Three years of your life to accumulate often £50,000 of debt sounds ridiculous.
So is going to University really worth being in such a huge debt for the rest of your working life?
Inevitably everybody leaves university having accumulated a different amount of debt and having a different experience, with some commuting to university from home to save money, whilst others have no option but to live away or simply choose to live at university and gain the full experience.
Some individuals study a highly demanding course, whilst others may have under 10 contact hours with lecturers a week.
However, not only do employers expect young people to have degrees and fast track graduates in our society, but they say your university years are “unforgettable” and the “best years of your life”.
Despite this sounding cliched, speaking from personal experience of somebody who has lived away at University and totally embraced it I truly do believe that it “makes you as a person” and you really do find yourself by throwing yourself into a life away from home.
Yes I got homesick at the beginning, but who doesn’t really? And yes I struggle with work sometimes and studying is hard, but if anybody says differently they must be telling white lies.
From living away at University I have not only had the opportunity to study for a degree of my choice and interest but also I have learnt so many other skills that a University prospectus or open day can never ever prepare you for.
From living in a secure accommodation in my first year where everybody is in the same boat, you are new, scared and really do not know what you have put yourself forward for, to living in a house in your second year and truly knowing your new home and location like the back of your hand: it is an experience that matures you in ways you do not even notice happening.
Silly little things like having to plan your own meals, wake yourself up in the morning to attend your lectures on time, get your work done without your Mum prompting you to study or revise (like I know mine definitely did throughout secondary school and sixth form) and also to doing your washing when it starts to build up: these are skills living at home and commuting simply do not allow you to gain.
Within my first three months I literally became a different person, but in the best way possible.
I realised it is okay to be yourself, everybody at University is so different and has their own unique qualities.
You have the chance to meet new people, be yourself, plan your days by what you want to do and learn how to look after yourself, which can only set you up for the future when one day you have to move out and find yourself anyway.
University is a mini version of this in a sense and something rewarding in way more ways than simply leaving university with a BA Honours.
To sum up University in one word is something which is almost impossible to do, the word Spontaneous is one that comes to mind.
Defining spontaneous would be to say it is to do something as a result of it being an impulse decision. Yes you can have spontaneous nights wherever you live whether it be home or away, however at university you truly have the freedom to live your own life and not follow your family’s structure.
It really provides you with the understanding of independence and you develop a routine which suits you, not just one that becomes a habit as it is the routine that your family follow.
However, university isn’t always a place of growth, happiness and future prospects.
It can also be a very lonely, draining and isolated place to be if you aren’t in a positive mental health space.
I do truly believe university is what you make it and despite the fact that it can make or break you it is an experience nobody should not take the leap of faith to try and adapt to.
To have the opportunity to move out for three years before you fly the nest forever is a chance I believe you shouldn’t miss out on.
Leaving after three years of personal development and growth with a degree really is invaluable.