University Life Isn't What it Seems

There are many expectations surrounding university life. In this article, we talk all about them.
University Life Isn't What it Seems

Last update: 17 June, 2020

There are many expectations that often revolve around the prospect of studying at university and university life in general. It’s a good idea to analyze them and compare them to how things really are.

We have always associated certain popular ideas with the world of universities. That isn’t surprising, either, as university life can be perceived in many different ways. In fact, there are no two identical testimonies about the personal experience of going to university.

Going to university to get a degree is an option that most people usually consider from quite an early age. Because of that, it’s a good idea to analyze what expectations usually exist to see whether they’re still reflected in today’s society.

Expectations about University Life

Times are always changing, but the idea of going to university still actually inspires thousands of mini-marketing campaigns all throughout our childhood. These come to us through our teachers, relatives, and other influential people in our lives. They tell us that going to university to get a degree is the best thing we can do in order to obtain security and stability for the future.

However, the different ideas about studying at university are no longer the same. This is due to the many social changes over the years, especially in the work market. But, despite this, there are still expectations associated with studying for a degree:


It’s very common to believe that having a degree will make us more employable than other people who have a high school degree or who have specialized at an equivalent level.

Obviously, each degree has different opportunities that will give people a certain advantage in the job market. However, the belief that having a Bachelor’s degree (whichever one it may be) will give us an advantage simply because we consider it a higher qualification is a belief that doesn’t convert to academic and work reality.

Party Life

Universities and parties are two areas that tend to go hand in hand in most people’s ideologies. American influences on university students’ lives very fuel this expectation.

In many American films and TV series, we see how university life has become almost a philosophy with innumerable rules, rituals, and customs. The United States is quite unique in its philosophy of university life, and universities in Europe don’t tend to match it in this sense. There is, however, one exception, which are the Erasmus scholarships.

Intellectual Growth

The expectation that if you go to college, you’ll automatically become a really intelligent person is also a widely held belief. Unfortunately, cultivating your mind and your intellect has more to do with your personal attitude than with the intellectual stimulation that a degree usually offers.


We often commonly associate university life with the incredible freedom and independence it brings you. When people leave their hometowns to do that, then the resulting freedom is even greater. This particular expectation is usually true, at least regarding daily activities.

However, there isn’t the same amount of “freedom” regarding studies. Attendance is compulsory in university, unless the professor decides to “look the other way”.

Students learning at university.

What Do We Get from University Life?

Whatever your expectations, university life is a small, yet important, stage of your life. If you decide to choose that path, you’ll learn a lot. However, you’ll learn the most important lessons outside the classroom.

One of the most beautiful things about university life is being able to share time and rub shoulders with people that you never imagined you’d meet. Many of them will teach you a lot about life. You’ll hear their opinions, debate with them, and have in-depth, yet sincere, conversations. These people are what you’ll truly take with you when you leave university.

Some of those people, of course, will end up becoming faithful friends, whereas others will be people who you’ll enjoy seeing how they progress. There’ll also be those who you’ll hardly ever say more than a couple to words to.

Well, believe it or not, you’ll remember them all, even the last ones we mentioned. You’ll remember the shy guy who always greeted you with a smile or the young woman who sat right behind you who you never managed to get to know.

There’s one thing that university life will offer you more than the friendships themselves: a beautiful feeling of nostalgia! University can be a truly memorable part of your life for you to treasure forever.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.