I've come across a lot of people who think that university is a waste of time, and part of me can understand this, but I wanted to talk a little bit about why I'm glad I went to university. It's been responsible in a massive part for who and where I am today. That being said, the fees in the UK have tripled since I graduated so I can see why it just isn't always a viable option anymore. However, if you are thinking about it, these are the reasons why I'm glad I went to university.
1. Job Prospects
Ok, so this is the obvious one, the reason most people go and an important part of why I'm glad I went to university. But, unless you're studying something like medicine or teaching, how it's going to help your future career isn't always so clear. Well, I did history and now I work in publishing - in a job that I couldn't have got without my degree. A degree doesn't necessarily guarantee a better job, but a lot of employees do ask for you to have one.
2. The Benefits of Learning
I don't mean for this to sound preachy, so I'm going to say it as simply as I can. I love to learn and I think education is so important - so if you have the opportunity to carry on, go for it. It's not about the knowledge we acquire, it's about creating foundations and opening minds - two very important things if we want to live in a tolerant world.
3. 'Transferable Skills'
There it is! Those annoying words, transferable skills. But it's true - a lot of what you actually learn probably won't be that helpful, but the skills you learn will be. Writing, debating, researching - all valuable assets in the job market!
For me, university was the first time I had been somewhere where I didn't have a teacher reminding me that I had homework due in. We were given the essay due dates at the start of term and that was it. You remembered and did it in time (and well), or you didn't and you failed. Self-discipline is difficult but necessary.
5. Standing on Your Own Two Feet
It gave me a taste of what living on my own is really like. Only a small taste, remember; it is not the same as paying your bills out of the money you've spent all week earning. But it's invaluable practise for it and I would have found moving out so much harder if I hadn't done it for university already.
6. The Social Life
Had to have this one on there! Because the social aspect of uni is brilliant and as much a part of it as the learning. There's loads of opportunities to get involved, such as joining different societies and sports clubs, volunteering and, most importantly, making friends for life.
Finally, there's the confidence that going away and doing all this on your own gives you. Before, I was horribly shy. I still get that, but I'm more assertive and I've learnt ways to get past it. For me, that's the most valuable part of the entire experience and I wouldn't change it for anything.
So, that's me! I completely understand that university isn't right for everyone, but it was for me. What was your uni/college experience like?