10 Things You’ll Really Learn At University

It's been a whirlwind of a year and 2019 already looks like it won't be slowing down either! 2018 has been one of travel, new careers and friendships.  Reflecting back on 2018 I've realised how determined I am when faced with challenge! - // heythereChannon
Written by Channon Gray

When you head off to university, you have a few things in mind that you’re going to learn. Is it Plato’s Republic that you’re going to know from cover to cover, or are you going to be in the lab, learning about all of that sciency stuff? Whatever knowledge you think that you’re going to pick up at uni, the reality can be quite different. Sure, you’ll read Plato, but you’re also going to learn how to cook potatoes for the first time, and this is just as important.

So what knowledge will you actually pick up then, huh? We’ve put together a list of the 10 main things.

#1: Staying in the library for 24 hours is normal behaviour

OK, so any seemingly sane person would not spend 24 hours straight in the library. But you’re a student now, you’ve left your deadline until the last minute again, and you have no other choice but to sit in the library for the next two days, surrounded by coffee and meal deal wrappers. You’re going to be the only person in the room sometimes, and the cleaner will vacuum around you. Sorry.

#2: Some weird food combos do work

When you head off to university, you can leave the idea of good food behind. Sure, you may actually be good at cooking, but you invariably don’t have the time, the money, or the inclination to do so. You’re going to eat pasta, oven chips, and gravy, all at once. It’s going to be pretty disgusting, but you’ll find a food combination that just works one day, and it will change you forever.

#3: You can write more words than you think

At university, you learn the art of waffling. You’ve got 2,500 words to write, you’re running out of time, and you can’t think about how to fill up that extra 500. You’re probably going to write things like ‘one would presume that this implies…’ instead of ‘I think that…’ because it sounds fancier, and allows you to hit that word count. Learn how to waffle, and you’ll be ready to take on any essay.

#4: You’re a really good procrastinator

So, when you go to university, you meet some of the best people ever. However, these lovely people – that you’re now really good friends with – will also go to the library for 24 hour stints, and when you all start to go a bit delirious, expect them to be whizzing by on an office chair whilst you’re trying to think about your essay. Don’t fear; you’ll be great at procrastinating too, probably.

#5: You’re not as strange as you thought

If you’re from a small town and you head off to uni in the city, you realise that you’re actually pretty normal and sane. That interest that everybody thought was a little weird at school is now an interest that plenty of people around you have, and it’s kind of refreshing. University is a weird and wonderful place, but it’s jam-packed with people who are interesting, and you’ll have a lot in common with some of them.

#6: How much an Uber costs from your favourite bar

Students usually have cheap nights out, on random days like Tuesdays or Thursdays. Invariably, you’ll end up at your favourite bar or club for the night, and because of this, you’re going to learn some integral things about your town or city: where the closest kebab shop is, how much an Uber will be, and how cheap the drinks are at said bar or club. These are, of course, important facts to know.

#7: You can be yourself

One of the great things about university is that you don’t have the same pressures that you probably had at home to act in a certain way, or to look a certain way. You can wear what you want, and this is pretty liberating in itself. Whether you’re turning up to lectures in a dress, or in your pyjamas, nobody is really going to judge you. This is university now, and pretty much everybody has seen worse.

#8: How to get cheap food

A problem that everybody has at uni is that food is just so much more expensive than we ever thought it was. After all of these years throwing food into the family trolley in the supermarket, you’re telling us that cheese is that expensive? You’re going to shop at night to get deals, visit Aldi and Lidl more than you thought, and you’re going to get discounts wherever you can. It’s a skill in itself.

#9: Sorting out a house is hard

Moving into halls isn’t really that difficult, as most of the prices include bills, and you can just pay once every term, and forget about it afterwards. However, getting a house in second year is a bit more difficult. Going through a company like Mighty Student Living could help you out, if you really have no idea about estate agent jargon. And let’s be honest, who can be bothered to deal with that?

#10: How much you miss your parents

OK, you’ll miss your parents from the second that they get into the car and abandon you in your small, suspicious-smelling room at halls. However, you’ll miss them even more when you try to use the washing machine, and more still when you’re eating Super Noodles again. This seems like a strange social experiment, and you just want a roast dinner at home. Visiting quite frequently is highly recommended.


When you head off to university, there are plenty of things that you will learn. Surprisingly, most of them aren’t to do with your studies, although you will be revising non-stop for your exams when those summer months come around. Instead, you’ll be learning about yourself, how to operate a washing machine, and how to ramble in an essay without it sounding too forced.

Either way, you’ll have the best years possible at university if you embrace student life with open arms. You’ll learn a lot, and you’ll always wish that you could go back when you leave. Have fun!

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About the author

Channon Gray

I'm Channon and yes, it's spelt wrong, but that is interesting right? I'm 23 years young. I like to write, create art and travel. Cornish bumpkin who studied in London then Cambridge. I'm now a Postgraduate Student, Stationery Addict and all-round Life Enthusiast.

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