5 Things University Won’t Prepare You For

When you first go off to university, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, you may think to yourself: “This is it. I’ll learn how to be a proper adult here.” Then, as you relax at home after graduation, you’ll quickly learn that there are many things about the real world that you are still woefully unprepared for.

Here are a few examples of the things you won’t learn at university, and no, these won’t be up on the blackboard later.


How to actually work

“But I work all the time!” you cry. “I’m reading this article as a distraction from work!” University work and work-work are two different things.

At university, spending two weeks watching Netflix before handing in an essay three minutes before the deadline is acceptable. In the real world, it’s not. University is, after all, a place of learning rather than preparation for working life. Obviously there will be some exceptions depending on your course, but on the whole a normal job will be dramatically different.


Managing money

Sure, you have to make student loan last you a whole term, which does force you to either budget or sell your organs on the internet. But out here in the real world you get paid once a month.

“Great! I’m going to be so rich!”

Not so fast. As the saying goes: mo money, mo problems. Yes, you’ll have more cash, but you’ll also have more things that you need to spend it on, like bills, commuting and taxes.


How to take care of yourself

There’s a difference between being able to live on your own and being able to look after yourself. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and looking after your mental health are all important.

Although mental health awareness has becomes more prominent lately, it is still something people forget about. While universities do offer advice and opportunities, it is essential that you figure out what works for you.


Working around relationships

At university, relationships can seem like they last forever and people experience a whirlwind of emotions. Some couples will stay together after university, some may even live together (if they don’t already).

If you are in a relationship, you may find that things aren’t quite the same when you can’t spend all day cuddling and watching Netflix. People can be very different outside of the uni bubble.


Moving up the career ladder

At university, you’ll submit an assignment and (after what feels like forever) get feedback on how it could have been improved for next time. If you take it on board, you should get a better grade.

In the real world, things aren’t quite so simple. Even if you do get feedback, it could still be years before you get a promotion. Much of working life is a game of patience and waiting for an opportunity to present itself. Rather than being judged solely on your own merits, you will often be compared against colleagues and, while you want to prove your worth to the higher ups, you also don’t want to seem to eager and alienate your peers. Climbing the ladder can be a very tricky balancing act at times.

Your time at university will be special, but it’s not life school; don’t think that it will teach you everything. Go out there with open ears and a receptive mind, and those lessons will seep in soon enough!


Jack Kirk is a recent Media Production graduate from the University of Lincoln, currently based in his hometown of Chesterfield, he is an aspiring writer, with a variety of interests and a deep knowledge of film quotes, he’d love it if you followed him on Twitter, but he’s not the boss of you.

Inspiring Interns is an internship and graduate jobs agency.