Instagram vs reality: The university experience

Posted 1 year ago

Finding your feet can take time

There’s no doubt that coming to University is an exciting time where you’ll walk away having taken part in new opportunities, had lots of new experiences and of course achieved a degree! However, settling into University life and finding your feet can take time and for many can be challenging…and that’s ok.

You’ll probably hear lots of people telling you that going to University will be ‘the best years of your life’. For young people who go to University, there can be a certain pressure to ‘have the best time ever’. Of course, you want to make the most of your experience and enjoy it as much as you can but it’s ok if this doesn’t happen straight away. The reality is that there may be days where a lecture is challenging or you’re not getting along with your flatmates. 

This ‘pressure’ to have the best time ever can sometimes translate onto social media. Don’t be put off if you’re still finding your feet while lots of people on social media are seen to be having the time of their lives. While some people portray that they are enjoying themselves on social media, it’s not always the reality. Remember that everyone’s experience is different and there is no ‘right way’ to do University. Everyone's journey is different!

If you notice that social media is having a negative impact on your mental health and wellbeing, try to reduce how much you use it. Simple things such as turning off your notifications and avoiding social media apps at least an hour before bed can help improve your energy levels and mood.

If you find that you’re struggling to settle in or find friends, rest assured that this is totally normal and you won’t be the only person feeling this way. If you are looking for a new way to meet people, there are plenty of opportunities and ways you can get involved in:

  • Stay up to date with Halls Life events here.
  • Why not join your Hall's Student Committee? You could join a group of students with similar interests to you and make positive changes in your Halls, it's never too late to get involved and it's an opportunity open to everyone! 
  • Check out the Give It A Go programme which offers activities, trips and events at the Guild for free or at a discounted rate exclusively for Halls students. From herb pot planting and escape rooms there is something for everyone. Want to earn some money and meet other students?
  • Join a society at the Guild! This is another great way to meet new people who have the same interests as you whether it's baking soc or Taylor Swift appreciation society, there's something for everyone.
  • Try a new sport - whether you want to join a team or try something new, for free with no commitment. Check out what Sport Liverpool has on offer here. 

Try not to be hard on yourself if your University experience isn't what you expected it to be. Be sure to give yourself credit for taking the jump to move away to University and live in a whole new city.

If managing things is becoming tricky and you want to speak to someone, remember your Residential Adviser is available for a chat and can offer advice on living in Halls. The University also has a range of student support teams. You can book an appointment with Student Support here or visit the team in the Alsop building on campus.

Take a look at our recommendations for taking care of your mental health.