The time has come. Personal statement written up and checked over more than 100 times. References done. And you have chosen your 5 universities that you want to apply too. Now there seems to be just one little problem. You are not sure if you are making the right decision! I mean, that’s a very big problem if you ask me.
Going to university is something that is beyond daunting. Many of us are fresh out of college or sixth form and decide that we want to go to university to study a degree of our choice without fully knowing why. In this society we live in, there is this preconceived notion that going to university is the crème de la crème when it comes to education. But is really? From before I attended secondary school I knew I was going to university, simply because everyone told me that I had to work hard in order to get really good grades so that I can start applying once I hit Sixth Form. I had an idea of what I wanted to do since I was in primary school and stuck with it because it was all I ever knew, and I was afraid to open my mind to other options. This was mainly because everyone expected me to go to university and because of this I felt like there was no other choice.
University is such a big step in your lives and it is so important to know why you want to go. You need to stay true to yourself because it will be you and only you who will be committing 3 years or more to studying a degree – no one else.
Here are 5 reasons you may be unsure:
You feel pressured because all your friends are going.
Many people including myself suffer from FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. We feel like we have to do all of the things our friends are doing and if we don’t we can’t stand never knowing what the experience would have been like. Sometimes this can actually back fire on you. As young people we all want to feel involved, excepted and a part of something, but your heart needs to be in it too as the fear of missing out won’t be enough.
2. Your family is excited, but you aren’t!
This can be an obvious sign that university may just not be for you. You don’t seem enthusiastic or keen to talk about it and you just feel like it is more of an obligation rather than a choice. Whereas your parents on the other hand are already planning your graduation party from before you’ve even attended university and are calling family members to inform them that you will soon be heading off to uni. How proud they are of you! This is exactly the problem. We see how excited our parents and loved ones get and we constantly feel like we cannot let them down and going to university will be for them, so you can make them proud. Wrong! Going to university is about YOU. It’s all about YOU. Your parents may feel disappointed at that moment, but when it comes to certain life choices, only you will know what is best.
3. You’re not 100% sure about your degree choice
Many of us fall into the trap of not being sure of our degree choice but we attend uni anyway because we don’t want to miss out. However, half way through the year we discover that we actually don’t even like or enjoy what we are studying and either end up changing our course, continuing with it anyway, or just dropping out. Making sure that we are choosing the right degree choice is the number one factor when you are applying for university. So, if you are unsure about the degree you have chosen it may be best to communicate with your loved ones about this and to explore other options that maybe you didn’t even know about. I know many young people who had opted to have a gap year to travel, so that they could discover different avenues to themselves they didn’t know existed. Sometimes going on a gap year can really shape who you are as an individual, as you are able to take a back seat from the educational system and really get in tune with the world – whether that means going travelling or taking sometime out to really find yourself and the things you love.
4. Your goal is to set up your own business
Some of the most successful business people out there didn’t attend university and this was because they had a vision to set up their own business and didn’t want to waste time in doing so. What many people fail to understand is that when you have plans to set up your own business you will still be doing a lot of learning and self-educating. This may be a lot more challenging than going to university, however if you find something that you are passionate about and have dreams about your business making a real impact in the world then go for it. Many are told that if they want to have their own business they must start a business-related degree at university. In some respects, this may be helpful to what you plan to do, but on the other hand you can also find business apprenticeships, short business courses and many different programme’s that can help you develop your business idea and plan into a successful business.
5. You want to go straight into the workforce
If what you actually want is to enter the workforce straight away to earn and start saving some money, there is absolutely no problem with that. Sometimes uni is just not for some of us and that is okay. It’s important to find a job where you are truly loving what you are doing and wake up each morning ready to start your day. there are also some jobs out there where you can train and develop within your role and be promoted to bigger positions within the workforce.
Remember, what ever decision you do make trust your heart and it is important to communicate with the people closest to you about how you may be feeling.