unifresher

What is life really like for a university student?

Written by Samantha Williams

It can be a struggle sometimes to find true-to-life information about what student life is really like. Sure there can be informational articles about what a student might need to bring with them or what you may find in the surrounding cities, such as ‘The best hidden food gems in Swansea’, but at times it can be hard to find personal experiences that you can relate to. This article hopes to give a bit of insight into the life of a typical university student, including what lectures and on campus facilities are like!

University Campus

Typically, a university campus can often be described as a town in and of itself. This is because there is just so much to do! To give a closer to home example of what is meant by this, here is the Swansea university campus map. Of course, Swansea is not the only university in the UK, seeing as there are a total of 106 universities in the UK according to Wikipedia, but many of the features of Swansea and university also apply to other universities:

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As can be seen from first glance, the university has a lot to offer when it comes to study spaces, activities, and accommodation. Some of these spaces, such as cafés, do not appear on the map and simply are a matter of entering these buildings to look for them. However, this does not need to be complicated, as most can be found directly next to stairwells or when first walking into Buildings. For example, Fulton house has a café and shops such as cost cutters and cwtch that can be seen from first entering the building, whilst others can be directly seen and accessed from going upstairs. This means that whilst these places may be not immediately visible from the maps, they are easy enough to find even without it. And besides, who doesn’t like a little bit of a pleasant surprise when travelling around campus? Besides the various campus shops and cafés, there are also numerous places to study, computer rooms galore, and a library filled with three floors worth of resources ready for any sort of research students may have to conduct, meaning that there is a high chance of no loose ends for writing or ideas! With all that said, lets move on to another big aspect of this map: accommodation.

Accommodation

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One of the most important aspects of campus life students consider when going to university is accommodation, and with good reason. After all who wouldn’t be thinking about where to live during term time? Student accommodation is a great option if someone is looking to make friends and have a chance at living independently with the safety blanket of being able to go home in the summer for the most part. It is also a good choice for travel, as travel is at a minimum when anyone lives close to campus and most things after just a short walk away.

Though, of course, there are also downsides to living independently. There are a lot of costs to cover such as rent and food, and according to some students the living conditions in lower priced accommodations can be a little cramped. In my experience, though, living at home has always been the right choice as the distance to lectures is only a bus ride away and there is the pleasantness of coming home to the place i’m most comfortable with. With lectures in mind, lets take a look at what a typical lecture would entail.

Lectures

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As far as personal experience and the experience of others go, lectures tend to be between 1 and 2 hours long depending on the subject. These lectures are taken on by between 1 and 3 lecturers who normally split the lectures, but this doesn’t make a difference to the students except maybe slight differences in teaching methods. Even though some students fail to attend at least half of their lectures, it’s strongly advised to avoid this attitude as much as possible.

For one, students may miss valuable information that the powerpoint on the relevant intranet doesn’t cover and which may be included in the exam, spelling bad news for those hoping to get the top grades offered. More than that, though, both lectures and other related classes are often quite fun and an interesting learning experience so there is plenty of reason to attend them. And besides, if someone liked a subject enough to take it at university then an effort may as well be made to indulge in all parts of it, lectures included. But enough of university in general; what is a typical day at university like?

Typical day at university

For one, university life isn’t as jam packed as one might think at first. The day often starts with either a bus trip to campus or a walk to the given area. There might even be time before lessons start if your lucky, in which case a morning coffee is usually a must especially if it’s an early class. The day normally has no more than two lectures of one or two hours each depending on the course, leaving the rest of the day free! Of course, that is sometimes an exaggeration considering that most if not all of the work is to be carried out outside of lecture, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t free time either.

Over the course of the year and from other opinions, it is safe to say that the most free time comes at around the beginning of term before deadlines begin to pile up. Feel free to explore the libraries, shops, and nightlife in these pockets of free time or even just stay home as some people might. But remember, come the end of term be sure to get a library space earlier rather than later if there is work that needs doing.

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