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Starting A New University Year: Expectations vs Reality

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A new academic year and new term is upon us and this can only mean one thing - a new bunch of unrealistic expectations. But don't be worried; it's good to be optimistic...

You may have a shiny new diary, a super swish pencil case and a kick-ass new laptop, but are you really going to stick to all of those 'fresh start' aims you've set yourself? If you manage it, then hats off to you, but we've listed some of the most common new term goals and why they never really pan out...

1. You will attend everything

Reality: How about no? You may have a solid first few weeks, but eventually that 9am will be the most horrible thing ever, especially as the weather gets worse and bed remains warm and inviting.

2. You will do all of your weekly reading

Reality: You will end up doing the least amount of work possible. Again, your first week might be really productive, but once you factor in a part-time job, coursework deadlines and your social life, you will quickly learn what the minimum amount of required work is.

3. You will go to the gym at least once a week

Reality: You'll go a few times in October, then maybe a few times in January. Depending on your timetable, many students may find the gym a struggle on top of all their work... oh and the inherent laziness that many students fall victim to.

4. You will start all coursework early

Reality: "I will start every piece of work as soon as it becomes available"? two weeks later: "I should probably write that essay now." Life and procrastination will always get in the way, you just have to be really focused and ambitious to be this organised.

5. You will keep in touch with your friends

Reality: The phrase "Let's go for a drink soon/this week/next week" will become devoid of commitment. Let's face it, unless you live close to each other or do the same degree, meeting up with friends (especially those from home) is going to be near impossible. Before you know it, your evenings and weekends will disappear at the hands of work, alcohol and sleep.

6. You will stick to your budget

Reality: "Another round of shots everyone?" No matter how realistic your budget is, you will undoubtedly come across unforeseen costs or go a bit crazy during exam period (because heavy revision sessions breed takeaways and snacking binges).

7. You will leave University as the same person

Reality: Nope, you'll be ten times more awesome. Think of all the new people you've met, the experiences you've faced, the hilarious student anecdotes (remember that time you left those beans in the fridge for 3 months?) - you'll be a more confident and independent person... and you'll have a degree! Good job.
lizzi hart grb author

Lizzi Hart is the Social Media & Content Manager at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau (GRB). Outside of work, she enjoys reading, music, binge-watching TV and dreaming about the dog she'll one day own.

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