Back To School? Uni Expectations

Since I’m going to uni soon (yay!) I’ve been trying to prepare myself materially and mentally but I’m not really sure what to expect.

As a result, I (and everybody else) have some expectations that I’m not sure will be true or not.  It would be interesting to list them here and come back to them later to see how right/wrong I was!


Some of these will be general – i.e. they will apply to many universities, but some of them I think will be specific expectations that I have about Oxford.

I think by writing these down, I will figure out which ones are genuine concerns and which ones are just preconceived prejudices.  Let’s go!

Social Life

  • There will be two types of people: those who stay in all the time and those who go out a lot.  This is definitely a preconceived prejudice (it sounded stupid even before I wrote it down) but we’ll see!
  • Social life, work or sleep: you can only choose 2.  This was definitely true during IB!  (I chose work and sleep haha)
  • I will make friends for life, according to adults.  This has been true so far at every school I’ve been to, so I’m sure uni will be no different.
  • However, I don’t expect to make these friends during Freshers’ Week – according to some older friends, you’ll probably meet loads of people you’ll never see again in the first week and it’s only when you really settle down into the routine that you make real friends.
  • I’ll be a real Oxford girl about 2 weeks in (about the same amount of time required to pick up the Oxford lingo) and be able to show my mum and brother around when they visit me during October half term.
  • I’ll start dating (who knows?!)
  • I’ll start off thinking that everyone is super smart but once I get to know people, I’ll realise that they’re all average, like me.


Personal Life

  • They are the ‘best years of your life‘ according to dad.  Personally, I think that would be quite depressing – surely there is some fun to be found in work and adult life?!
  • I won’t be able to look after myself, at least for the first year.  This is just because I’ve never looked after myself for so long, but I’m sure that I’ll have support.
  • I don’t think I’ll miss my family – I’ve never been homesick but there’s a first time for everything!
  • I will overpack or underpack.


I’ll either:

  • Gain weight during the first term (the famed freshers’ fifteen) and go down with freshers’ flu, or…
  • Be really proactive and wake up early, eat healthily, go for runs every morning, do sport, cycle places etc. and get fit.

I like to think I’m going to be the second, but I reckon I will just end up doing the first…



  • It’ll start off alright but then quickly snowball until I’m up to my head in work and I can barely think about anything else
  • It’ll be hard but fun in a weirdly rewarding way
  • I’ll still manage to procrastinate somehow
  • The workload will be like the IB but a step up – but somehow I’ll still find time to do what I want to do

That’s as many expectations as I can think of so far.  I have to be honest, I don’t think anyone can be fully ready to go to uni or be ready for any other life event for that matter…  I guess the only way we know what it’ll be like is to show up!

If you’re going to uni this year, what expectations do you have?  If you’ve already been to university, did it live up to your expectations?  What do you think of my expectations?  Let me know!


41 thoughts on “Back To School? Uni Expectations

  1. You know I just started writing down ‘how to prepare for uni’ for you on my blog 😛 Haven’t finish it yet, do you mind if I use this post layout e.g. social life, health etc? I think it would be better organised that way. I got heaps to share with you like advice and I am excited to do that post for you 🙂 Let me know if that’s okay if I use this post layout 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good luck! You’ll spend the first few weeks endlessly introducing yourself and answering the same four questions (name, where you’re from, what A levels/equivalent you studied, what course you’re doing) but after that you start to make friends. Everyone gets freshers flu so make sure you stock up on medication. Oh, and make the most of what the societies have to offer, they’re a great way to make friends and will give you something else to put on job application forms 😊

    Liked by 2 people

      • Just remember everyone is as new as you and will be equally overwhelmed and nervous. My flat mates and I put little posters on our doors explaining who we were, what we liked etc. which was a great way of sneakily working out who everyone was and it gave us something to talk about. Try not to worry, I’m sure you’ll have a great time 🙂let us know how you get on! 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, we have very similar expectations! One of my friends who I’ve been to school and college with is also going to the same uni as me. I hope that while making new friends, we would still be able to stay good friends. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad I’m not the only one with these expectations haha ooh that’s so nice that you’ll have someone with you, I’m sure you’ll be able to make time for each other and make lots of new friends too 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I’m so glad that your uni experience has been positive so far, definitely gives me some more confidence 🙂 I will keep you updated on my uni experiences!


  4. Don’t try to join the beer drinking society as a non drinking member like I did. At least they had their water of weakness to sook into… and I aced that first year. 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Best to you! I loved Uni, and I loved grad school, and I would love to go back for PhD. I love the culture; I loved it all. I’m excited for you and look forward to hearing more. I put a lot of pressure on myself in undergrad to “life the college life.” It was so immature to think about it now. I am still friends with some people I met in the first few weeks, but not many. Oh, but it’s true that after you leave school, it’s harder to meet people, so for many, Uni is the last chance to meet such a diverse group of people and befriend them. I did gain weight. I did drink a lot and use drugs pretty heavily, to my detriment, but I corrected course and was on my way. I did miss my family. Though I loved school, they were not the best years of my life. They were good years among other good years. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Sahara! Wow your grad school experience sounds absolutely amazing, even if it was a bit immature 😉 do you think you put a bit too much pressure to do what you thought was the ‘college life’? And did you expect to miss your family?

      Thanks for your lovely and informational comment btw, it means a lot to me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think I did put a lot of pressure on myself, yeah. I would think about those movies, you know the type, where the girl goes off to college and starts her life. I think I was helping my movie begin, if that makes sense. So silly. 🙂 I knew I would miss my mom (she was basically my only family) but I also knew the ‘movie’ had to play on, so I had to act like I didn’t miss her. I kind of regret that. If you miss your family, embrace it. It means you come from a lot of love.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Advice for University Freshmans – @DONIW

  7. This is a great article and congratulations on getting into university. It’s a really big achievement. I really believe we aren’t well prepared by our teachers, surrounding and even parents for that matter about starting university. Sometimes it’s about just not having that information out there. That’s one of the main reasons why I began my blog to begin with. I feel that there aren’t enough avenues to access information and find out things before having to encounter bad experiences. Remember be safe when travelling around when you’re there! It helps to familiarise yourself with the transport system and the safety precautions you can take online before going there. But, despite that, have lots of fun as well!! – Narita

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the advice, Narita! I’m starting to get used to it, luckily Oxford is quite small so I am able to walk/cycle everywhere 🙂 yes I agree starting uni is a very personal thing so it’s difficult to find information that’s specific to your situation! Thanks for popping by 😀


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