Here are six expectation vs reality moments we all have as Exeter University students

Don’t say we didn’t warn you

When you’re about to begin your new adventure as an Exeter student, you set yourself up with many expectations. Many of these are about how you’re going to attend every lecture, you’re going to be super organised and that you’re definitely going to join every society the uni has to offer (but just wait until you hear about the membership prices). Our first year selves really did set up way too many delulu expectations of what our life will be like at Exeter. For example, I really believed that I was going to be a beach girl and go swimming all the time until I realised how rainy Devon can be.

Although it is nice to be excited about beginning your journey at UoE, there are some realities that you need to be aware of before you start. So, here’s some expectations vs reality moments of being a student at the University of Exeter. Brace yourselves for the truth.

1. Campus prices

When I first came to uni, my silly fresher brain really believed that campus would hold many affordable prices for students. I thought: “It’s a university, they know we’re students, surely there will be some good deals?” Oh, fresher me, how silly you were. When I first went into the Market Place, I went in there with my Exeter tote bag and a dream. When I went to go pick up a bunch of bananas and realised it was 70p for one, I was brutally humbled, especially as there were seven bananas in one bunch.

Every time an Exeter student goes onto campus, you already know that half of your student loan is going to be spent on Pret coffee and the £4.20 meal deals. It’s rough out here. If you wish to save some money and save yourself the heartbreak of campus prices, just bring a packed lunch. It doesn’t hit the same as a Comida wrap, but you will thank yourself later.

2. The Exetah stereotype

Before uni, everyone always flocks to TikTok, YouTube and attempts to join freshers’ Facebook groups just to see what Exeter uni life is like. Doing this before starting first year was definitely one way to set your expectations high. But, if there’s one thing that matches the expectation with the reality, it’s the Exetah stereotype. It’s very real. By the end of your first week at the University of Exeter, you will get sick of constantly hearing the word “rah” slip out of Minty’s mouth, Tabatha requesting “dutty tunes” at pres and Hugo asking, once again, “where’s my baccy?” You are bound to meet the Exetah stereotype. They may tell you they’re from London, but they’re actually from Surrey and living off “daddy’s money”.

3. Clubbing

Clubbing in Exeter is definitely different to any other student town as far as I am aware. Here in Exeter, you have to get used to securing your ticket for your nights out. At first, you may expect Exeter clubbing to be a breeze and that you can just get a “last minute ticket”. That is, until it’s Wednesday night and you have been scammed three times on Overheard just for a TP ticket. Soon, you will get used to frequently visiting FIXR and feeling pure rage as the app crashes once again (FIXR, I will never forgive you for EGB tickets crashing twice). You will soon get used to gathering all of your friends to make sure you have all secured a ticket to The Piece and if one of you miss out by a minute, then back in the Overheard trenches you go.

4. Pres

Before you start uni, you may not really understand what the concept of pres is. You have only just turned 18 and are used to going down to your local Spoons with your mates as a night out. At first, you may expect pres to just be drinking and meeting new people. But in Exeter, we take the concept of pres to a whole different level. You have to be prepared to drink extremely strong squadka and be even more prepared to chug the middle cup in Ring of Fire (which makes me want to chun just thinking about it).

Of course, there is no pressure to drink if that’s not your thing, but the reality of pres can definitely exceed your expectations (perhaps in a bad way). With our early club entries beginning at 7:30pm and sometimes earlier if you go to Batty Bingo, you will get used to the early drinking times and find yourself drunk off Chekov by 6pm. There’s really no way of understanding Exeter pres.

5. Considerate housemates

Now this is one reality that most certainly slaps you in the face: Having clean, considerate housemates. Before uni, I really thought that everyone would be clean, mature and just always do their bit when it comes to cleaning the kitchen. I was very wrong. It seems like as soon as people come to uni, all of their knowledge of basic hygiene goes out the window. After one week at uni, your kitchen looks like a construction site with the amount of road signs and traffic cones your flatmates have stolen on their way home from Fever. With the ever growing mountain of rubbish in the corner, along with your flatmates mouldy mugs and unknown substances stained on the kitchen counters, you soon realise that a uni kitchen is a war zone. Although you expect everyone to follow the bin rota and simply clean up the kitchen after a hefty pres, the reality is that your flatmates will not do so. It’s very likely they don’t even know how to use a Henry Hoover.

6. Fresh starts

When you go to uni, you believe that it’s going to be a fresh, new start for you. You are about to meet loads of new people who don’t know anything about your past and your cringey, weird obsession with One Direction in year seven. You see uni as a blank slate where you can really “find” yourself and form a new identity. Although this can be the case for many students, nine times out of 10, you will still bump into people you went to school with. If you already know that there are going to be some people from your school going to the same uni as you, you believe that you will never see them. Next thing you know, you’re in the Forum on the way to your 9am seminar and they’re in the same class as you. It’s a small world after all.

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