Is University Really The Best Years of Your Life?

Raise your hand if before you went to University, somebody said to you that you were going to have the best years of your life. *Raises hand*

For most people, University is their first taste of freedom, the first time that they are fully responsible for themselves. There is nobody to tell you when or what to eat & drink, nobody to tell you to go to bed and nobody to tell you to clean & tidy your room. Sounds perfect, right?! But in addition to the responsibility of making your own decisions comes dealing with the consequences of your decisions. When you have no money left for your weekly shop because you spent it all at the weekend on alcohol or when you went to bed at 4 am only to have to wake up at 7 am for a lecture, there is nobody to blame but yourself.

The student lifestyle is somewhat idealized by the media. The idea of stumbling home drunk from a nightclub at 4 am or having to eat a 60p pot noodle for dinner because that is all you can afford are brushed off as experiences that you will have as a student. However, if you are not a student and were telling your friends and/or family about eating a 60p pot noodle for dinner, they would instantly be worried about you. But it is okay because you are student?!

I never really fit into that lifestyle. Whilst others were growing up and finding themselves in University, I had already grown up. I already knew how to cook basic meals for myself and how to use household appliances like the hoover and washing machine. I knew how to budget my money so I could afford my lifestyle and I even had a part-time job to subsidize my spending. Even though I was one of the youngest on my course, I somehow felt like one of the eldest. Graduating from University, I felt like I had failed the University experience because I did not come out with life-long friends and memories of nights out that I would tell for years to come at dinner parties. Instead, I just came out of University with a degree.

My mental health was at its worst during my years at University. I suffered and still suffer from anxiety and depression, but they have never been as prevalent as they were during those years. The stress of the constant exams and coursework as well as the added pressure that I placed on myself to be the best overwhelmed me and I ended up being placed on medication and having weekly therapy sessions.

Having been out of University for two years now, I can say with confidence that the years since graduating from University have been better than the years spent at University. I do not thrive in full-time education and that is okay. It is okay to find ‘your people’ after University and to thrive whilst working full-time. It is okay to be happiest when can buy that overpriced donut and be in bed by 10pm. But at the same time, it is okay if University is the best years of your life.

How was your University experience?

23 thoughts on “Is University Really The Best Years of Your Life?

  1. Same, my mental state was the worst when I was in college. I mean I had a great time, I had great friends but the stress along with it was too much for me to handle. I was in my worst depressive state, I got all these pressure for being a young adult and what to do next after graduating. But I look back at it from now that I’m really a full time working adult, I would like to go back to it though. 😅

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    1. It would have been great to know at the time that I would pass my degree and get an incredible job after graduating, I think I definitely would have been a lot less stressed!

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  2. This was a really interesting post, Hannah – I enjoyed reading about your perspective. I didn’t go to university, largely for a similar reason to how you ended up feeling – I was already working full time as an apprentice and felt like I had more “mature” experience than my friends that were still in school. I do think the parties would have been fun! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I know some people who never went to University who would just attend some of the club nights and parties so you could have definitely gotten an invite if you wanted to! xx

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  3. Hi Hannah,
    oh I agree! My universitiy years were nothing like I expected them to be. Now my boyfriend just started to study an MBA for one year and even though we are both 30 now we were really looking forward to have “this” kind of university life that other people seem to have. With covid so far there were no party and “easy life” opportunities haha so we`ll see.. it´s also again way more studying than you have in mind first. Not sure if it will be the best year of our lifes but we try to make the most out of it 🙂

    hope you have an amazing weekend,
    Tiziana

    http://www.tizianaolbrich.de

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad and thankful for this post, because you address the pressure around our youth being the best time of our lives. I just think that’s such a silly thing to tell our generation, because it’s honestly not always a good time because it’s called life! I think the journey that our generation is on is beautiful because it’s where we learn so much about ourselves! I don’t think it’s fair to say that we go through golden and fantastic times when in reality we’re on a journey that goes uphill and downhill, which means we learn and discover. Such a great post Hannah, I always appreciate them! xxx

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    1. Thank you! I completely agree, too much pressure is placed on young people to be happy and living their best lives when honestly, you don’t really know who you are until you are at least 30! I believe that everyone reaches their ‘best years’ at different points in their life. And that is okay! Just focus on doing the best you can and that is all anyone could ever ask. xx

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  5. Oh my, I don’t know how many times I’ve been told University is going to be the best time of my life haha. I did have some great times but I, same as you, had a real decline in my mental health and in general went through a very rough patch during my Bachelor’s. I really hope that wasn’t the best years of my life hihi. Loved reading your post! ♥️

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  6. This is such a great read and I’m glad other bloggers are sharing the reality. Whilst we had different experiences abs reasonings, I feel like ultimately, we experienced the same thing and I love how you summed up the last paragraph.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think it is really important to talk about the bad as well as the good experiences, especially if it can help others feel better in the process. I know for me it felt like everyone was living their best life at the time but reading everyone’s comments has really helped me feel less alone. Thank you for reading & commenting. 🙂

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  7. I always heard, “You’ll meet your best friends in college.” This really threw me off and made me feel depressed and anxious. College was fun of course, but, was it the best time of my life? No, I would say my 20’s have been so far. I feel free to do as I please and be the person I want to be! Honestly, reading this just made me feel relieved because I thought I was alone… Thanks for sharing!

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