As my third year is coming to a close, and my procrastination levels are hitting new highs (or lows), I decided to ask around some friends, siblings friends, cousins, mates uncles, dogs… you get the picture… about their regrets in uni and what they would tell students who still have time left (sounds awful serious, doesn’t it?). The answers aren’t what you might think.

1. Take pictures of everything and back everything up

One thing that genuinely kills me, is that I lost all my rank photos that I didn’t want to be on Facebook - the hangover days, the disgusting drunk photos where we all look vile, the videos of us all falling over and laughing - I’m gutted I’ve lost them all and I would say to everyone to snap everything and save everything!” - Anna 

2. Don’t lose touch with your friends from home

I muted our WhatsApp chats and missed out on weekend get-togethers and, guess what? I’d go back on holidays and realised I’d missed out on so much. The sad thing is, our friendship has never quite recovered because everyone else made effort apart from me” - Sophie

3. Make a list of stuff you want to do as a group and do it

That restaurant that you all liked the look of? Book it. That route you saw people walking that looked fun? Get your trainers. The hangover days on the sofa all merge into one but those days that you went out and explored? They’re the ones you remember” - Sally

4. You are not too busy 

My friends and I were forever “too busy” - too busy to get a job, to take on an extra society, too busy for the gym - you name it. We really weren’t, we spent near enough eight hours on the sofa each night. I definitely think you should enjoy the down time but if there’s stuff you want to be doing, then you should find the time” - Dan

5. Health

I think maintaining your health in uni is massively underrated and it’s something that, in hindsight, I wish I’d prioritised more. I put on three stone between starting uni and starting my third year and it’s so hard to shift it, I wish I could go back and tell myself to sort it out!” - James

6. Stop comparing yourself 

From your flatmate who seems to have more mates than you to the person on your course who seems to nail every assignment - comparing yourself to them isn’t going to achieve anything. It’s wasted energy and I wish I’d focused on why I was comparing myself to them, and figuring that out, rather than constantly comparing myself to them which made me feel worse” - Katie 

7. Reputation

I acted like a drunken idiot, slept around, picked fights, cheated on girlfriends: you name it. I thought I was an ultra uni and rugby LAD and I physically cringe thinking back at some stuff I did. I looked like a fucking idiot and people still bring up stuff I did… almost five years later when I’m a completely different person. These things don’t just go away and I’d tell you to sort it out now to save yourself the apologies - now and later” - Samuel

8. Managing relationships 

I met my boyfriend in my second year and even though my uni life continued to be amazing, it wasn’t as fun. That was because my desire to go out four times a week became a desire to see him - totally natural but I should have found a better balance” - Alice

9. Get work experience

Sorry if this is boring but honestly, get work experience. I got some inheritance just before uni which killed any desire to get a job and I kept putting off getting work experience. When it came to writing my CV and applying for graduate schemes in my third year, I had a complete blank. Do everything and anything - paid or unpaid - and just show that you’ve got a hell of a work ethic and a drive to do your best. I now work in graduate recruitment and see the value in this more than ever” - Max

10. Don’t try to be a crowd pleaser

I still see it now but don’t make a dick out of yourself to try and make people laugh. Don’t tell unnecessarily crude stories to people you don’t know, get so drunk that you puke out of your nose in front of a club queue, or take the piss out of random people as they walk past. People won’t be laughing with you, they’ll be laughing at you” - Connor 

12. Love every single minute 

Honestly, just embrace every single minute of it - even when your bank account is crying, when your hangover feels like internal damage and when your landlord is being a dick. Say yes to everything, even when you cannot be arsed, and embrace every sweet minute of student life” - Charlotte 

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Written by Tom Peters, 8 months ago