2nd December 2015
1. How to get very drunk, very cheaply
Budgeting is essential when you’re a student. Many students can’t afford to spend money like it’s going out of fashion, so you end up learning how to do everything cheaply, including getting smashed. You begin hunting for 2-4-1 cocktail deals, and ordering the strongest thing on the menu. Pre-drinking becomes a standard ritual before a night out, and you always research what alcohol is on offer in your local supermarket before making the journey down there.
2. Who you really are
University gives you time to really explore who you actually are. You won’t be the same person you were before it. University is a chance to discover what you really like without any peer pressure. You can embrace your flaws, and turn them into strengths. Personally, university was invaluable to me in this respect. I never really knew who I was, and had been so caught up in studying and other personal stuff that I’d never had the chance to sit back and think what about me? University gave me a perfect opportunity to find myself. It’s pretty much the only time in your life where you can take time out and focus on yourself.
3. What your interests and hobbies actually are
As a child, you may have been pushed into taking classes outside of school for things you never even had an interest in. Maybe you didn’t get a chance to go to classes to learn a hobby and never really cultivated any. Or maybe you were too swamped in homework to even have time to contemplate getting a hobby. All that aside, the time you don’t spend studying at university—and let’s be honest, that’s a lot of the time—you can spend discovering how you like to spend your free time. You can try out a number of things and really narrow down what you actually enjoy doing. Most societies do free tasters before you have to commit to signing up, so take advantage of that. Or, if you already have a hobby, you might look into creating a club for you and other like-minded people. Honestly, other than reading, I had no hobbies before university. Now, alongside growing as a person, I’ve cultivated many hobbies, and I barely find time to do anything else!
4. How to be completely independent from your family
Leaving home can be extremely daunting at any time of your life, but university can make it easier. Although you’ll learn to be fully independent, no longer relying on your parents’ cooking and cleaning, university also gives you the chance to mess up. I made a mess of things whilst I was at university which was invaluable as it taught me how not to mess up when I get a steady job and move out of my parents’ home forever. University shapes you. You realise that you can live without your family, but you may still need them in times of crisis, and they will always be there for you. University teaches you independence, but it also teaches you what not to do when you have your own house and a mortgage.
5. Creativity—even if it’s just for fancy dress
Student budgets won’t allow you to go all out like you would for cosplaying at Comic Con, which means you learn how to be resourceful and creative with what you can afford. Even if you don’t feel like you have a creative bone in your body, when you’re faced with an invitation you a fancy dress party, you will realise that you are far more talented than you first thought. Wonders can be made with some old t-shirts, paint and a tie or two!
Of course, you will learn much more than what’s on this list at university. You will make friends for life, probably experience romance and heartbreak, and you’ll figure out creative recipes with whatever random ingredients you have in your kitchen. University is a time to enjoy yourself and experiment, so make sure that you do!