My University Experience

This article has been originally written by Alice-Tilly who runs her own blog – Alice-Tilly. Follow Alice on Twitter and Instagram

Hello loves,

Today I thought I’d share with you all about my university experience. In case you didn’t know I originally started to attend university back in September 2015… I didn’t actually think it was that long ago until I just typed that. Safe to say it was not the best experience of my life at all. Since leaving in November 2015 I’ve got myself a part-time job and the rest of the time I spend working on my blog.

I thought it was about time I shared my own university experience as I’m hoping it will help someone who is feeling the same as I did. I just want to start off explaining how I will not disclaim the name of the university I attended. I don’t think it’s fair at all and you will understand as I explain on. I’ll split my experience into different sections and explain my feelings on each.

University Offers

I’d visited the university I wanted to attend to prior to choosing it as my first choice. I really did love it I’d visited a couple of times it was modern, in the perfect location and the course seemed amazing. I think it’s 100% important to visit a university before you choose it. I was lucky enough to get an unconditional offer from the university. This was quite early on in year 13 and I feel like it definitely swayed my decision in making it my first choice and accepting my place before I’d even finished my A Levels. I felt very so happy to be in that position that I didn’t really have the worry everyone else had. It didn’t matter what grades I got because I knew I had a place in the university I so desperately wanted to go too.

However my opinions on universities offering unconditional offer changed very quickly. When I got on my course I found out that every single person had received an unconditional offer too. I almost felt cheated really…
I thought they wanted me because they were excited about my work. Turns out they just needed to fill the quota number on the course. It’s funny how many people have left that particular course now.

Moving Into Halls

I moved in halls on 13th September 2015; I remember feeling like I couldn’t wait to be living in student accommodation and having the best times. Obviously I was sad I was leaving the house I’d lived in for 18 years and my family who I’m all very close too. I have two younger brothers and we’ve never really spent anytime apart at all. I was taking it all in my stride though I was just excited. I’m not a nervous person about things like this. Expectations can be deceiving though.

I spent the whole first night crying. I’m sure I’m not the only one this happened too either but no one talks about it. I felt like even though it was my choice I’d been ripped apart from my family. All of a sudden I was an adult and I was absolutely terrified. No one can prepare you for that feeling.

The impact of living with others can be a huge impact on your own life as well. I’m loud and bubbly at the best of times but some people I found so hard to get along with. To the point I felt a little bit intimidated. The fact I didn’t drink and like going out I think fuelled more reason for me to be left out of everything. I was beyond lonely! I’d get home somedays and there would be no one in the flat and I’d sit in the kitchen or my room and blast the music to drown the silence. They don’t let you know how lovely living in student accommodation can be and I know I’m not the only one to feel like this.

I was thankful to meet a lovely girl in my flat though that always made the effort to talk to me and always listened and understood me when I needed her too. We shared a couple of the best nights I’ve ever had even though I hate drinking and nightclubs. I’m actually really sad ever since I’ve left we’ve drifted apart.

university experience

There was just so many things about halls that bothered me and maybe I’m picky but I just couldn’t live with it. When I was trying to sleep and the flat upstairs would constantly bang on their floor/my ceiling till about 4am. When all my flatmates wouldn’t wash up and tidy away to the point where there was no space on the kitchen sides and there was food on there which was over a week old… I’m sorry but I’m totally not down for that.

Course Content

I have no idea where to start with the course content! I went to study Interior Design which I admit I’d done although some so much less research I should have done before I chose the course. When I went for interview at my chosen university though they took my round the building, showed me students work and talked me through the course. It was like they knew exactly what I wanted to hear. The course sounded really hands on and creative which was what I wanted. I thrive in doing creative projects and art so it sounded fantastic… It wasn’t.

When I actually enrolled onto the course and got my timetable I genuinely thought “This must be wrong.” Nothing on there was anything I’d been told we would do. The seminars and lectures bored me to shreds it honestly didn’t even seem relevant to the course so much I didn’t even see the point of going. The so called “practical lessons” were all based with theory. It was all accurate measurements straight lined drawings. I felt like my creativity had been stripped from me then and there.

