Is University Still Worth It?

Here's Our Advice Now You're About to Start University

The absolute definitive guide on how to have a smashing time in your first term.

by VICE Staff
26 September 2016, 11:20am

Photo by Jake Lewis

It's official: you're fucking off! You tried quite hard and your results were fair to middling and now you're going to university, the promised land. Finally you'll get that haircut your narc mate said wouldn't look good, start a personal catchphrase by repeating something inane over and over until you're that guy and get really into the idea of utopian socialism.

No doubt parents and teachers are inundating you with advice but honestly what do they know that a bunch of stunted 20-somethings can't tell you better? We've been there, made the crushing mistakes, realised what we wish we'd known from the very beginning. After much consideration, we've come up with solid facts to take into your freshers weeks with you. Guidance you'd be a mug not to follow. Arm yourself well. In VICE, trust.


Look forward to Skyping him every day having mundane conversations with a pokey halls room as the backdrop. Look forward to actively cutting yourself off from the fun everyone else is having. Look forward to one really nice weekend a month, max, and being miserable the rest of the time.

If there is any part of you that thinks going out and getting to screw other people with abandon would be fun – however small that part – dump your boyfriend. If there is a part of you that finally wants to experiment in same-sex relations without the judgement of your vaguely homophobic judgemental year group, dump your boyfriend. If there is a part of you that stays up at night wondering, surely sex lasts longer than 30 seconds sometimes, dump your boyfriend. If there is a part of you wondering whether having a boyfriend is going to detract from you being a happy engaged person in your first year, then god speed, dump your boyfriend because you are correct. Dump him. Go with the uncertainty in your gut.

If, for whatever reason, you take my advice and regret it, I'll personally apologise. But I believe deep in my core that you and your unshackled soul and truly present mind will be thanking me profusely come this time next year. Thanking me for the time and tears saved, the sex you've had or the half decent person you've managed to meet outside of the bubble of home. Because, unsurprisingly, the fact there are more people to choose from, means there are more people likely to be all right.

I'm not saying all the above happened to me but basically don't be me. Fuck's sake, don't be me. - HANNAH EWENS


He plays the guitar, he quotes Kerouac, he's just got back from Boomtown, he's getting into photography, his mum barely speaks to you, he wears harem pants, he went travelling without you, he couldn't cook an omelette even if you cracked the eggs for him, he thinks Fight Club is "mind-blowingly awesome", he says he supports Juventus but you're not sure he's ever sat through an entire game, he regularly shares stories from the Canary and he's never given you an orgasm. Dump your boyfriend. - ANGUS HARRISON


Hey! It's okay. I know you like them and I'm sure they are really nice. It's nearly a year, you've been together, isn't it, holding hands in the sixth form common room, thinking about their fringe a lot, filling shoeboxes full of memorable crap and love notes and shoving them under your bed, nervously, breathlessly deflowering each other: but also dump them. Dump them! Dump them. Dump them! They are going to dump you in six months anyway, after a shit Christmas break where it's really clear that they shagged someone from their course in Lancaster and you – you who stayed in every night during Fresher's Week to Facetime them, stopped really making friends on day one, just sort of focussed on your coursework, with nothing else to do, coursework and Netflix, really, and e-mailing them, staying loyal, staying true, not making friends because who needs them, eh, you've already both discussed your future dog's names and the names of your future babies (a boy and a girl), you won't need these fancy uni friends when you're happily married to your first ever boyfriend at 21 – you did not, and you spent £120 you don't really have on getting them the perfect Christmas present and they got you a card, and yeah: listen, sorry, it's over. Dump them. Dump them now. Every second you spend not dumping them right now is going to be worth about 12 hours of flinching at yourself at how dumb you were in about five years' time, so every minute is a month, et cetera et cetera, you will regret this, WhatsApp them now, I know it hurts but you must do it, kill the beloved childhood dog that is your relationship, kill it with a spade, kill it with a gunshot, kill it somehow but kill it, dead, forever, please. - JOEL GOLBY


Going to university is exciting and terrifying in equal measure. The people you'll meet! The things you'll learn! The irresponsibly cheap fluorescent drinks you'll violently and repeatedly throw up in the sink in your room! You might be thinking that the perfect person to accompany you as you traverse such unfamiliar waters is your loyal, kind sixth form boyfriend. He knows you better than everyone, right? Long distance relationships don't always fail, right?! You'll totally survive uni, right?!?

