Six Things People Don’t Tell You About Leaving Home for University | Top Universities

Six Things People Don’t Tell You About Leaving Home for University

By Guest Writer

Updated October 27, 2017 Updated October 27, 2017

By Leila Wright

You’ve probably heard countless stories of others’ experiences of university, with most of them talking about how great the experience is and how much fun you’re going to have. They’re mostly right; you’re going to have some of the best times of your life living away from home - but there are some things that seem to go left unsaid about the truth of leaving home for university.

The first few weeks at university can be the most unsettling, as you’re expected to throw yourself into activities, socializing and studying all while getting used to being away from home comforts and not knowing anyone.

Here are six things people don’t always tell you about leaving home for university.

You will be homesick within a week

No matter how excited you are for your new-found freedom at university, there will be a point in your first week when you’ll wonder what on earth you’re doing there. If you’ve lived at home your whole life, then your new surroundings will feel overwhelming at first. The pressure to socialize and find friends can also be a bit daunting and uncomfortable.

Please be reassured that this will pass as you begin to settle into your new home and meet your course mates. You just need to give yourself time.

Freshers’ flu is basically unavoidable

Often regarded as one big hangover, Freshers’ flu is actually a full-on illness that can have you wrapped up in bed for a few days. If you’re not used to partying and drinking, then freshers’ flu is your body’s way of telling you that it can’t quite cope with this new behavior.

If you’re not a big drinker at home, don’t feel the pressure to drink excessively during the first week just because it seems the done-thing at university. You’ll feel much better for it if you don’t – and you’re less likely to feel homesick during the horrible hangovers, too.

Freshers’ week sucks

The first week at university is the most difficult, without a doubt. Freshers’ week is supposed to be a chance for you to meet new people and have fun, but going out drinking with a bunch of strangers might not be your usual idea of fun.

The pressure to socialize every night is hard to live up to and although you might have some fun throughout the week, you’re unlikely to build strong friendships from drunken conversations in a club. It’s okay to just go out a couple of times if that’s all you feel like doing, and give yourself the chance to settle-in to your new surroundings.

You don’t have to take your whole life with you

Moving to university can feel like a huge move, and for those who’ve never moved away from home, it can be natural to want to take everything with you to help you feel at home in your new flat.

The thing is, university halls are notoriously small and it’s likely you’ll struggle to find space for all your belongings. You might go back home every few months during term break anyway, so keep some items for those visits and you can always bring anything else back with you as and when.

You’ll be tested to your limits

University is a huge self-development journey for every student, because you’re completely pushed out of your comfort zone. It usually starts on a somewhat rocky road, because of the pressures to fit in and socialize, but as you find your feet and get into your studies you’ll notice yourself coming into your own.

The independence from moving to university is profound and can be a really wonderful experience, just be sure not to mold into what others are doing around you and try to stay as true to yourself as you can.

You will struggle with your finances

Receiving your first student loan is a very exciting day. It’s a bit like getting a bonus, and you’ll no doubt want to treat yourself to a night out or go shopping. The problem with getting a big sum of money in one go is that it’s extremely hard to manage it over the whole term.

The first semester is often the hardest, because you’ll be doing lots of socializing to make friends. Hopefully you’ll get better at saving over time, but be prepared to run out of money before the second instalment. You might want to think about warning your parents in advance.

Leila Wright writes for Inspiring Interns, which help career starters and interns succeed in the workplace. To browse their graduate jobs, including mobile jobs, visit their website.

Lead image: UCLU Photosoc (Flickr)

This article was originally published in October 2017 .

Want more content like this Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.

Written by


+ 1 others
saved this article

+ 2 others saved this article


Get assisted by higher education experts

Our expert teams can help start your academic journey by guiding you through the application process.