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University Life in Belfast: Expectation Vs Reality

Joining university can be quite a daunting experience especially if you don’t know anyone who’s doing your course. Georgia has some tips on how to find your squad.

Georgia and friend on a big deck chair
Georgia and a friend on a big deck chair in front of the Lanyon

My Course

I applied for my course with all intentions of going into a Marketing/Social Media Marketing graduate job role. The reality was that this course is quite broad and teaches you a wide range of sectors within the business industry including; Accounting, Economics, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Operations Management, Consulting and Business Start-ups!

Through doing this course I have definitely heightened my love for Marketing but I have also found a love for accounting and organisational behaviour.

Zoom screen on a laptop and a mug
It can be harder to make friends when classes are online

Student life

My expectations of university life is very different to the reality! I expected university to have an easy flow to it as you see in the movies but in reality it is hard work! Deadlines can creep up so quickly on you and before you know it semester one is over!

I find the fact that the weeks are called “Week 1”, “Week 2” and so on, it makes time go far quicker, it’ll feel like 1 week has passed and you’re suddenly into Week 8 and 9 and prepping for your end of semester assignment deadlines and exams!

This isn’t anything to worry about, you just need to stay on top of everything and do things bit by bit so they don’t pile up on each other! I find making to-do lists at the beginning of each week helps me stay on top of what I want to complete that week. This helps me overall when deadlines are approaching to prioritise my work load.

Georgia and friend in library
Georgia and her friend in the library

Making friends

Another expectation I had was that university would be very like school where you have many friend groups but this wasn’t the reality for me! I have found it so far quite difficult to make friends in my course mostly due to online learning with the pandemic.

I have a small group of friends but I don’t know many people on my course. I hope in September with in person learning coming back to make more friends and meet new people each week as there is plenty of activities to take part in on campus to do this!

Overall, my expectations of university life were completely different to how it actually is. Yes, some people party a lot and go on lots of nights out but there is the other side to university. This includes the late night library sessions to meet deadlines, doing online exams and cramming last minute revision notes in and the lunch trips in between lectures and the new friends and experiences you get to experience!

I’ve enjoyed my three years at Queen's so far and I’m really nervous and excited to see what my fourth and final year has in-store for me come September!

Find out more

BSc Business Management

Clubs and Societies

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Georgia Thornton-Smith

BSc Business Management | Undergraduate Student | Belfast, UK

I am a 21 year-old from Belfast and I’m currently in my third year at QUB on placement with ICC Belfast. I have acquired Degree Plus from my work with the Management Society at Queen’s and my work with the Pathway Opportunity Programme. When I was completing my A-Levels I was a Pathway student myself and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It helped me get my place at Queen’s University! I have many interests which include going to the cinema and travelling. I’m trying to get as many city breaks in this year as possible, before returning to university for my final year in September 2022.

Georgia Thornton-Smith