If you do these six things as an Exeter University student, then you’re officially an adult

But, you’re still a silly fresh at heart

We all start university with many worries, one of which being how to boil pasta. It can be daunting at first when you realise that you have to actually be in charge of looking after yourself. Gone are the days where your mum did your washing and you were served home cooked meals on a silver platter. Now, it’s you and pesto pasta against the world. Although university can make you feel completely lost, you are not alone. Everyone (including third years) tries their best to navigate their way around adulthood. It can be very scary when you are making daisy chains in primary school and now you are stood in the middle of Sainbury’s, debating which is the cheapest butter to buy. Adulthood really slaps you in the face. But, as we all do, you just have to learn as you go.

1. Cleaning

When you first arrive at uni, your mum has already whipped out all the Cillit Bang, Dettol and Fairy Liquid she could find. She has already hoovered, anti-bac wiped the sides and poured bleach down the sink. You promise your parents that you will keep your room and the kitchen tidy, but by the end of Freshers’ Week, it looks like Pennsylvania Road after a windy day. Whether you’re someone who has to clean every single crumb or you’re someone who likes to let things “soak” for a week, cleaning is something you just have to do as a grown up. It becomes really frustrating when you notice other people not pulling their weight around the house and you might have had to make multiple cleaning rotas just to force that certain someone to finally pick up the Henry Hoover and Scrub Daddy.

2. Using Circuit Laundry

Circuit Laundry is the bane of every student’s life. If you live in Lafrowda, you understand the true pain of this. You have to race to the laundry app to reserve a machine, with all your laundry, throw them in, and pray that someone doesn’t decide to just chuck them out. You either have to go at the crack of dawn to secure a machine or wait until the middle of the night just to wash your clothes. It really is the trenches in there. Circuit Laundry has to be one of the most annoying things a student has to face, especially when your timer goes off and you see there’s still 10 minutes left on the wash. But doing your own washing, changing your sheets, and putting away your laundry really makes you feel like an adult, even if you have managed to shrink half of your clothes in the process.

3. Meal prep

When you’re an adult, the real world hits you hard. You no longer have school meals or pre-packed lunches made by your parents. You can no longer get £1 chicken and chips on you way home from school. We’re in a cozzy livs, babes and with that, we have lost the backbone of our country: Tesco £3 Meal Deals. Honestly, I don’t think I will ever get over that.

Being an adult means you spend roughly £20 a day on travel and food alone. You know you could save loads if you cut down on your Pret oat vanilla lattes and Ubers instead of just walking. Being grown up means you become very aware of how much everything costs. So, you have to take matters into your own hands by meal prepping. Although meal prepping may feel like a chore in itself, you can seriously save some money. Get that Tupperware, make your lunch and you’re ready to go. Of course, you can still get a little treat now and then for being so money wise. Girl math!

4. House hunting

House hunting in Exeter is an absolute war. You have to have your future housemates and house sorted by the first week of October otherwise, you will be living on Sidwell Street. No one, and I mean no one, wants THAT. It is serious torture when you and your friends have looked at multiple houses, about to put a deposit down, just to find out that the “rah” girlies got in there before you. You and your friends spend the whole evening writing the most eligible email to send to the agency/landlord, just for them to not reply or tell you the house is already taken. Even though house hunting is rough out here, it makes you feel very grown-up. When you move in and have to put your big girl pants on to beef your 50-year-old landlord for providing you with a broken washing machine and mouldy bathrooms, you know you’re at peak adulthood (all the shade thrown here xx).

5. Balancing social life and work life

When you’re at uni, you start off as a young fresher who thinks uni is just going to be going out, partying and getting drunk at every chance you can get. Although it may feel that way in Freshers’ Week, by the middle of term one, you begin to realise how difficult it can be to balance social life, uni life, cooking, fitness, and societies. You start making endless “to-do” lists and have to whip out the weekly planner to make sure you can stay on top of it all. I personally LOVE to be organised. But, if you’re someone who just “goes with the flow” and rawdogs their days, you’re brave. If you’re someone who has to have a structured plan for their week (like me), then you will know the stress of making sure you keep the balance. You feel very grown up when you turn down a Salsa TP Tuesday to make sure you get your assignments done. But, once that’s done, who says you can’t treat yourself with a little tipple down at the Impy?

6. Lectures

When you go to your first lecture, it feels super weird and you may even develop “imposter syndrome”. I know I felt this way when I first came to Exeter. Lectures and seminars make you feel so grown up, especially as you are in charge of getting yourself to lectures and motivating yourself to attend. Once you go down the slippery slope of missing lectures and not attending seminars, you can never get out of that. You fall behind and hate yourself for watching the week two recorded lecture when you’re in week six. Going to lectures also makes me feel grown up because watching everyone ferociously type away on their MacBooks as soon as the lecturer breathes makes me realise how seriously people take uni. At that point, it’s no longer “uni”, lectures remind you that this is university. You’re an adult and you’re getting that degree.

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