One of the most difficult times of your teenage existence occurs when you are 17/18 years old, in the last year of school. A-Level year is hard enough as it is, with stress being paramount, but the hardest decisions I had to make during my own A-levels solely focused around university. Did I really want to go and if I did want to go, where did I want to go? What did I want to study and where would that take me career wise? It was tough, and I bounced around a tone before I found my calling. To make matters more complicated everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has an opinion. They all have their own experiences to talk about and influence them. The most important thing the remember is to not let it influence you. Your life after school is completely your life, which can be easy to forget. When making these decisions you have to really sit down and think, what do I want? Hopefully, we can offer you a little advice:
Is going to University my choice?
The first thing to think about, is whether you really want to go on to university at all or whether you are being pressured into it. If your parents, or even worse your grandparents, are insisting that you must go, somethings wrong. Its easy to sit back in life and do as your told but University is a big, not to mention expensive, step. If you know that you’re only going because it is expected of you, then more likely than not, you probably don’t want to go. Yes, you might still want to go to university, but you might not want to study the course that they want you to do. In this case maybe you need to re-evaluate.
I know that when I came around to choosing university, it was expected of me. All of my grandparents are very erudite and can put a lot of pressure on me in order to get me to be successful. But I knew that after school, I wanted to do something that I wanted to do. It took me a long time to realise that what I wanted to do and what my family wanted me to do, were two separate things. Once I realised this, everything became much more manageable.
Why do I want to go?
If you are soundly decided on university, make sure that it is University that you’re interested in, not just the university or student lifestyle. Though uni is commonly associated with late nights, heavy drinking and uncontrollable parties, this is only part of the experience. If this is the only reason you want to go, then University might not be for you. Yes, students do typically love to go out to clubs and leaving the control of your parents can result in many forgotten nights, but going to university purely for this reason might be a mistake. What you want is the student lifestyle, not the student life.
Being a student at university may come with the amazing times at clubs with your friends, but it also comes with long nights in the library and assignments. It should always be remembered that going to university involves the study as well as the part and £9,000+ is a lot of money for some parties.
Do I need to go? Do I want to go?
University is often seen as a necessity to get a job, but recently this is less and less true. If the only reason which you are going to university is to get a job and start paying your own way, then consider other options. University is not for everyone and it doesn’t guarantee you a job when you leave. Other possible options include work experience, apprenticeships and volunteering, all which pave the way for future jobs. If you did some work experience during senior school which you really enjoyed, get back in contact with them. Maybe someone in your family has a contact in a field you’re interested in, who you could meet. Remember if you’re not going to be happy at university then there are other ways.
Likewise, if you don’t know what you want to do in the real world just yet, that’s okay. I didn’t figure out my career dreams until a month after my 1st year exams. If you know that you really want to go to university and you have found the perfect course, go for it. You will figure it out. It may take some time and it may be hard, but it will be worth it. At the end of the day, you will leave with a degree, some good contacts and some amazing memories.
Whatever you decide, choosing whether to go to university is completely your choice. If you have any questions or have any ideas of what you want to see, please comment down below or send us a message.