Going to university can be quite daunting. It can be tough but it can also be very rewarding. I will be going into my third year come September and there are definitely things that I have loved, but also things that I have found challenging. Here I am to tell you about the pros and cons of going to university.
People always say that the best way to learn is by doing something, and that same rule applies to going away from home. It’s scary, but it’s also a massive learning curve. You learn to become independent and keep yourself afloat. It’s a great start to living in the ‘real world’ and has a softer approach than having only your own money to fall back on. At university there’s people around you, and you all help each other out once in a while. It’s a great place to gain those vital life skills and experience things that you couldn’t at home.
A major pro is obviously that you get a degree out of it! Firstly, you get to study something that hopefully you’ll really enjoy, despite all the hard work that comes along with it. I personally have really enjoyed studying Creative Writing because I have been able to write my own things, be my own person and also experiment with different genres. It’s great to have options, and a degree can be so flexible now-a-days, hence how I am studying both Creative Writing and Journalism. Secondly, you become more employable. I know that lots of people have left university and haven’t been able to use their degree, but if there’s a subject that has a lot of career opportunities, having a degree will push you up that long list of people also wanting the same job as you.
University is full of different cultures and ultimately, people from all over the world. On my course there seems to be a lot of people from Norway, which is great because you get to meet different types of people and learn things from them. If I’m being honest, I’m not particularly an active social person but I know that if I wanted to, there’s a whole bunch of opportunities waiting for me to meet other people. Hopefully for lots of people, university is a place to make friends for life.
If you decide to go to a far off university and live in the area, it’s difficult to have to leave home for the first time and go to somewhere that is most likely completely alien to you. I remember when my mum and my step dad took me to halls of residence and having to say goodbye was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. To see her cry and not want to leave me made me want to jump back in the car and go home with them again. However, the first year is always the worst and over time it gets better. I guess it also depends on how close you are to your family but for me, leaving home was difficult. Of course, I like having my own space here now but I still get a little home-sick and wish I could go back to see my family every weekend.
That’s right, you guessed it! Money, money, money. It’s a problem. Everything is expensive. Well, it is in London where I am anyway. Being a student means having to be mindful of money and I know many people who use it all up on partying. However, not me! Luckily I’m good with money (most of the time!) and only spend on the things I need. If there’s something in particular I want to buy for myself, I make sure that I can afford it or wait until I can. Although, now I have a job which means that it’s that bit easier to afford things. Keep in mind that £10 here and there adds up and before you realise, your bank account reads empty.
What do I mean by ‘worth’? Well, if you consider that an average degree for a UK student costs £9,000 a year, something I constantly ask myself is: is it worth it? For me, I’ve come to realise that although I’m enjoying studying Creative Writing with Journalism, I don’t understand what I’m paying for. In my final year, I will have a maximum of 8 hours per week (£76 per lecture) in university, which to me doesn’t seem like much at all. I have met people who have pretty full weeks, so it depends upon the course and the university itself. To me, it’s a major con that I don’t have much contact time and am supposed to be more ‘independent’. That just feels like an excuse.
If you’re wondering whether to go to university, make your own pros and cons list. Check out other opportunities to see if there’s something more suitable for you. I promise you it’s a proud day when you receive results and get into the university you’ve been waiting for. And, so I’ve heard, graduation is pretty good too.