It’s Halloween! Time to dust off your broomstick, don your spookiest fancy dress and tee-up a horror movie marathon with your flatmates.
This time of year is great for celebrating spooky legends; however, it’s not uncommon for students to be haunted by a series of pesky myths and stereotypes throughout the year. After all, students are either partying, sleeping, or eating a Pot Noodle, aren’t they?
Fear not – here at Sanctuary Students, we’ve got your backs! We’re ‘creeping it real’ this Halloween, and debunking the top myths about student life.
Myth 1: Students can’t cook
We’re sure you’ve heard this gem from older relatives who think they’ve mastered the art of satire; however, this particular student myth is, well, just that! Although it might take a little time to find your feet after years of home-cooked meals, the truth is that you’ll soon crave life beyond that 3am kebab.
What’s more, by picking up a few key skills, you’ll be able to access to a world of culinary possibilities – and gain brownie points with your flatmates, too! For culinary inspiration, check out our top simple student meals here, and some easy Bake-Off-inspired recipes here.
Verdict: Fake news!
Myth 2: You’ll meet all your friends in Freshers’ Week
It’s entirely possible that you’ll meet your future BFF in your first week – after all, there’s nothing like bonding over figuring out how the oven works (sorry). Plus, your university’s Freshers’ Fayre is a great place to meet people with the same interests.
But it’s also possible that you won’t immediately ‘click’ with everyone, and that’s ok too. University is full of new experiences and events, and you’ll meet new people throughout the year. Don’t put pressure on yourself to meet those ‘friends for life’ on day one – just sit back and enjoy the experience!
Verdict: A bit of both.
Myth 3: First year doesn’t count
You’ll hear this one a lot, but treat it with caution. It’s true to some extent – most courses don’t count your first-year score towards your final degree, BUT remember: 1. This isn’t the case for all universities, 2. You still need to pass the year, and 3. Putting in the effort from day one will make your life much easier going forward (not to mention putting you on the radar of your tutor – hello, references!).
What’s more, if you’re eyeing up a year abroad, remember that the best placements will go to the best students. That’s four very good reasons to treat this myth with a pinch of salt!
Verdict: *Technically* it can be true, but it’s best to be wary.
Myth 4: You have to drink to have fun
The ‘party animal’ stereotype can be a dangerous one – yes, nights out can be a big part of your university experience, but you don’t need to drink to fit in, and there’s plenty of booze-free fun to be had. Did you know that in 2018, one in five students were teetotal? Check out our recent blog about fun drink-free night-out activities here.
And since it’s Halloween, here are some delicious mocktails to try with your flatmates. Now, go and get up to some (non-alcoholic) hocus pocus!
Verdict: It’s up to you whether you want to drink or not!
Myth 5: Students can’t balance part-time work with uni
According to the Condition of Education 2020 report, 81% of undergraduates were employed part-time in 2018 – how’s that for a myth-buster? Not only that – having a part-time job can help you hone your budgeting skills, and getting one within the relevant industry may even enhance your career prospects.
Verdict: False, just make sure your studies are a priority – after all, that’s why you’re at uni!
Myth 6: You need to find a house for second year right away, or you’ll miss out
No sooner have you settled into your accommodation than you’ll hear rumours that you need to lock down your second-year digs before all the good ones are snapped up. But don’t panic – this isn’t the case, and university towns have plenty of room for everyone.
You may feel like you’ve known your Freshers’ friends for years, but it’s worth taking your time to get to know everyone (and the area) before you decide who to live with, and where. And, when you do start to think about next year’s accommodation, here’s why you should rebook with Sanctuary Students!
Verdict: False – there's no need to rush into things.
Myth 7: Students have no worries in the world
It’s a common (and potentially dangerous) misconception that students have it easy. Sure, university has its perks, but it’s also hard work, with a lot of new responsibilities, emotions, and experiences to get your head around.
The majority of former students will say that university was the best time of their lives – but that doesn’t mean they didn’t feel homesick occasionally! Remember that it’s completely natural to miss home at times, and don’t put extra pressure on yourself by feeling guilty or embarrassed, or comparing yourself to others.
Read our latest blog on ways to look after your mental health at university here – including information on where you can get support.
Verdict: False – and it’s important to talk to someone or seek help if you’re struggling.
Smoke and mirrors
We’re sure you’ve chuckled or rolled your eyes at some of the above! Indeed, the stereotype of students spending their days partying and eating Pot Noodles doesn’t quite hit the mark.
At the end of the day, most students balance work and play to make the most of their uni experience while making sure they get the grades to set them up for the future.
Most importantly, your time at uni is what you make it – so enjoy it. At Sanctuary Students, we’re with you every step of the way!