According to most adults, uni is the best time of your life. You’ll make new friends, experience incredible things and be surrounded by people who share so many of your interests. But, while there were some pretty good things about starting uni, I wish it hadn't been hyped up so much; it meant that there were a heap of things that didn't live up to my expectations and that I really wish I'd been told about.

1. It’s bloody hard work

The biggest lie you were told in high school was that you'll "actually enjoy uni because you’re studying something you're interested in." 

I remember walking into my first lecture thinking finally I'm going to be studying something I actually enjoy. I couldn't be more wrong...most first year subjects are the blandest topics you think of. 

2. Making friends is super hard

I expected to leave my high school years behind and be immersed in new social groups where I finally felt like I belonged. Instead, it was awkward and uncomfortable and I spent the majority of my lectures sitting alone. I wasn’t the only one to experience it, my high school friends all said it was one of their biggest struggles. Being thrown together with the same people for so long in high school meant we had never had to make friends in the same circumstances we faced at uni. 

3. You are paying big bucks to be there

This never really dawned on me until I was waking up for an 8am lecture and realised that if I slept in, I was throwing my hard earned money down the drain.

4. There is always something to do

There's no rest for uni students. You'll always have an assignment to start, a reading to do before class or a lecture to catch up on. And, even if you manage to tick all of those off, you'll always have the sense that you should be studying for your exams, no matter how far away they are. Aside from the brief five minutes of bliss you'll experience after you submit an assignment, you will completely forget what it's like to be stress free.

5. Parking sucks

Most universities don’t offer enough parking for the number of students and you can expect to be paying big bucks for a spot. Unless you get there at the crack of dawn, you'll probably be doing laps down side streets trying to find a spot that won't land you a hefty parking fine. 

6. You truly feel like a small fish in a big pond

There are thousands of people attending uni every day and sometimes it really feels like you've never seen the same person twice. You'll have hundreds of people in a single lecture so say goodbye to the days of knowing everyone in your school and embrace the fact that you're probably going to be introducing yourself to new people for your entire degree. 

7. Uni is what you make of it

Yeah, there’s going to be late nights, lack of sleep and a hectic schedule, but it can all be outweighed by the fact that uni gives you the chance to look at the world with fresh eyes. Your uni experience is all about what you want to get out of it and this is your chance to make your own decisions and live the life you want. No doubt, when you graduate and look back at the years you spent chipping away at your degree, you’re going to be a little sad that it’s all over so enjoy the freedom of it while it lasts and do whatever you can to make the most of it.

by Eloise Radloff