Ah, September. Here we are again. Back to school, back to winter coats and covering up, back to life. It’s time to dust off your text books and get back to all those horrible responsibilities.
At the start of this month, I began my very first full time job, as a digital marketing apprentice in a local company. So that was a thing that happened for me. It’s a bit of a wake up call, to suddenly be getting up every day to work (actually 7 days a week until I finish at Primark, more on that in another post), but it’s been good. So far.
However, for some, this new academic year brings even scarier connotations than meetings or homework. It brings on the beginning of the end (ish). Some of you, possibly, will be applying for University.
Throughout the last year I wrote multiple posts on my own journey through applying to Uni, and my consequent decision not to go. But I never actually addressed the rest of my peers who were probably freaking out just as much as me. So, I’m going to be starting a new series of posts, from about now until January (when the UCAS application deadlines hit) with some tips and tricks to getting through this difficult time with the least amount of freaking out as possible. Consider me to be your UCAS fairy godmother. But instead of a wand and the ability to fly, I’ve got… um… my experience, really. And uh, that’s about it. Sorry.
So, to begin this little series, I thought I’d address probably (I mean definitely) the most important question to ask yourself when you’re in your final year of school (or, even at any stage of your life really. It’s never ever too late to get an education): do I want to go to university?
For many, it’s a hard and fast yes or no. For most of my life, everyone just assumed my answer would be yes. I would absolutely be going to uni. Why wouldn’t I? I was clever, never had bad grades, never been a troublemaker, and came from a home that encouraged getting as much education and experience as possible. But, obviously, these factors eventually didn’t add up to that outcome. And you don’t have to have all, or any, of those criteria to want to go to university. It is completely up to you, at all stages. It’s your future. You are the only one who can decide whether or not this is right for you.
So some factors to keep in mind when making this decision are, I suppose:
- What are your future aspirations? What’s your dream job? Do you need a degree to pursue this?
- Would you be comfortable moving away from home and potentially living alone? (Obviously this doesn’t apply to all uni situations, but most)
- Are you sick of education? Would you be able to handle the workload that a degree holds?
- Are you prepared to take out loans?
- Are you prepared to put off full time work for another 3-4 years?
And, I suppose, the overwhelming question: Do you actually want to go to uni? If your immediate reaction is to run screaming from the concept of further education, or run with your arms out towards it, then you probably already know your answer. However, my advice for those having to consider this option would be to not trust your initial instincts, and don’t take this as absolute law. Have a good think about it. Is there a way you could get to where you want to go, without forking out thousands in tuition fees? Or is there a possibility that you could learn a bit more about the sector you want to go into, while having more independence and fun in the meantime?
I’ll end this first post in this series on this note: take your time considering the decision of university, as you never know what could be the right path for you, even if it isn’t what you’d initially expect of yourself. And if you really can’t decide, there’s always a next time.
Thanks for reading, guys, til next time,