Why I hate university

They don’t tell you this, but university life’s not always one big party. It can be fraught with emotional angst. From dissertation freak-outs and break ups to evil housemates, here’s how to deal with the darker side of uni.

boy who is sad at university

Not having the time of your life? You're not the only one.

I’m going to fail my degree

So you took procrastination to a whole new level and now an exam or dissertation deadline looms. Your response? PANIC. There’s no way you’ll get it all done in time – even if you pour coffee granules into your eyeballs and staplegun yourself to the library. What are you going to do? Flee the country? Or maybe just shove your head into that nice patch of sand over there and hope all the work will go away?


You need to face up to reality. Quickly. You can steer this back, you just need to take some decisive action.

  • Stop thinking it’s too late to save your degree. Break the inertia and meet your personal tutor. Talk through your concerns and create a revision/dissertation plan of action.
  • Consider changing course if you’re really unhappy. Ask yourself why you’ve not done any work? If you think you’d work harder if you enjoyed what you’re doing, it may be worth transferring.


I hate my university housemates

Whether you’re stuck in first-year halls with idiots or in a student houseshare, the fact of the matter is, if you live with people who ultimately suck it can have a knock-on effect on the rest of your uni life. If your digs have turned into a bitching nest, or you find you don’t have much in common with anyone and feel ‘different’ or left out, it can dent your self-esteem.


  • Widen your social circle so you’re not so dependent on your housemates. Join clubs and societies and fill up your spare time so you’re not in as much to fall prey to their nastiness.
  • Talk to someone about it – whether it’s someone back home or off your course. There’s no shame in admitting you’re not having the time of your life.


Shouldn’t I be having more sex at uni?

Whichever dance floor you’re on people are grinding. You’re given more free condoms than promotional drinks vouchers. And every other drinking game revolves around some sort of sexual exploit. And yet, you, personally, don’t seem to be having much sex. Well, any sex. Uni is about sex, right? So why is everyone else having it apart from you?


  • If you’re a virgin and think you’re therefore a scientific oddity – read our Only Virgin Left article to realise you’re not.
  • Don’t be desperate – people can smell it, even over your Snakebite breath. Chasing sex for sex’s sake is never going to endear you to anyone. Focus on being your own fabulous self and meeting other lovely people. Sex is more likely to come from confidence and respect, not a needy desire to swap fluids just because you think you’re supposed to.


I’ve just broken up with my boyfriend/girlfriend from back home

A broken heart is all encompassing. It’s a vortex that sucks anything else you care about into it – including your degree. Unfortunately, uni is prime heartbreak time. Everyone’s scattered about the country, all doing their own thing, needing to be selfish. Only the strongest relationships make it… everyone else has to somehow not let the emotional trauma screw up their university career.


  • In the midst of heartbreak? Read our article about mending a broken heart to help you through this rubbishest-of-all times.
  • Try and keep busy doing useful, degree-related things. Keep going to lectures and doing essays. Your ex may have stamped on your soul, don’t let them stamp on your future career too.
  • If it’s too much and you feel incapable of leaving your duvet nest of pain – chat to your GP about what’s going on. Book an appointment with your personal tutor, too, so you can chat through your options.


I’ve got too much spare time and I’m getting depressed

So you’ve got four hours contact time with an academic a week. The rest of your ‘degree’ is up to you. You think you’re supposed to be learning stuff in the library, but you’re not quite sure what. Instead you’ve developed nocturnal bedtime habits, waste hours watching TV you don’t even like, and have an existential crisis once a week. Everyone keeps telling you how lucky you are about your timetable. But, actually, you just feel… lost.


  • Book an appointment with your personal tutor and admit you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be doing. Remember you’re paying a LOT of money for this ‘education’, it’s your right to have a vague clue what’s going on.
  • Get into a routine and stick to it. Set your alarm for the same time each day. Work in the library so you’re less distracted by Neighbours. Add a few extra-curricular activities into your week to mix things up.
  • If you’re feeling really low, go talk to your GP about how you’re feeling. You don’t want to spiral into depression or anxiety.

Next Steps

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015

Photo of sad student by Shutterstock