University Tips Blog
image of a group of students at a graduation
A headshot image of the author, Erin Wilson

by Erin Wilson

Masters student, podcaster and education freelancer

posted on 22 Nov '23

Reasons to consider university – from someone who went, and then went again!

University is a big decision and one that you may well have been re-evaluating during and since the pandemic. The deadlines, the time commitments, the money – is it all worth it?!

I’ve been on both sides of the university process - as a student and as a staff member working in student recruitment, aiming to help students answer this question.

Whilst there are alternatives to higher education such as apprenticeships, employment or travelling, which may seem more appealing to you right now, I would always advocate the benefits of going to university; benefits that I believe, massively outweigh the costs. For me, without sounding biased, university was the making of me in ways that I never expected.

It is very easy to think linearly when it comes to higher education, for example: Go to university = studying = graduating = job

Whereas, in reality, university looks much more like the below: Go to university = studying = learning what interests you = facing failure = questioning the future = learning new hobbies = building connections = feeling lonely = personal development = learning to be independent = graduating = ???

There are many reasons to go to university. You do not have to start a degree with a job in mind; some sort of goal is good, but the end goal doesn’t have to be employment, that may not suit you.

Some other questions you may wish to consider are:

• Do you want to learn more about a subject you love and gain a new appreciation for it?
• Do you want to network and build connections with like-minded people?
• Do you want to grow and develop, both academically and personally?
• Do you want to explore the options a degree can give you and go from there?

All of these are good reasons to consider university and can all be goals to work towards. A degree does not have to have a job and a salary attached to it.

As you would expect, a massive slice of the university experience is taken up by studying. You might be aiming to study something you have loved for years and are inspired or intrigued by. Or you might want to study a new subject that has not been available to you until now. University can open paths in terms of what you can learn and what you expect from a subject and alter your path afterwards as a result. Or it may allow you to develop your interest in a chosen subject.

Another benefit of higher education may be the student life and university experience itself. I don’t mean drinking, clubbing, or staying out until 4am. I mean that if you want to try underwater hockey without ever having played it before, you can, or just exploring a new town or city you’ve never visited before with new friends, and so much more; you can do all of this.

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