NOTE: When I wrote 5 Things Tinder Taught Me (cheeky plug, check it out here if you haven’t already!) I originally intended it to be the first of a series; ‘5 Things ____ Taught Me’ in an attempt to be somewhat funny and cool. Alas, life took over, themes were lost and put simply; it wasn’t meant to be.
Thing is, 5 Things Tinder Taught Me was funny and cool. It’s probably the most Cosmo piece I’ve ever written, and it received the most insane feedback. It’s perhaps one of my fave pieces I’ve written. Ever. Purely because it’s so quintessentially me! So, here’s the comeback. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it for you! XO
I’m going into my second semester at uni now, feeling more adult than ever. For the eagle-eyed amongst you, you’ll know that I recently purchased a mum cardigan and a pair of thick-framed glasses to correct my ever-ailing eyesight. This, however, is not the reason for my sudden glo-up in maturity. If we were in the Sims 4 (which, of course, we’re not… or are we?) I’d have a thought bubble hanging over my head containing a blue birthday cake graphic. From teenager to young adult; I’m aging up.
Uni sounds like incredibly smooth sailing when you’re an eighteen-year-old sixth former, desperate for that first taste of independence. You idealise, over-romanticise, fantacise – and a lot of other words with the -ise suffix as well. Having spent a year and a half at uni, I can confirm that it’s nothing like how you imagine it. Even if you’re living at home like I am.
Sorry to break it to you, freshers and sixth-formers – but here are 5 Things Uni Taught Me:
#1: IT’S NOT A SEX FEST
I was a huge fan of Hollyoaks when I was in secondary school. At the age of about fourteen they did a storyline with a group of freshers, who essentially just went around sleeping with each other (think Friends, only with more murders and bus-crashes). If sex is your thing, you’ll probably spend your entire last year of sixth-form dreaming of all the casual hookups and lecture-hall encounters you’re going to embark on once you finally get your independence. Let me be the first to tell you; the dream stops here.
I was only single for my first three months at uni, and it was dire. You’re never going to meet Mr/Mrs. Right six Malibu-and-cokes deep in Revolution or Lola’s. The guys are too creepy, the girls are either too shy or too drunk to care. Example: I was approached by two lads on Halloween ’17 while 3 Malibus and 4 Vodkas in (yes, I’m a lightweight.), the former attempted to grind on me (he was about five-foot-one) and I laughed in the latter’s face just as he tried to put his hands around my waist. See what I mean?
#2: SECOND YEAR HITS YOU UNEXPECTEDLY
Just because first year can be a bit of a letdown action-wise, doesn’t mean it can’t be a good time on the whole. Because it is. A really good time. You make loads of new friends, you stay up until seven in the morning eating and watching movies (just because you can. No-one’s there to tell you to keep quiet!) you go clubbing, shopping, day-drinking, house-viewing… and it’s all just a huge game. The adulting game. It’s a novelty, amirite?
Ah, I was once like you. So young and full of hope…
I want to quash any rumours now that second year is more of the same. Don’t come for me with this ‘wow! A degree is actually easier than A-levels!’ because it isn’t. I often go into lectures making the pitiful mistake that I, in fact, know anything about English, and come out of lectures full of self-hate for being oh-so-naive. The workload is heavy (knees weak, palms are sweaty, there’s vomit on his sweater alr-) and anytime you want one night, just one night to get wrecked on overpriced vodka… the answer is always;
#3: NOT EVERYONE HAS THE MENTALITY OF A UNI STUDENT…
What I mean by that is; not everyone is going to like you. You’re not going to like everyone. It’s just life. It’s a hard truth I had to learn, having been either bullied, teased or drama-centred for almost my entire education. You think people grow up once you hit uni, but a select few of them don’t. Friendship-fallouts are still very real. People acting cold towards you for no apparent reason is still very real. It really used to irk me – like, really get under my skin when someone acted that way towards me. But realising the problem lies with them and not you, getting on with it and focusing on the people who do give you the time of day is what growing up is all about!
Causing drama might get you an answer from the other person – it might even solve a few of your immediate problems. But, like everything, it has a knock-on effect. Not every issue needs to be confronted. If you know a ten-minute argument is probably going to be detrimental to your own mental health for the next three years, ask yourself; is it worth it?
#4: TAKE UP A HOBBY
Uni might be soul-crushingly difficult and boring (from years 2-3, at least!), but you’re going to have a lot of free time on your hands! I currently have two days a week (excluding the weekends) where I don’t have to go to uni, with six weeks off at Christmas, and four months off over the summer. That’s a lot of time to create negative habits. Overthinking, overeating, oversleeping, over-studying… OVER IT! Take up a hobby so that you’re not spending every free second having quantity time with your thoughts. Alternatively, get a part-time job (I mean, you do you. It couldn’t be me!)
#5: EVERYONE HATES THAT ONE PERSON WITH A MACBOOK
If it’s you, spoiler alert; everyone thinks you’re a d*ck. I’m over here trying to understand Nietzsche, Freud, Hofstede and the IPA. Meanwhile Tappy McGee is over there trying to let everyone know they have posable fingers. It’s not big, it’s not clever, it’s not cute… just get a Pukka Pad and a biro like the rest of us! Note how they’re always the one doing the most when asking questions, as well. It’s probably because no-one else can hear the lecturer.
Obviously, this isn’t aimed at you if you have a valid reason for using a laptop in lectures. If, however, you just bring it along to be flashy; this is totally aimed at you. Stop it.
NB: Shoutout to Lav for predicting this post on Twitter!