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Five Scary Things They Don't Tell You About University

By Chloe Lane

Updated April 21, 2021 Updated April 21, 2021

With Halloween approaching, we thought we’d fill you in on the five scary things they don’t tell you at university. Be aware, there are horrors at every corner of uni life. It’s a bit like The Shining, but with lectures instead of little girl ghosts.

Read on, and we will frighten the socks off you!

1. Essays and assignments will sneak up on you

Assignments sneaking up on you

Unless you are one of those people who plans everything down to the minute, the chances are, at some point, you will forget about an upcoming essay or assignment and it will frighten the life out of you, way more than any scary film ever could.

It will happen when you least expect it, probably just before you’re getting ready for a night out, or when you’re just about to go to sleep. Out of nowhere you will hear a *ping* and your phone will light up in the darkness. You’ll glance at the screen and discover a message from one of your course friends asking about one of the questions, to which you will respond, “What questions?”. A few seconds later your friend will reply with the words no student wants to hear; “You know, the ones on the assignment for tomorrow”. Your heart will stop for a second. How could you forget?! You look it up on Blackboard, and yep there it is! Tomorrow. 50 percent of your module. AGH!

2. Freshers flu will get you!

Freshers flu

After the nightmare we’ve just described you think, how can things get worse? We’re sorry to tell you this, but they can. The only thing scarier than essays and assignments: freshers’ flu!

Freshers’ flu will give you a false sense of security; one minute you’re absolutely fine and you think that week of partying, eating, and drinking too much has passed you by without consequences. Unfortunately, this won’t be the case. Whether it’s tonsillitis, the flu or just a bad common cold, freshers’ flu will get you in some shape or form. You’ll feel a bit like the teenagers in horror films who receive a phone call from an unknown number telling them they have five days to live.

If it’s too late for you and you already have freshers’ flu, try not to panic – this isn’t the end! Luckily for you, we have devised some helpful tips on how to survive freshers’ flu.

3. You may be required to public speak occasionally

Public speaking

You know those nightmares about having to give a big presentation to a large group of people and everyone starts laughing and you don’t know why, but then you look down and you’re completely naked? Well, this might actually happen at uni (minus the naked part of course).

Presentations frequently feature in university modules, and are designed to prepare you for work life, where you may have to present to clients or in meetings. Even though you know it’s in your best interest, presentations most likely still scare you. It’s completely natural to be scared of public speaking, but unfortunately the only way to tackle this fear is to face it head on. Terrifying.

4. Boring things cost money


Now this is something you thought you already knew – you’ve been buying things for years now, right? Well yes, but something scary you learn when you have to start paying for them yourself is that boring things, like toilet paper, water, electricity and a roof over your head COST MONEY – and a lot of money at that! A monthly bill for utilities in the US, for example, will set you back around US$152 on average, according to Numbeo. If that isn’t scary, we don’t know what is!  

For a cheaper student experience, take a look at the 10 most affordable student cities.

5. Campus Wi-Fi will ghost you

Dog Ghost

Yes! You’ve just finished your assignment, albeit just before the deadline and are just about to submit it, but then, what’s that? Oh no, the campus Wi-Fi just went down again! Although this doesn’t speak for all universities, university Wi-Fi is notoriously unreliable and will ghost you when you need it most.

Luckily 4G is a thing now. Phew.

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

As Content Editor for and, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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