Thursday, August 1, 2013
Millions of young adults dream of going to university, and thousands of them do each year throughout the UK. Due to friends, family and many parts of the media, university – no matter what institution you attend – adheres to a specific image, and it is that image, from partying to socialisation, which trumps the education part every time. If there was no social element to university, it is highly likely that application numbers would fall dramatically, and because of increased fees, some as much as £9,000 a year, higher education application figures have indeed slumped.
When it comes to university, one thing is for sure – it’s not for everyone. There are many elements of higher education that don’t appeal to people, with the financial burden topping the list. However it’s not all about money. Let’s take a look at some of the experiences you’re going to be facing at university, and see if moving away from home and starting a new educational and social chapter in your life is the right path for you.
One of the biggest commitments which turns people away from university is the staggering debt you’ll rack up. If you’re lucky enough to have your parents pay for your university education, then you’ll be in a very select group of young people leaving higher education without any debt. The vast majority of teenagers need loans to go to university, and although these loans are easily accessible, they will leave you in thousands of pounds in the red. Due to the increase in fees, with some universities charging the maximum £9,000 a year, you’ll be finishing higher education with a debt of just under £30,000. Some students even decide to do masters! If you’re not prepared for this debt, or being financially sound instead of having a degree appeals to you more, then university is not the place for you.
The Social Aspects of University
Another element of university that tends to scare potential students are the social commitments you have to make. Not everyone is good at making friends, and many people are simply naturally awkward in social situations. Sports team have a huge influx of people wanting to sign up in the first weeks of university, and if you’re not a sporty person or don’t enjoy group activities, you’re going to find it difficult to make friends at your campus.
University is all about trying new things, from playing sport to identifying with parts of your personality you’ve never seen before. Student accommodation with Urbanest will introduce you to living with other people, and if this doesn’t interest you that’s perfectly OK – however going to University might not be right option for you. Thankfully, there are online university courses you can take, which require little or no social interaction at all.
It is very important you don’t just head off to university for the social aspects. Higher education is about forwarding your learning, and at times university can be mentally straining. If you’re not prepared to work as hard as you play, you’ll quickly find yourself behind the rest of the class, and quite literally chucking your money away.
David is a former student that is looking to always pass on his higher education experience and advice to new students.