Mythbusters: 10 Myths about University and the Truth behind Them


Applying and going to university can be a stressful time and this isn’t made any better by the number of myths that are peddled by tutors, parents, current students, and graduates.

We think it’s time to bust some of those myths so you can head to university with a clear head and just get on with your life.

Here are 10 myths about university and the truth behind them:

#1 – You’ll need £££ to get yourself through university

OK, unfortunately nothing in life comes for free but you don’t need a huge bank balance to get through university.

Maintenance loan amounts have now gone up, meaning you could be heading to university with more money than students in previous years have had. Although we’re not encouraging you to splash the cash, it could mean less Tesco Value and more Tesco Finest foods finding their way into your fridge.

You’ve also got the option of getting a part time job and ordering an NUS Extra card to bring in more pennies and make your money go further.

#2 – You’re going to be crippled by debt after graduation

Yes you are going to have debt if you’ve taken out a tuition fee or maintenance loan to get you through university, but you don’t need to worry about bailiffs banging on  your door after graduation.

You’ll only start repayments once you’re earning £21,000 or over and those repayments are fixed at 9% of earnings over that threshold.

For example, if you’re earning £30,000 you’ll only pay back £810 per year (less than £16 per week) and the repayments are taken straight from your wages so you’ll never miss the money.

Bonus myth bust: no, your debt won’t be wiped if you work abroad after graduation and you could find yourself with a hefty bill when you come back to the UK.

#3 – You’ll need to buy everything before you leave for university

In the golden age of internet shopping this simply isn’t true. Pack your bags with everything from home that you can’t bear to live without and buy everything else once you arrive.

If you’re lucky enough to have an Amazon Prime account you’ll benefit from next day delivery and if not, your local supermarket will stock plenty of student essentials.

#4 – You need to get a 1st in your first year

Whilst we don’t recommend coasting for your first year we also don’t think you need to work until you’re burnt out. Remember, you’re at university for three or four years so you’re in this for the long haul.

Use your first year to adjust to your new living arrangements and hone your study skills ready to step it up in years two and three.

#5 – Your first year doesn’t count towards your final grade

OK, we know we said you didn’t have to work too hard, but you do need to work during your first year.

You’ll need to pass to be allowed to continue on your course and the things you learn in your first year will serve you well during the rest of your degree.

Unfortunately it isn’t all about partying and beer pong…

#6 – Freshers’ Week friends are friends for life

We hate to break it to you but you’ll make friends with people during Freshers’ Week that you may never see again.

On the plus side, if you’re not a social butterfly during your first week that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be friendless for your entire time at university. Once you get into the swing of university life you’ll meet a whole range of people, some of which will become lifelong friends.

#7 – University life is all about clubbing

There are so many other things that university life can offer that don’t involve clubbing.

Whilst we recommend you try everything at university, if a night in a sweaty nightclub really doesn’t appeal then there are plenty of other social events and activities on offer.

#8 – You can’t work and focus on your studies

As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” and the same can be said for all study and no work.

Although you should allow plenty of time for study you may find that your academic record improves when you have a few hours a week in a part time job.

Sure, you’ll need to be organised to fit it in, but that’s no bad thing and working will ease money worries and give you something to put on your CV ready for after graduation.

#9 – You need to find your second year house ASAP

We wouldn’t advise leaving finding somewhere to stay until the week before you come back to university, but don’t rush into any agreements to live with people when Freshers’ Week is barely over.

Your university will be able to help with accommodation listings and many bigger universities even have accommodation fairs during the summer term before you leave for the holidays – so don’t panic!

#10 – All students do is have sex

Whilst some students use their new found freedom to cultivate as many “special” friends as possible, university certainly isn’t one big orgy.

If you’ve got a boyfriend or girlfriend back home, or you just don’t fancy adding notches to your bedpost, don’t feel pressured.

For those of you that are in the “single and ready to mingle” camp, remember to always be safe. Nothing will distract you from your studies more than a sheepish trip to the clinic…