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University rumours: sorting myth from fact

Debunk the latest myths about university and finally get the truth about what you should expect as a first year.

Films are known to exaggerate real life. We all know romantic moments never really happen like that, there’s no way that guy could survive a real-life car explosion and that battle scene is in no way historically accurate. A favourite hunting ground for the scriptwriter in search of an Oscar? university. From crazy parties to endless coursework, find out what’s truth and what’s just Hollywood fiction.

Myth #1: University is harder than doing your A levels

Reality: It seems fairly obvious that university is harder than sixth form, which makes sense because sixth form was harder than secondary school. However, a more accurate word is “different” rather than harder. Classes are often structured differently, with less intimate settings and more 500-person lectures. If you don’t show up or pay attention and take notes in class, university will seem much harder. Your study habits will need to change along with your environment. Your parents will no longer nag you to do your homework and professors will not babysit. University is where the freedom is in your hands to learn how you’d like, but if you don’t know how to manage your time, then this myth is grounded in truth.

Myth #2: Uni students are poor and hungry

Reality: University is often the first time students have to pay for their own groceries, and the prices may seem daunting. However, most universities are aware of the financial strain on students, and offer reduced prices, student discounts and tons of free food at Fresher’s events and clubs throughout the year. Take advantage of any of these opportunities to save money and meet new people at the same time.

Myth #3: Finals week is hell

Reality: Finals are often a regurgitation of material from the entire course, which can be, in some cases, an extraordinary amount of notes. However, if you’ve received solid marks on all previous exams, finals week is often a breeze because the material covered on the final is usually forms of the most basic examples from all other exams. Plus, then you’ll already have a safety net as far as grades go. Even if you don’t receive high marks on earlier tests, avoiding late nights during finals week is possible by studying hard throughout the semester.

Myth #4: A lot of out-of-class activities will compensate for poor grades

Reality: It is true that future employers look for a well-rounded students actively involved in a variety of extra-curriculars when hiring. But often, these activities can take up all your free time and cause you to fall behind in class. While employers will look at your CV and see everything you’re involved in, they’ll also read your transcript and may not understand why your grades are lacking. It’s better to hold leadership positions in fewer activities that you care the most about and drop the ones you’re just doing to boost your CV. The opposite argument applies as well: don’t assume high grades will automatically land you a job. Employers want to see you’re an active member of the campus and community rather than just a studious bookworm.

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