: Setting targets is the key measures to success. It’s easy to know what you want to do and watch your favourite reality show expecting it to land in your arms. Set specific and achievable goals which you should work on every day.
  • Don’t Focus On Grades: While grades are important, they are not more important than what your interests are. You can easily get detracted by focusing on courses that will bring you good grades. Therefore, you should try not to focus on grades but rather go for things that help you understand what your interests are.
  • Know your passion: If you are not passionate, you are not going to be able to know what your life is about. Therefore, students must be self directed and know what their passions are because passionate people are usually the ones who succeed in life. Therefore, students should realise that what they are paying for is not just grades but something that helps them achieve their passions well. It is better to pursue what you’re passionate about because studying Law whilst really passionate about music may bring you lots of wealth but it will never bring you that satisfaction and happiness we all really crave in life. Don’t follow the crowd, Follow your gut reactions and that burning desire within you.
  • Know the courses you want to participate in: Students are not always self directed and therefore, it is important to know your courses well. Before you go to university, you should know what you want to participate in. Know these courses so you know well in advance what you want to do and therefore, go on to pursue it.

Grow Yourself As A Person

It is recommended for students to focus on themselves and make themselves grow as a person when they are in university. University life isn’t easy and with so many things that can distract you and make you lost, you should try to nurture yourself with things that help you grow as a person.

You should improve your mind and try to pursue things that contribute to your overall growth and focus. Your mind should be on your goals not on the other worldly things that can easily distract you. Partying, drugs, alcohol and other things are readily available and something that can distract people well. Avoid getting  caught up with these things.

The idea of running away from home

If your going to uni because you just cannot wait to leave home. Think twice. The idea of leaving home for the first time and enjoying life without your parents may look attractive on the surface. People think they are going on vacation or something but they forget.. Who’s going to Hoover the house, Who’s going to buy the groceries, Who’s going to cook the food, Who's going to wash the plates? Who is going to do the laundry? And so on. There is so many things that you're going to have to get used to, doing by yourself for the first time. There are people out there who are used to doing these things by themselves and therefore this aspect of university shouldn’t be such a challenge for them. However for the ones who haven't even learnt to cook, you will be in for the shock of your life. Weird things such as having to buy toilet roll for the first time might come as a bit of a surprise for you, but these are the consequences you have to face leaving home and growing up. It's not all celebrations leaving home and when you come home for the holidays, you start to realise what you’re really missing out on and you definitely start to appreciate your parents more. Don't see university as running away, staying on campus isn’t for everyone and you might want to consider commuting from home which will save you a lot of money. This was the wisest decision that I made and you just start to value how much support you get from your family. 

To Conclude

  • Only go to Uni if you have to
  • Enjoy your Uni life but have limits and boundaries
  • Don’t forget to study
  • Stay true to who you are
  • Find your life’s purpose and work on it
  • Stick to your passion and what drives you (even if it involves dropping out of uni)
  • Find good influences and surround yourself with them
  • Don’t go looking for a partner
  • Don’t live in the moment
  • Spend your money wisely
  • University can be life changing and there’s a lot you can learn from it.
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