Wrong! You'll spend your whole first year on FaceTime as yer bf gets ready to go out on the lash with the rest of the rugby ladz or missing lectures to go visit him. Your travel expenses will be extortionate. Your new friends will get really fucking bored of hearing you talk about how you miss him. You will literally never get laid.

Don't be these people. Dump your boyfriend, mate. - EMILY REYNOLDS


As a man who has been dumped by a woman who wants to go it alone and drown herself in Strongbow at the student union bar, I feel appropriately experienced enough in this field to pass comment. It is important that you, the young man or woman in the prime of your life, jump out of the moving car that is your totally pointless and facile teen relationship and let it roll into the lamppost of life with a sickening thud. Sure, your boyfriend will cry a lot. Sure, he won't eat for a bit and not go outside – but it's fine because really you're giving him an experience that he needs to have. He needs to feel this now because it's something that he will feel time and time again. You're doing him a favour by destroying his life. And it means you don't have to stand in the smoking area of some house night texting him exactly how many rainbow shots you have and reeling off a list of all your male friends that are in attendance and how fit you think they are. Do the right thing. - JOE BISH


Free, at last, from the relentless and judgemental eyes of your parents, you will start making a lot of objectively Bad decisions. You will go a Tribe of Frog night, almost die after being spiked with brown acid, and file it under "standard Wednesday night". You'll develop an unhealthy performative interest in 60s sexploitation films, shave a bit off your head, and absolutely, 100 percent, without a shadow of a doubt, take full advantage of the fact that university is a veritable zoo of ds. Sure, the majority of them will be terrible. Awful specimens of nature that you will spend the next ten years trying to erase from your memory. But there might be one that's alright. Maybe. Possibly. Anyway, what you definitely don't want to do is actively avoid the d because you have a d back home you met when you were 16 and assumed you'd spend the rest of your life with. That's probably not going to happen. After experiencing a percentile of the world outside your postcode, you'll both cheat on each other or the whole thing will collapse under the weight of resentment. The last thing you need during the most responsibility-free years of your live is a reason not to do things. People included. Dump your boyfriend. - EMMA GARLAND


You've got your little cutlery set and a heart frothing over with expectation. More than at any other time in life the world is yours for the taking. Seize every moment. Take every chance. Experiment by pairing bold patterns with vibrant colours and dancing in the rain. Watch French films. Read French books. Pretend to be French. Have cereal for every meal of the day if you feel like it. Frosted fucking Shreddies! Try meditation once and donate all your shoes to charity. Take up smoking and barbiturates and gradually move into IV stuff. Shape your future and never forget where you came from and dump your fucking no mark piece of shit boyfriend. - ALEX HORNE


You ever wish you could start your whole life over as a new person? Daydreamed of new experiences, of forging lifelong friendships with interesting, handsome people who will actually take your manuscript for a play about young-adult ennui seriously, for once? "Jemima, 30, life coach, traveller, web influencer", you think, looking at the noodles in your cupboard. Unfortunately, there's no way of breaking up with yourself and becoming, once and for all, the Jemima you know you are, deep down. You are stuck in this whirlwind that is being alive in your own slightly oily skin for the rest of your life. However, one thing you can do is break up with your boyfriend. So why shouldn't you? I mean chances are for taking, right? What kind of life coach and web influencer are you truly if you can't even break up with your own boyfriend, who you kind of like and have fun being around? If anything, you breaking up with him might make him become one of those people who does end up writing a play about young adult ennui. Think of you breaking up with him as a chance to force-life-coach him into making art out of his misery. Maybe you reluctantly breaking up with your boyfriend before going to university will help him achieve his inner Jemima. Maybe. - BIJU BELINKY

More great freshers stuff:

Here's Everyone You're Going to Meet At Freshers

I Relived My Freshers To See If Students Have Changed

A Big Night Out...At a Freshers Event

Freshers Week
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dump your boyfriend