All Posts, University

University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part One)

Calling all students, are you going to University soon and are unsure of what to expect? Have you already finished and want to reminisce? Whether it be either of those two or if you’re just a little nosy then this post is sure to be a little treat!

In just over 6 weeks time I’ll be preparing to start my third and final year of University and I will be blogging about all things ‘University’ to help prepare you for student life once more!

To kick things off, this series is all about what people wished they’d known before starting university, featuring everyone from current students and graduates, to Open University students. I can say for definite that there are some things that I wish I’d known before starting out.

If we can collectively help just one person then that will be an achievement, welcome to part one. Are you ready to meet the Graduates?


‘What I Wish I’d Known’


image1Meet Elle:

I’m Elle, a 24-year-old Travel, Food & Lifestyle blogger over at Elle Goes Global and based in Surrey, UK. I graduated two years ago in 2016 from the University of Surrey after studying Tourism Management for four years (including an industry-based placement year).

What Elle wishes she’d known:

I really do believe that you shouldn’t live life with regrets and everything that happens teaches you a valuable life lesson… I had to think hard about what I wish I’d known before starting Uni because initially my head screamed out the usual ‘don’t get in a relationship within the first year’ ‘don’t sleep with a housemate’ yadda yadda. Instead I’ve opted for the money side of my University experience in my first and second year I was pretty much living on the bread line (thankfully my parents helped me out) so I guess I wish I’d known more about the importance of savings and staying out of an overdraft before I started.

What she’d do differently:

If I could change one thing it would be living at home during my second year rather than in a shared house, I hated the house, I hated the housemates and it made me poor as hell. Saying that, it did teach me a very valuable lesson about not living with someone you are in a relationship with too quickly and just how controlling and damaging a relationship can be, this helped me decide what sort of people I wanted to avoid in the future – so every cloud right?

I wish I’d known more about the importance of savings and staying out of an overdraft before I started.

Elle is currently working as a marketing executive at a tour operator, you can find out more about Elle via her Blog, Twitter and Facebook.



ChloeMeet Chloe:

Hello everyone! I’m Chloe and I blog over at about lifestyle, fashion and mental health. I recently graduated with a First Class in Psychology and I did a four year course, with a placement year being added into the middle of the normal three year course. I studied in Birmingham and graduated in July 2018, having started in September 2014.

What Chloe wishes she’d known:

I wish I had known how intense the partying was, but that there are people like me who also aren’t really into it. I didn’t go to Freshers week, and I didn’t go out at all during my first year so I hardly made any friends as I ended up isolating myself, but in my third and fourth years I made friends on my course who I went out with occasionally (but they weren’t intense party-goers either), and it was the perfect balance!

I definitely wish that I had plucked up the guts to go clubbing, even once or twice, to make some new friends. I wish I hadn’t been as shy and I should’ve joined more societies! Oh, I also wish I had known how lovely the staff were as I was too nervous to talk to them or email during my first year, but in my third and fourth year I got to know so many and they really are lovely (and very clever!).

University really does go quick and you’ll only get to do it once, so try and enjoy it. But if you don’t, and whether you choose to stay or not, that is also perfectly okay and not something to feel guilty about.

Chloe is currently working in retail whilst on the hunt for a full time job related to her degree, you can find out more about Chloe via her Blog, Twitter and Instagram




Meet Malou:

Malou graduated from Aberystwyth University this year after studying a degree in Creative Writing.



What Malou wishes she’d known:

I wish I had known that it was okay to say no to alcohol. Upon joining the university football club, I apparently also joined a drinking club and if you didn’t drink, it felt like you didn’t belong.

The drinking culture in the UK is massive, and saying no is quite difficult. However, my advice would be to only do things if you want to do them. Do not feel pressured into them. If a club or a group of people doesn’t accept you for being who you are (which might be someone who doesn’t drink alcohol as extensively), then they don’t deserve your time and you can find a different team and different people to hang out with.

What she’d do differently:

I wish I would have said ‘no’ to downing a bottle of Lambrini in under 15 minutes on a bus (football traditions woo!) No one can force you to drink alcohol if you don’t want to and you have the right to say no. I finally managed to say no in my second year and I wasn’t kicked out of the club. Eventually, people started respecting that I didn’t drink alcohol and I felt a lot better.

Additionally, I wish I had joined two sports clubs, rather than just the football club because no club is the same and perhaps I would have found a different norm in another club / and or people that accepted me for who I was without forcing anything on me. In fact, during my third year, I joined the basketball club, who accepted me exactly as I am and gave me the best year at university yet.


I wish I had known that it was okay to say no to alcohol.
Malou is currently enjoying the summer before starting an MFA in Creative Writing in St Andrews in September, you can find out more about Malou via her Blog, Twitter and Instagram.



