Kent wasn’t what I expected – but that’s not a bad thing

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of InQuire Media

The prospect of going to university can be a daunting one. Leaving family, friends and home behind to live and study in a new city is something that most people would find pretty scary. Like everything else, expectations always begin to form. But more often than not these expectations will differ from reality, and this will most likely be a good thing.

In the summer before university starts, many prospective students will have researched information about their university, read reviews and heard stereotypical tripe about university life. Some of the general things I heard before I started at Kent were about the constant alcohol consumption, the horrors of flat sharing and the overwhelming workload. However, none of these expectations met my reality.

Drinking and going out is one of the most talked about aspects of university life, but it definitely does not dominate your experience if you don’t want it to. The great thing about socialising at university is that there are so many students that there is always someone who wants to do what you are doing; whether you love going out clubbing, just popping round the pub, or are not a keen drinker. The stereotype of drinking copious amounts is exactly that – a stereotype.

Flat sharing is not something to worry about either; in honesty, not everyone you will live with will be tidy and clean, but so long as you keep your space the way you like it, then you will have nothing to worry about. The main reason for going to university is to study a subject that you find interesting and therefore there will be a lot of work, but it will not be overwhelming. In order to attend university, you will have to have shown you can handle academic work and it will not be anything you cannot deal with.

It does not actually matter whether your university expectations match the reality of your experience. Once you get to Kent and begin your studies, what you expected will completely vanish and will be replaced by your own experiences. I was dreading university before I started, but now two years in, I would not change anything about it. University is a learning curve, and although there are some things that everyone may struggle with at the start (cooking for one and budgeting are the two that are most prominent), they are all things that will improve over time.

Expectations will hardly ever match the reality of university; and this is a good thing. Living alone for the first time will be a great experience and whether you are very excited to start, or worried about moving away, do not fret about what is to come.

Each experience is unique, so do not waste time on forming certain expectations based on what you hear from others. University is a great experience and you will be surprised by how quickly time will fly, so make the most of everyday day!

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