Written by an Insight team member.
I used to get this question a lot before I moved to Leicester, are you going to university or uni? Let’s be honest; most of us (if not all) would have chosen uni. However, I guess I should be clear on the difference before you pick your answer. University is a traditional, dare I say boring, academic experience, whereas uni is a series of fun, spontaneous experiences. Upon hearing the question repeatedly, I began to worry about whether choosing between the two meant to pass or fail, not truly understanding it meant neither. The time you spend in university, specifically Leicester, is what you make it!
Sure, sometimes you may not attend a lecture because you know it’ll be a drag. But what’s stopping you from catching up with the lecture and still attending that party later that evening? Nothing. Why must it be one or the other, I started to question. I came to the realization that it was partially due to perception. You're more likely to spend time on what you perceive to be fun and time worthy. For example, in the past, I’d rather spend 2 hours doing my hair and makeup for an event than spend 2 hours on my tutorial work. But this changed when I started to make whatever I was doing fun, e.g., listening to music whilst working, taking regular breaks to snack, and talking to friends. Remember that university is a chance to grow into adulthood.
Keyword, grow. Meaning it is okay to make mistakes, but most importantly, learn from them. Nobody expects you to be perfect because nobody is perfect. Therefore, it’s okay for your answer to be both university and uni. The social and academic aspects make up your time in university. Living in Leicester means that the nightlife and the challenging academic environment (perhaps because I'm a law student) are constants. It’s possible to manage the two, however. Learning how to balance may take a while, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get there eventually.
So, once more, I encourage you to pick your answer freely, but not based on the fear of missing out on one or the other. They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but what are birthdays for exactly? Enjoy both university and uni because it’s worth it!