Sunday, 21 February 2016

Why University Isn't For Everyone

As I write this, I'm sat in my bedroom here at university, bored out of my mind and trying to occupy myself in the long hours between done-with-work-for-the-night and acceptable-time-to-get-into-bed.
I'm currently in my second year of university studying English Literature, and while I know that I made the right decision in coming to uni, I also know that it's not for everyone.

I've gone back and forth about whether I want to be here, and I've considered dropping out more often then I would care to admit. Ultimately, the only one who can decide whether university is the right option, is you. But nevertheless, here's five reasons why university isn't for everyone:

1) It's expensive
No one can deny that university is damn expensive, particularly here in the UK. The current cost of a year's tuition is anywhere between £8500 and £9000. Plus, on top of that, the majority of students apply for a maintenance loan in order to pay for basic living costs: food, rent, bills, etc. All of this money has to be paid back at the end of the degree. Some students used to be able to get 'free' money in terms of a maintenance grant that doesn't have to be paid back, however this scheme has recently been scrapped by the UK government. The result of this is that fewer and fewer students are going to be able to afford to go to university in the first place.

2) Being away from home is hard
This is obviously going to effect some people more than others, but being away from home is really hard. Particularly if university is the first time that you're living away from home, which it probably will be for the majority of people. But remember, everyone will be in the same situation you are, your family is only a phone or Skype call away, and you will not be at university forever. The situation is only temporary, and there are always ways to make yourself feel better.

3) Independent study involves a lot of commitment
Studying at university is very different from being in school. There is no one breathing down your neck to do your work, no one will nag you to take notes in lectures, and there will be no teacher to keep reminding you that your deadlines are coming up. If you forget to set your alarm and oversleep, there's no one to blame for that but you. With a little bit of organisation however, this really won't be too much of an issue.

4) The pressures of student living
Again, this depends on the type of person you are, but as someone who doesn't really drink, the pressure to get completely trashed is extremely high. If this is the type of person you are, then no problem, but if it's not, just remember you don't have to do anything you don't want to do - including downing the dirty pint in the centre of your ring of fire. If nothing else, I promise you this: you will make friends with like-minded people and you'll get on just fine.

5) Sometimes it literally isn't the right choice
Depending on the job you want to do, university might not even be the right answer for you at all. There are many other options besides university, and unless you definitely know what you want to study or that you need the degree for the job you want to do, it's probably not worth the money.

As I said earlier, the only person that can make the decision about whether university is right for you or not is you. If you do decide to go, I promise you'll have a good time. And if you don't, then that's fine too.

What are your experiences at university?

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