University was not a dream of mine, or something I had really thought about at all. And though I hate to admit it, I mainly went through pressure.
I graduated four years ago and I can’t help but feel regretful a lot of the time. I feel so behind many of my friends that chose to work full time instead of continuing to study. Though I worked 30+ hours alongside studying it was just a ‘job’. But that ‘job’ turned into a career and I’ve ended up in a position I don’t enjoy and I’m finding it hard to find what it is that I actually want. If I had worked for those three years, would I know? Would I have realised that what I was doing wasn’t what I wanted to do?
So why did I go? There are a few reasons.
- I was the eldest child and was somewhat pressured into going. My parents didn’t specifically tell me to go but neither of them had gone themselves and obviously they wanted me to do well so I was steered away from my idea of a gap year, let alone not studying at all.
- My partner at the time was a year ahead of me and a year into their studies and I didn’t want to get left behind.
- I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I thought killing time would help me decide.
- Friends were going to uni and again, I did not want to be ‘left behind’.
So in the end I found a course last minute and was accepted on to it with my O.K grades and the rest is history.
I didn’t study hard, I didn’t enjoy the classes, or the books we read, or the subjects we studied, I only made a few friends and the one I knew beforehand pretty much annoyed me the entire three years. I spent a tonne of money on travelling and hundreds of text books, and wore myself to the ground working on the side.
Did I get anything from it?
I’ve been on two graduate schemes since graduating and I’ve been asked this both times. It is a question I HATE to answer because my degree doesn’t define me, but yes. My degree was simply ‘English’ and I took side courses such as drama, theatre, and Spanish language classes. So I did gain various skills, such as time management, networking, general social skills with peers and teachers alike, and general written and spoken communicational and presenation skills.
(I also must add, I was accepted on to my first grad scheme before I even did my final exams, and neither ever asked me to prove I even had a degree or went to university at all and there were others on the course that had not been to uni!)
I didn’t move away as the Uni was reasonably close to home and I only attended one night out with uni peers the entire three years because I worked every night Wednesday-Saturday. Would it have been different if I hadn’t? Who knows.
But yes, I regret it.
All of the things listed above that I learned, I could have developed through working, whilst also establishing myself somewhere, finding where I was meant to be in the working world and earning some decent money.
And yet here I am, 25 years old, living at home with my parents because I don’t know where I want to live, struggling to find what I want to do and generally feeling pretty worthless with a huge sense of a lack of achievement. A lot of people congratulate me for being in Management roles since age 21 and I’m not saying at all that I don’t think that’s great, but when you don’t feel fulfilled by your job, it can be hard to feel positively about the position you’re in, whatever that may be.
Well that got deep…
Would I suggest you do not go to University?
No. That is always up to the individual, but make sure it is your decision and be sure to know why you are going and what you want from the 3-5 years. Why will it help you get to where you want to be? If you have a specific career path in mind and a degree will help you shoot up the ladder then by all means, use that resource. But really consider why it is important or necessary for YOU.
Let me know how you feel about going (or not) to university below and as always if you can spare a few pounds feel free to buy me a coffee but clicking the image below 🙂