3 Things I’ll Miss About Uni That I Never Thought I Would

There are some things you just can't get in the big, bad world.

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

I’m in the last few weeks of my degree and while I should be terrified, I’m choosing not to think about exams, jobs and the property market. Instead, I’m reflecting on the things I’ll miss most about uni.

I’m not talking the obvious stuff like sausage sizzles, going to lectures in trackies or “being totally in charge of my schedule”. Those are fleeting in the grand scheme of things.

I’ll be missing the sort of abstract things that might just bring a smile to my face a few years down the line when I’m desk-jockeying from cubicle to cubicle.

#1 Long-Winded Stories From Mature-Aged Students

In the debate over whether mature-aged students are boring and out-of-place or just lovable goofs, I’m definitely on team goof. I love those guys. And sometimes, just sometimes, they can be your best friend in a boring tutorial.

We all know how much mature-agers like to leverage “their practical life experience” to retell what they consider to be a concise and highly relevant anecdote to (presumably) the great delight of both the tutor and the class at large. In practice, it rarely works out that way.

Luckily, a story from a mature-aged student takes almost exactly the average amount of time it takes someone to browse the social feeds on their phone. I’m going to miss the hypnotic lull of those completely irrelevant tangents someday soon.

#2 Imaginary Daydream Relationships

Almost every single semester, without fail, I develop an intense crush on someone in my class. This can either be romantic or platonic, but either way, I recognise it when I feel the ‘ole knotted stomach and clammy palms. I know what it means: this person looks like someone I’d really enjoy spending time with.

But how could you ask them to hang out in the first few weeks? What if they decline, and lectures and tutes become a tertiary form of hide and seek for the rest of sem? What if they accept, and things go awfully? This is a class you have to complete after all. So the weeks fly by, and you go from thinking, “I’ll say something to them after the mid-sem break” to “I’ll surprise them with conversation on the last day!”.

I’ve never really had the courage to say something – or anything – to these crushes. So instead, I spend the entire semester role-playing our brilliant relationship/friendship in my head. Although I’m sure I’ll continue this sort of daydreaming well into the workforce, I think I’ll find it less cute and more inept than I did in my uni days.

#3 The Exposure to Different Sorts of People

As my time at uni has begun to wind down, the pull of full-time employment has continued to grow. With that pull has also brought the bittersweet realisation that my favourite thing about uni has been the constant exposure to different types of people. An exposure which inherently specialised careers just don’t have.

I’m not saying I liked feigning interest whenever a Marxist socialist alternative first-year would try to bully me into going to a rally – but I liked that it happened.

Everyone is always at uni for their own personal reasons specific to them, so no two encounters with a fellow student is ever the same. Factor in the cross-pollination of different degrees and upbringings and you’ve got a feast of potential friendships and conversations virtually whenever you want.

It’s this sort of convenience and ease of friendship that I’ll achingly miss. Almost as much as my concession movie tickets.

Callum McDermott studies Arts at the University of Melbourne when he’s not drinking any coffee he can get his hands on.

(Lead image: Fresh Meat/Lime Pictures)