HannahMeet Hannah:

Hey everyone! My name is Hannah and I blog over at The Giraffes Life and also vlog on my channel with the same name (funny how that works). I graduated university in 2015 from Aberystwyth University in Wales where I studied Film and Television Studies.

What Hannah wishes she’d known:

Starting university can be ever so daunting, but considering millions of people have done it before you means that you can learn from their mistakes and successes. Before I started uni back in 2012 I was reading every forum and Facebook group trying to prepare for that big day in September. Back then I wish I knew about the world of blogging and vlogging as there is so much information that has been shared and so much to learn! I thought I’d share three of my best tips for preparing to start first year of university.

First year is the best year to learn! So many people tell you that first year doesn’t really matter which I wish I hadn’t paid attention to. Sure, the marks you get do not count to your final degree but first year is your best opportunity to learn how to study, write essays, and function as a university student without the pressure of having to achieve the best marks.

You need two plates and a million forks! Buying all your things for uni is so incredibly exciting, you can get new bedding, new towels, new everything! And sure, a lot of people online tell you to not buy everything you can think of because your flatmates will have got the same things and you don’t want to end up with 8 kettles and 8 toasters. But I do 100% recommend getting your own set of glasses, plates and cutlery because you never know how messy your flatmates will be! And pro tip: you only need 2 plates but you’ll want many many many knives and forks because somehow they all go missing!

You’ll make friends even in your last week of final year! We all go into university nervous that we’ll be alone and not have any friends, but the fact is that you will meet new people each week. I made some of my best friends in the last few months of third year! In hindsight my time at university was three of the best years of my life, I met so many incredible people and had so much fun. But of course there are things I regret not doing and things I’d do differently.

What she’d do differently:

My number one regret is not seeing more of the town and the surrounding areas because the chances of me going back are non-existent. I also wish I studied more and actually made an effort as I was only 2 marks away from a First Class Honours which would have been pretty cool!

You will meet new people each week, some who remain friends for life and others that are only your friend for a day.

Hannah is currently working in IT Customer Support, you can find out more about Hannah via her Blog, Youtube and Twitter.


There we have it! I hope you have enjoyed reading the first installment in my University series ‘What I Wish I’d Known’, this will be the first of several, all on a variety of topics related to University. If you’re a current or prospective student, you won’t want to miss out!

Let me know what you thought of this first post in the comments below, I’d love to know your thoughts!


61 thoughts on “University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part One)”

  1. Awesome post Imogen! Some great tips here 😁 Definitely agree with staying true to yourself / saying no. And love the tip about extra forks 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post I can certainly relate to a lot of them. I was surprised that there are people like me out there that don’t enjoy partying as much and so feel a bit isolated. It’s definitely hard to say no to alcohol at uni especially when you want to make friends, but at the end of the day there’s no point doing something that you don’t enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I was fairly shocked at that too, I have had a real mix of people get involved, this is the first of four posts like this so I’m quite excited to share them all! Exactly, you shouldn’t change yourself to make friends!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Really like how you set it up. The advice seems to sort of build on one another in a way and slowly with the other posts it’ll become a full guidebook, I imagine! looking forward to seeing what tips everyone else came up with ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! This really took me back to my uni days! I definitely learnt how to be more independent and valuable lessons about money, friendship and love. I wish I had worked harder and not spent most of my time going out! But it was a great experience and lots of fun. Thanks for sharing 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, this means a lot. Wasn’t sure if people were going to enjoy it (obviously hoped they would), so this means a lot – plus it does seem to be going down well! Make sure you don’t miss the other posts in the series!


  5. I loved reading this post, it’s so interesting to hear about everyone’s experiences and what they’ve learned from it. I’m currently studying a degree with The Open University which I’m learning so much from. I can’t wait to read more of the posts in this series, I’m sure it’ll help so many people!xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Oh amazing, I have a post going up, in this same series, very soon with people from the Open University discussing their thoughts so hope you’ll enjoy and be able to relate to that one a lot! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so great. I’ve been putting off going to uni and decided not to go this year but when I do go I’ll feel a bit more confident!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This post is amazing. College is such a life changing experience and I think it’s important for students to know what they are getting themselves into. People do not understand how hard college can be until they experience it. This is very informative and creative. Keep sharing your knowledge to the people following your food steps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. That means a lot as that is the whole idea behind this series, so many people are unaware or feel certain pressures and I hope that I will be able to alleviate some of them as a result.


  8. This a great post for anyone entering college. Especially the debt issue. So many credit card applications were thrown my way upon entering college the temptation was hard to resist.

    Liked by 1 person

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