University, as a concept, is fantastic. Learning social, academic and extra-curricular skills definitely helps to round you as person, and in my opinion, it is a great way to get your first understanding of independence. However, you also leave with £9000 x number of years at uni worth of debt, as well as (often) a decrease in any savings you’d built up over your lifetime. There’s definitely positives and negatives of university, but in what could be a soon changing system, is it truly worth it?
Let’s start with something more positive. I can’t think of another time where you will have the same amount of freedom as you do at university. If you want your chance to get away from any home restrictions, then university is a great place to go. You have to have self-discipline if you want to get the most out of it, but it is also a great place to enjoy yourself without fear of breaking rules that might’ve been in place at home. That being said, you have to be able to motivate yourself and push yourself to do as well as possible, otherwise you’re never going to gain all the benefits from uni, bringing me to my next point.
Within the first year of uni, lacking motivation doesn’t seem like the end of the world. You’re enjoying yourself, your liver doesn’t like you but you only need a minimum of 40%, so who cares right? Well, as you move on throughout your university career, the work gets harder (shock), motivating yourself can get harder, and moving from a year of fun to a year of harder work can hit you quite hard. Check out my post on “The Second Year Slump” for a better look of how the change from one year to another can hit you:
If you don’t think you’re going to be able to motivate yourself throughout your time at uni, it probably isn’t worth it.
The whole concept of university, in my opinion, is outdated. Many people I have spoken to, including myself, think lectures are a waste of time. Surely there is a better way to get students to learn than simply talking to (and often at) them. We live in a digital age and the best that universities can do is record a lecture. Surely a change is needed to help push forward students and make them inspired by their courses, instead of having many students feeling disenchanted, with no logical reasoning to go to their lectures, and simply at university for the piece of paper at the end. Is the learning experience you really get worth the time and money? In my opinion, no. Is the piece of paper at the end of it all necessary? Often, yes, which brings me to my next point.
Many careers require you to have a university degree of 2:1 or higher. The fact that often, you need any degree subject, NOT a specific subject, shows that the system is a bit outdated, given you simply have to have the ability to get through uni instead of learn specific subjects that would make you suit a role better. Despite all of this, you still need the degree. This undermines my whole opinion, sadly, as often, a degree is necessary. Therefore, university, ultimately because of a societal loophole, is worth it.
This really aggravates me. The fact companies hire you from university to then re-educate you on what they need you to know shows us that we are literally here for the piece of paper and the graduation ceremony. Despite many points saying university is not worth it, damaging to your mental health and leaving you in a mountain of debt before you even start earning, we are shown that we have to do it anyway. There needs to be a change, because, let’s be honest, this imposition is a joke.