Friday, 15 August 2014

ADVICE: 1 Year On - Is Going to University Worth It?





















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Last June I wrote this post tackling whether I thought going to university was worth it. Josh and I wrote the post together as we had differing opinions. I was literally a week out of uni still living with Josh in Coventry and facing the prospect of moving back home and being jobless, in all honesty I would have given anything to rewind time and gone through uni again just to relive the experience and not have to face the real adult world. However one year on my feelings on the subject of university have changed somewhat. Obviously the experience is different for everyone and for some university is a great pathway into a career they really want but for others it simply just doesn't work out and there's no shame in that but I wish I'd had the gift of foresight before deciding to go. 

I'll start off by saying I loved the university experience, I loved moving to a new city, living with Josh and through my course discovering a new hobby in blogging but that is probably what clouded my judgement when I wrote the original post last year. Now I'm back at home, living with parents and going through unemployment for the second time in one year I can safely say I could have got all the bits I loved about uni without actually going there, I could've took the time to find a job I enjoyed, hopefully still be working in a job I enjoyed, living with Josh and who knows that could've been in a new city too. I can't help but feel 4 years of my life has now passed me by and I'm no better off at 23 than I was at 19 when I decided to go to uni. 

In January I started a job I loved and it's a career path I hope to follow and advance in, however I don't even need a degree to do the job and sometimes I feel like being over educated is setting me back too given that I'm now unemployed again due to my contract expiring. I could've probably found my way into this career without uni and been a lot further along in it by now.

 It's fair to say Josh's opinions on university haven't changed since the last post so I thought I'd get another voice involved in the subject in the form of my best friend, Vicky, who graduated from university this summer with a degree in Surface Design for Fashion and Interiors and was lucky enough to land a graduate designer job. Given we went to different universities and did completely different courses it was interesting to hear what she had to say, "In a nutshell, no I don't think it is worth going to university especially with the rise is fees - I also realise that without going I wouldn't have got the job that I have. However this was largely due to my placement year, if I hadn't have done a placement I don't think I would have found it as easy to get a job as my course focused very little on actually working in industry, instead it focused more on being creative and as innovative as  possible in design, which isn't always great when trying to get a job because many employers like to know that you can be commercial. I also think that for the fees you pay there should be more in terms of funding and teaching - for example in my final year I had one taught lesson per week until the beginning of December and after that I only had ad hoc tutorials. I also spent approximately £1500 of my own money on my final major project, student finance does help but most people do not have a job at uni and so that is their only income."

In a nutshell if you're really not sure what you want to do I wouldn't recommend going to university. It's a great experience while you're there but in the long term you'll probably get more out of not going. There is no shame in deciding it's not for you. I made that decision 5 years ago I was just stupid enough to change my mind a year later in go to uni instead. You have to do what is best for you and if that's going to university than that's great if it's not then that is OK too. Don't rush into something that could end up limiting you (and costing a hell of a lot of money!)

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