This is down to personal preferences and what you are looking to get from your experience at university. Think about what you would have liked to achieved by the end of your degree?
My personal reasons:
- To follow my dream career path (Commercial Solicitor), a degree is required.
- I was ready to move out of home and have a change of scenery.
If you are unsure of what career path you want to peruse, that is also fine! So many people go to university because they really enjoy a certain subject and want to see where it might take them.
Some of the reasons which also appealed to me:
- You gain a new sense of independence (if you move out)
- In 2/3 year when you live in a house, you will learn to take care of bills such as water, gas, electricity, wifi and TV license.
- You will make friends for life.
- You can explore a different area of the country that you would have never experienced in that depth before (if you move away)
- You can pick up new hobbies and join any society which you are interested in.
- Although I have listed reasons why you should go to university – you should also consider any alternatives available to you. These may include a gap year, getting a job or an apprenticeship. Many apprenticeships’s now offer a sponsored degree, where you are working and completing a (free) part time degree at the same time.
Are you self-motivated enough to go to University?
You need to be able to motivate yourself. I was told this time and time again when applying for university, but having finished my first year I couldn’t agree more.
At university, you will gain a new sense of independence, not only in the aspect that you can go out and do whatever you want without consulting your parents, but also academic independence.
Don’t want to turn up to lectures? seminars? Then don’t. No one is going to chase you asking where you were and threaten to call your parents. But the only real loser in that situation will be you.
As a law student, I don’t have many contact hours as it is – around 16 a week (contact hours are the number of hours you receive with the law school – either a lecture or seminar – so essentially teaching hours). Whilst at first this may seem sick, only 16 hours of school work. BUT, this doesn’t include all the hours you spend grafting away in your room doing the work.
Some subjects which require more contact hours – such as a science (from what I have seen at Exeter – may change elsewhere), means that although you have a lot timetabled in when you get home you hardly have any work to do.
FIRST YEAR GRADES MATTER
Regardless of what subject you do and even though they don’t count towards your overall degree. The only way you can be motivated is if you get this ridiculous thought out of your head.
This may be because I am a law student, so my first-year grades are definitely seen by my future employer. But if you are applying for a job or a scheme in your second year, all your employers will see is your first-year grades. Those grades are the only thing which shows your performance at university to date – so these grades definitely matter to them.
Forget employers, why is anyone going to spend £9,000 on a year at university (plus living costs) to not try their hardest?
During my first year, I was told by a society that I should be going to all their socials because first-year grades don’t count. Do not listen. Just because they do not count towards your overall agree does not mean you should dismiss them.
From my experience – first year counts for a lot. It is where you make your academic mistakes and create a solid learning foundation for the future years where the grades do add up.
Is University Financially Feasible?
With a student loan and a cheap accommodation – 100%. I’ve done it, so why can’t you?
I receive the full loan as my mum doesn’t earn a huge amount, and that loan covered every expense for the year – so I never had to ask my mum for money. I was also very lucky to receive the University of Exeter’s Academic Excellence Bursary for achieving AAA during my A-Levels.
More about how I cut costs with my accommodation at university here.