The Bad Side of University

the bad side of university

It’s easy to just talk about the positives when it comes to university because there are so many of them. But I kind of wanted to start talking about the bad parts too; the parts that make you feel alone or the moments where you feel like you want to leave and just go home.

I’ve made plenty of blog posts about the amazing things about university, from meeting new people and becoming more socially confident to how uni will change you and make you more independent.

This one’s more about the reality of uni that we normally just pretend isn’t there. I’m not saying you’ll experience all of these things but if you’re anything like me, there’s a good chance that through all the mayhem and incredible times at university, you might come across a few of these problems along the way.

You’ll Feel Lonely 

I know it sounds kind of crazy to feel lonely in a place where you’re constantly surrounded by people, but it happens. Especially since in the first term you haven’t really known your new friends for long at all so it’s hard to feel like you can talk to them about something that’s bothering you.

When the only people near you are friends you only met a few weeks ago, you sometimes feel like they don’t really know you well enough for you to be completely yourself which makes it easy to feel isolated.

But you’d be surprised at how close you get to new people so quickly since you’re living with them and how easy it is to talk to them when you just break the ice of doing it for the first time. Not being worried about speaking to them if you have a problem or just need to talk will show them that they have someone too when they feel the same as you. That conversation could be the thing that makes you closer to them.

the bad side of university

You’ll Meet People You Don’t Like

You meet so many new people from all walks of life during university, especially in the first few weeks. Everyone is normally so friendly but I can almost guarantee there will be someone, or a few people, that you just don’t see yourself getting along with. It might be in the first week at a party in freshers or it could be months down the line with the person you’re sitting next to in a seminar.

University throws together so many different kinds of people so there’s bound to be a few that you just don’t see eye to eye with or understand where they’re coming from. And that’s okay, you don’t need to be friends with everyone you meet. That would be way too much work!

You’ll Spend WAY More Money Than You Think

Budgeting is HARD. I spoke about the 20 ways to save money at university a few weeks ago but you really don’t know how much you’ll spend until you’re there. It’s so easy to try and plan out how much you’ll spend each week before you go, but then you realise that there’s so many things you forget about, from cleaning products and fancy dress outfits to packs of cards and takeaways.

You might be better than me than budgeting, but my first year left my bank account looking very sad and empty because I massively underestimated how much I’d spend and didn’t get a job to help.

the bad side of university

You Won’t Find It Easy to Stay Close to Your Home Friends

They might be hundreds of miles away at different universities so keeping in touch with them suddenly got a whole lot harder when you can’t see them every week for a catch up. I think university is actually a really good test of friendship to see if you can still remain as close when you don’t spend as much time together.

It’s when you go home for the holidays and you realise that nothing has changed and it feels exactly the same that you know they’re real friends. Sure, you might all be so busy that you don’t text as often in term time, but that just means you’ve got lots to talk about and catch up on when you get to spend time together again.

You’ll Get Homesick …

…Maybe not straight away because there’s so much going on that you don’t have a second to sit alone and think, but eventually you might start to feel homesick. For me it didn’t happen often, the only time I wished I had the comforts of home was when I was rundown and ill and just wanted to lie in bed and have someone to cook me food and look after me.

For other people that get homesick quite a lot, you might struggle to get used to being away from home in the beginning. But your family are only a phone call away and it definitely gets easier to live away from home once you throw yourself into university life.

the bad side of university

You’ll Argue with Your Housemates

It will be about the most random and pointless things that don’t need an argument about but you’re all hungover and have spent too much time together that it leads to an argument anyway.

Everyone has different opinions and ways that they like things to be so if that means cleaning up after yourself straight away or being quieter because one of your flatmates has an essay due, you might as well try so that arguments can be avoided.

You’ll Be Stressed

People say that university is a big jump from school and I completely agree. You have to juggle so many different and new things all at the same time and somehow figure out a way to go and be sociable and make friends while still finding time for your actual degree.

Writing an essay on a hangover is not fun so figuring this out early on is the best way to go. All of these new experiences and learning to live away from home can be super stressful at times. But if you think you’re stressed now, just wait until exams…

the bad side of university

You Might Hate Your Degree

You’re doing the same subject day in, day out for a whole year, you’re bound to not like part of it or completely fall out of love with it all together. So many people find their degree boring or just not what they expected, which is completely fine.

There are so many options now if you don’t like your subject as much as you thought you would. Second and third year is better anyway because you often get to choose the modules and topics you want to learn about.

Starting over and switching courses isn’t something to be embarrassed about. If it means you get to enjoy your time at university and not dread going to lectures then it’s worth it rather than forcing yourself through another 2 years of something you don’t enjoy.

You Might Hate The Independence 

The shock of suddenly being completely independent and having to do all these things for yourself that you might not have done before can be quite scary. Cooking, cleaning, shopping, budgeting…there’s just so much you never think about that you now have to figure out.

Even the way you learn is so much more independent than at school. You no longer have revision guides to memorise or teachers there to explain every last detail to you, you have to do a lot of it yourself which felt like a big change.

Most people really love the independence of being completely in charge of yourself and doing what you want, whenever you want, but for other people it might be quite daunting at first.

Have you ever experienced any of these problems at university?

Beth x

Other posts in Uni Life:

Improving Self-Confidence at University

20 Ways to Save Money at Uni

10 Ways University Will Change You



  1. September 29, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    See I decided against university and all my friends went which made me feel like they were all having the most amazing time all the time and I felt like shit at home, but I never actually thought that they would feel the same way I did. You never really see negative comments about university so thank you for bringing that into the light, it’s also like how you don’t hear much about deciding not to go to uni as well which I’ve written about on my blog. It is very true on both ends about struggling with friendships from afar and I’ve felt like it really is a test on friendships on both ends. Very well thought out and written x

    • BethRebecca
      October 1, 2018 / 9:06 pm

      Thank you so much! Yeah all I ever hear about is the amazing parts of university and people just don’t seem to talk about the negatives as if they’re embarrassed to admit it’s not all perfect at uni. I’ll check out your post now, sounds really interesting because I haven’t read anything like that before! x

      • October 1, 2018 / 9:27 pm

        It’s so important to have the conversation of saying you know what I’m not gonna bow down to these expectations and I’m going to do what I want to do on my own. I appreciate seeing your post to know that I would hate to be in a position to hate uni but also understand what my friends are going through. Very interesting standpoint xx

  2. bingingonabudget
    September 29, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    I think this is a good honest article. Thanks for sharing, what’s your favorite thing to blog about?

    • BethRebecca
      October 1, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      Thanks! I love posts about my own experiences like this one because they are so much more honest and easier to write!

  3. September 30, 2018 / 1:16 pm

    Such an interesting post, I completely agree that starting university can be a challenge and there’s definitely some negatives! I studied history and found it difficult to adapt from school – I only had 6 contact hours a week and the lack of structure was hard to get used to! Natalie x

    • BethRebecca
      October 1, 2018 / 9:15 pm

      I do history too so I feel exactly the same, I struggle with trying to motivate myself to do work outside of those 6 hours! x

  4. October 6, 2018 / 10:27 pm

    My family moved to a different city when my sister and I started college so it was like we were all trying to adjust to the fact that we didn’t have lots of friends around to help us 😅 But I definitely get homesick and miss my friends in my hometown. Some of them I have a regular communication with, some are, like me, too busy with their own college lives.

  5. October 7, 2018 / 9:40 am

    I’m applying for university at the moment, I’m hoping that my experience will be great, but as good things happne, bad things also have to happen – I loved reading how honest this post is!

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