Hi! So it's Wednesday which means we are halfway through the week!
I've decided to post about something a little bit different today, I've been thinking about writing something along these lines for a while now as I really want to talk about it and I hope it may help other people out there who were/are in the same position as me. And that topic is University. Just to state these are my own opinions about this matter.
As you may know I made the decision to not apply for uni which was quite hard for me as I didn't get a lot of support from teachers at school or even from friends of mine. I think a lot of my teachers thought I was being too lazy and 'couldn't be bothered' to apply or carry on with education. But that couldn't be further from the truth. I remember thinking when I was about 14 that I'd finish my gcse's go on to do a levels and of course, like natural progression go on to do a degree thus leading to a better job in the future. Back then I felt that was the right thing and the only thing to do.
When I was in my first year of doing a levels, so midway through my AS's we spoke to our form tutors about what we wanted to do in life, I was expecting a lot of people to not really know what they wanted, like me, but most of them seemed to have some sort of career plan in mind. At the time my favourite subject was media so I told my tutor I wanted to do that.
As much as I'd love to go in to detail about this I can't as I'm not that sure what it's all about but a year or so ago the cost of degrees in England rose dramatically. With this in the back of mind I thought whether a media studies degree would be the best idea, especially if there was no actual guarantee for a job at the end.
Around March 2012 we went to a career's fair and 99% of the stands there were university's and the rest were for gap years. I was still quite unsure about the prospect of uni but as all my peers were excitedly planning their next steps, I picked up about 30, big and heavy, prospectuses for media degrees. The coach ride home they were all buzzing around saying how the uni they want to go to has amazing accommodation or is really close to the beach. All I wanted to do was finish scoffing the packet of Rolos and listen to the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack I had on repeat. In hindsight I should have seen this as a massive chocolatey sign.
The influx of personal statement drafts, Ucas talk with teachers and questions from teachers and classmates about what I want to do and whereabouts I want to do grew tiring. I had arranged to take a day out of sixth form and had booked a visit to London Met uni open day for media and film studies. I woke up a few days before and the middle of the night and saw the London Med prospectus with three dvd cases plonked on top and a half nibbled snickers bar lead on top of it, when I realised this really is not for me.
I told my parents that we wouldn't be going to the open day and thanfully they were fully supportive of my decision. In hindsight it would have been crazy for me to even consider spending £9,000 a year on a course that I didn't want to do wholeheartedly and also wouldn't guarantee a career.
Some people I told weren't as supportive unfortunately. When people going to uni would ask what I was going to do, and I'd tell them I'd work, I'd be faced with a blank expression on their face as seemed confused by my decision. Don't get me wrong I think it's great that some of my friends are at uni and furthering themselves. Or have gone to get into the career path they really want to do. At sixth form I didn't get much support for my decision either, when it was near exam time a lot of people said to me it didn't matter whether I did badly as it won't be going towards anything whereas they need certain grades. And certain teachers didn't offer as much help to those who weren't going as they who were. There was so much help set up for those going to uni, most lunch periods teachers would give up their time to help people write personal statements, discuss grades or uni choices whereas those who didn't know what to do got nothing.
It's weird as I don't think the prospect of such a high debt hasn't put many people off at all. A lot of people I know have gone as they feel it's an easy option for example ( I won't mention names) Let's call one *Kelly and the other *Annie.
*Kelly said to me that she applied for uni as her mum wanted all of her children to go. She even said several times drunkenly that she really didn't want to leave. I don't know whether this is *Kelly's fault for not telling her mum that she didn't want to chase her dream or the mum's fault for being kinda controlling.
And then there's *Annie. No word of a lie she said she applied to uni as she didn't really know what else to do and thought whilst there she didn't have to think about what to do after. Even though she's at uni now and we've spoken and I can say she has got a cracking social life, is it really worth £30,000 in the long run?
Also both *Kelly and *Annie have tried to persuade me to go to uni as they think I would have a great time socially and would enjoy my own freedom. Which I get 200% I am quite jealous of them all in a way that they've moved somewhere new, met new people and experienced new things whilst gaining independence. When I said I didn't want to live my life with a big debt *Annie said 'You only have to start paying it back if you make more than £21,000 a year!'. Which made think 1) So much for getting a great job after uni if you don't want to earn more than that. 2) I want to earn more than that *Annie!! I'm not gonna lie, I am very materialistic. I want to have a good job, a nice car, a nice big house, a chanel handbag and regular holidays abroad. (A girl can dream, right?)
I feel that in schools they don't offer any other options apart from going to the obvious choice of university. With so many other, cheaper, choices out there I want to make it known for those who were in my position and not to panic or fret or to feel embarrassed about their life choices. There are so many apprenticeships you could go into, college courses, jobs, jobs with training or even save and go on a gap year.
I would suggest to really think about it before you make a decision, talk it through with your family or friends or even a teacher you trust. Or write a pro's and con's list if that helps.
It'll take time to figure out what you want to do, I still don't quite know. I have a lot of pipe dreams of travelling the world, becoming a full time blogger, becoming thor..I mean um working in retail or even owning my own sweet shop and becoming Willy Wonka 2.0.
Thanks for reading. Love, a x