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16 Graduates Told Us What They Wish They’d Known Before Starting Uni

You're welcome.

Starting university is a big change, and most people find it pretty difficult. We asked people in the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they wish they'd known before they started university. Here's what they said.

1. Stay open to new experiences.

Disney / Via

"Recognise that never again in your life will you have such a wide-open opportunity to meet new people. So keep your room door open, join a student club, chat up the cutie sitting next to you in class, etc. Take advantage of being in the same boat with a few thousand other people who are just as excited and scared as you are." – tomkat41

2. It's okay not to like everything straight away.

Universal Pictures / Via Giphy

"It's okay to change your mind about what you're studying. I've changed paths twice and it was the best decision for myself and my mental health." – caitlinm473daf3a2

"It's okay to be uncomfortable about being uncomfortable. You come in not knowing a whole lot, but there are countless resources. Also, a lot of people think that once you go to university, you have your shit together. Nobody has their shit together. It's okay walking into a lecture feeling uncomfortable – that means you're ready to grow and learn." – Raven Tipton

3. You're definitely not the only one feeling out of your depth.

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"Sometimes it seems like everyone is doing so much more than you or that they are better than you. But we are all trying to put on that outer persona, hiding how we really feel." – kristene4

4. Everyone finds making friendships really hard.

The Sad Ghost Club / Via

"Don't put too much pressure on making friends during the first week. Chances are you'll never see those people again and you have nothing in common with them anyway. Just relax and be yourself and you'll be fine." – rachel190

5. But don't worry, you'll find your people with time.

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"You'll make friends at the beginning of the year, but by no means are those the people you have to stay friends with. It helps to have a few friends to hang out with at the beginning but soon you'll have a good constant group, and those may not be the people you first made friends with. That's okay!" – britainc

"Understand that friends will come. Don’t feel as if you have to put on a show and try to be someone you’re not. Your best friends will recognise you as the amazing and charming person that you are, so go put yourself out there!" – Evan Packer

6. Work first, party later. You'll thank yourself for it.

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"Don't procrastinate anything! Get your work done before you party... but still party... a lot... and get your work done first... but then party." – Tom Pellegrino, Facebook

7. Productivity is key.

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"One of the best productivity tips, especially for someone with anxiety who gets overwhelmed, is the top-three method. Pick the top three most important things you need to do that day, and do those. Start with an easy one, then the hardest one, then the last. Once you get those done, you can decide if you're exhausted or if you feel productive enough to get more done." – rebeccar473fb9fbf

8. Actually go to class!

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"Skipping class is the easiest thing to do, especially when the commute is over an hour and there are hundreds of people in the lecture. It will also be the most surefire way to sink your grades. Go to class as often as you can, and talk with your lecturers for help." – Roberta Howey, Facebook

"Your teachers might not require it and they might post all class materials online, but you'll learn so much more if you attend as many classes as possible. In many classes, something comes up that might not be in the syllabus but is just as educational. It's okay to miss a class or two but it's important to be there, especially if it's a discussion-based class." – camerynb2

9. Your mental health is important.

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"Depression is real. Reach out and get help if you need it." – BodegaCat

"Feeling homesick, lonely, and depressed all the time? Change up your routine by joining a club or society, participate in events, and talk to a counsellor/therapist provided by your uni." – kayla8one

10. Remember to take care of yourself as well as your grades.

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"1. Take advantage of the mental health services, there's no reason why you should struggle alone.

2. After your first year, try not to live with random roommates.


4. Drink water. Eat vegetables. Get an adequate amount of sleep." – Glittoris

"It's okay if you miss that one party if you need to take care of yourself. There will be plenty more parties." – luisa00777

11. Your expectations won't always match the reality.

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"Everyone told me university would be so much fun, and it was, eventually, but the first few months were hell. It's a major life switch and nothing like school. Making friends wasn't all that easy. Hang in there. Friends show up, you get in the swing of studying, exams, tutorials, and everything is fine. If you're willing to work for it, it can be fun." – hannahtravellerm

12. There is no right or wrong way to have a uni experience.

Iulia Omelda / Via

"I wish someone had told me that you won't love it right away. It's very jarring to start somewhere and have everyone tell you 'oh you'll love it' and when you get there you realise there are things that take lots of getting used to. It's okay to feel out of place and alone, but the good thing is that everyone feels that way and you just have to give it some time. Eventually it will feel more like home than school ever did." – SergeantDarwin

13. Beginnings are always hard. / Via Buena Vista Pictures

"Honestly, the first couple of weeks might be the worst. But you can power through, and you'll find your people." – kellyf43a00246e

14. You don't have to have all the answers straight away.

Monica Ekabutr / Via

"It's okay not to have any idea what the hell you're going to do with your life. I spent two years panicking and shooting myself in the foot with anxiety before realising most people don't get jobs relating to their degrees anyway. Also, being an adult seems really scary but it's actually a lot of fun. Baby steps, guys. You'll make it." – rebeccap4f111c5aa

15. Don't be afraid of taking a little responsibility. / Via Giphy

"I kinda regret not cooking for myself. I wish I knew to at least try instead of ordering student discounted pizza and warming up ramen every night. I would've saved a lot of money." – michaelas400baf1bd

"It sounds odd but I was proud of myself for actually making my own doctor's appointments. Prior to uni, my mum made all my appointments and suddenly here I was having to make my own decisions about my health for the first time. It was actually scary. But knowing how to ask for an appointment, holding your nerve against the receptionist, and actually talking to a doctor without my mum there was a major milestone for me." – amyy4e1823486

16. It's not gonna be fun all the time – and that's okay.

The So Chill Network / Via Giphy

"I wish I'd known how often I'd want to drop out, and I wish I'd known that's okay. No matter how hard you fought to get in, how invested in uni life you are, it's often going to suck, and you will think about dropping out. You'll feel inadequate and exhausted, you'll fail tests you studied hard for, and you're not going to love all your classes. When that happens, take a moment to think about how far you've already gotten, how close you are to achieving your goals. Have a nice cry and move on. You've done so well already." – Mariana Borati, Facebook

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