12 July 2013

Graduation: 17 Things I Learned As A Student

Today my four year gruelling-yet-highly-enjoyable chemistry degree comes to an end, and I graduate. Despite the stressful exam periods and touch-and-go exam results, I've had a blast and will look back fondly on my time at Newcastle University.

Of course, everyone knows that the actual course is only part of student life. While I'm sure that imparting my chemistry knowledge would mean very little to most of you (and I'd hope I've learned more than 17 things about chemistry over four years), I'm hoping that the following list of things I learned as a student will at the very least give you a chuckle, and at most educate you slightly about student life. Note, though, that my student life was pretty tame in comparison to that of some!
  1. If you enjoy a clean and organised home, you may find that you become a modern-day housekeeper.
  2. In this economy, just because you started applying for jobs in October, it doesn't mean that you'll be hired by the following June (though luckily I have now been hired!).
  3. If you leave your bed unattended while drunks are around, you might just return to find two of your friends have claimed it.
  4. Eggy Noodles is a delicious and legitimate meal. (Fry veg, cook noodles, throw in a pan with an egg and move around until egg is cooked. Bam. Done.)
  5. You may think you love a house, but when you leave you'll realise it was the people inside it that made it so special to you.
  6. You can go on a night out in the middle of winter, when the temperature is at most 3C, wear nothing but a skimpy dress and some stylish heels and not contract hypothermia.
  7.  If you don't know the lyrics to Journey's Don't Stop Believing, you certainly will by the end of your first semester.
  8. Almost every student house contains IKEA chairs, which are extremely uncomfortable.
  9. It's perfectly acceptable to have a shot of tequila before midday if you've just finished a set of gruelling exams. (Don't judge me - you weren't there! You didn't feel the crushing stress!)
  10. There are an endless number of uses for traffic cones.
  11. Jaegerbombs are a bad choice (especially when many are consumed in a short space of time - see below)
  12. My subconscious kicks in when my short-term memory fails - I very rarely black out or get ill after a night on the town, but when I do my actions tend to reflect thoughts I had days, if not months previously. Example: a few months back, I noted that my pedal bin could act as a sick bowl if worst came to worst; after an unusually heavy night out a few weeks ago my subconscious found this long-buried mental note and put it to use.
  13. Don't assume your housemates will eat cake. You will be left to slowly eat it all yourself over the following week - this is what happened for the majority of my final year until I learned to make smaller quantities (e.g. 6 cupcakes instead of 12, 10" cake instead of 12").
  14. Apparently 'milking' is a thing. (See also: Durham one-upmanship)
  15. Never mix rum with cream soda. Nice idea, but essentially it just tastes like slightly watered down rum.
  16. Tin openers are for quitters.
  17. It all goes by far too quickly - four years? What? More like four months!

This post was inspired by a post by Mel at Sharky Oven Gloves on things she learned at university.


  1. Congra(d)tulations! Hope you enjoy graduation as much as we did - it's definitely a day to savour after all the hard work!

    Don't expect the Ikea chairs to disappear any time soon though - you'll be stuck with them for a while longer when you start having to pay council tax!

    I've also now got Don't Stop Believing in my head (and yes, of course I know all the words...).

    1. Thanks, it's perfect weather for it. This is sad news about the ikea chairs - they're so uncomfortable!

  2. Congratulations on graduating! And on the job! I hope you thoroughly enjoyed graduation – sounds like you guys have been lucky with the weather.

    Housemates that don't eat cake is a grim state of affairs! I had a similar issue in undergrad, so would just take cake into the bottleshop.

    I have Don't Stop Believing stuck in my head now, too.

    1. Tell me about it! I ended up taking it into uni but iced cakes do not travel well.

  3. #9 yes, i agree. I finished my last class of undergrad at 3 pm on the second-to-last day of classes, and as soon as I got home, I took a shot and mixed a cocktail. Congratulations on graduating and getting a job offer!


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