I genuinely spent the first three months I was there making cubes out of foam board… Now someone please explain to me how this has got anything to do with interior design. Also if anyone wants proof I’ve still got the cubes I made haha. Even writing it just sound ridiculous!

I urge anyone who is considering going to university to ask the lecturers as many questions as you can about the course and don’t be afraid to ask awkward questions. This is your life and you deserve all the right information about something that can potentially change your life. Try and get in contact with students already studying the course at your chosen university they’re the best to ask. They won’t sugarcoat and brush over the facts!


Social Life/Student Union


Okay lets start by saying what social life? I had less of social life when I went to university than I did beforehand. Now this is only my experience and it’s definitely not like this for everyone! But I have to say if you don’t particularly like drinking or clubbing it pretty much sets you apart from everyone else. I found the more I started saying “no” which I am quite in my right too the less people seemed to bother asking me to do things. You might think well if you always said no to going out why would they ask? You’re right. I wouldn’t ask me to go on a night out either. It wasn’t just nights out though it was meals, the cinema etc. I was on my own 99% of the time.

I thought maybe I could gain more of a social life by joining things in the student union. I’d already decided before I’d even got there that I wanted to do dance and cheerleading. I’ve dance ever since I could walk and it wasn’t something I wanted to give up.

I first went to cheerleader try outs and OMG it was awful… I came out of there feeling like a total loser. I thought it was all about having fun and enjoying yourself turns out no. There was literally no fun at all. I wasn’t even bad I’m used to choreography like that but I felt like I’d just been shouted at and all the fun had been shaken out of me for 2 hours… Safe to say I never went back.

So my next option was to try dance but honestly I felt a bit put off after the cheerleading incident. I did go to a few classes but there was still this lingering feeling that you just weren’t quite good enough for them. Plus I’m not sure when “initiations” ever became part of joining something like this. For someone that doesn’t like drinking this was a NIGHTMARE. I felt like I was 14 years old all over again and having to drink weird drink combinations with toothpaste to prove you were a solid part of the friendship group… Yes we did used to do this don’t ask haha! Everything just seemed so ridiculous and clicky. I just wanted to be myself and I wasn’t and still won’t let anyone take that away from me.


Being Unhappy

I was unbelievably unhappy even after only being there for a couple of months. Unfortunately during October I actually suffered from a relapse of my back injury I did while in a dance exam back when I was about 16. I was so much pain it really isn’t pleasant at all! I decided that while I couldn’t attend university I’d go home and be with my family while my back was at it worse. It was so bad I struggled to walk from one end of the room to another at one point. I felt slightly better after just over a week and decided to return to university. When I got back all my flatmates were sat in one room chatting together they looked shocked and surprised to see me. Almost like I’d died and come back to life right there and then. They weren’t sure that I was coming back but said they were glad to see me. I could already tell though they’d all bonded together a lot over the week I wasn’t there… I actually felt really hurt.

university experience

I went back to university after that and I struggled to even stay there for a couple of hours because of the pain. When I finally felt able too I didn’t want too. I had no motivation I absolutely hated it. I spoke to my lecturer and he explained maybe the course wasn’t for me and that was it. I remember feeling so deflated I went back to my flat, rang my mum and cried about how much I hated it. Ultimately she said it was my decision about what I wanted to do. I remember the next day I spoke to student advisors etc. about dropping out and if I was making the right decision.

I wondered around university for whole day deciding what was best. I eventually decided this wasn’t for me… It was making me so unhappy it wasn’t worth it. I signed the forms to drop out that day. There was just no compassion form the university at all. All they told me were two things:
1. I’d have to move out of halls within a week as they needed the room.
2. My key cards would stop working so I had 24 hours to clear my stuff out of university.

I honestly could not wait to get out of there and go home! Although my decision may have been looked down on by people I’m hoping if you read my experience you’ll understand why. The experience is not always as it seems. It was the best decision for me personally. If I hadn’t of left I wouldn’t have started this blog, I wouldn’t have figured out what I wanted to do. So I can only be grateful for the life experience.

I’m in no way trying to put people of going to university at all! It was just one of those bad experiences I felt the need to share. I’m actually planning on returning to a different university to study a different course after a lot more research in 2018.

Please don’t let the negatives put you off doing anything!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post,
Let me know your experience of university in the comments I’d love to hear it.

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