Monday 15 January 2018

University: Is it the be all or end all?๐Ÿ’•

University. A pretty daunting word, eh? A place that could make or break your future. The stresses of picking a course, and the potential heartache of rejection. How a place of ten letters could determine your future is scary. Spending years attending lectures, stressing over essays and fearing over exams. Sounds fun, am I right? In this modern society, young people feel pressured to go to uni and be successful after they graduate. Do they necessarily enjoy their course? No. Do they regret it? Perhaps. Once they leave school, they are automatically assumed by others that they will go to uni. But, uni is not for everyone.  

It seems these days that people apply for uni and just pick any course they fancy without considering it. Perhaps they feel pressured, or want to go to uni purely to say they go. Some young people feel pushed by their parents to go - it appears that these days, life is a big competition. It’s as though people want to brag about which uni their child, or children, attend, and their course. One thing that gets under my skin is the belief that in order to be successful in life, you must attend uni, despise every moment of it and graduate with a degree. Wrong.

You may be wondering what sort of perspective I’m writing this from, and I can tell you this: I am a young person living in society whereby I’m expected by others to go to uni however I have chosen not to. Uni doesn’t appeal to me. I could’ve got in, but I opted for college instead. These days, colleges are overlooked. They’re discarded. It’s sickening if I’m honest, because you can still do really well in life by attending a college course instead. I haven’t been greeted with half as much stress if I were to have went to uni. I am enjoying myself, and I am happy. Why would I go to uni just to brag about it when the option of going to college instead and I’m enjoying my course? I know what I’d rather.

After saying that, college and uni just aren’t for some people, and that’s totally cool; everyone is different. Some prefer to work full time from the minute they leave school, and there’s absolutely no harm in that whatsoever. Education may not be their thing whereas working is. They could have top grades from school but just don’t want to pursue them, yet they can still be happy in life, not to mention successful - they may start at the bottom, gradually climbing the employment ladder and end up at the top. How exactly do they get there? With four key ingredients; hard work, positivity, ambition and determination.

With that being said, some people know from an early age what they want to do as a career, and uni is the pathway for them to achieve this goal. Out of curiosity, I have looked at uni courses (I like to see the sort of entry requirements specific courses have at varying unis) and I often wonder to myself what job you will find post graduating with the degree. On the flip side, once people have graduated, they realise they wasted their uni years as they didn’t particularly enjoy their course and they don’t use their degree and spend their life doing something else. So when applying, considering the consequences is a crucial stage.

Two perfect examples for this topic are Richard Branson and Alan Sugar. Both are entrepreneurs who left school at sixteen and never went to uni, and to say that the two of them are successful is an understatement. They are a living proof that you don’t need a degree to do well in life; they worked hard and have every right to their millions that they have earned over the years. Sugar started selling electrical goods from the back of a van when he was sixteen, and Branson started up his own magazine, despite being told by his headmaster that he was a failure and wouldn’t get far in life. And where are they now? Living their best lives, minus a degree, yet are successful and making millions.

So, where exactly am I going with this post? It’s simply a reminder that you can be successful without uni and it isn’t the be all or end all. All of your friends may go to uni and you may go to college or work full time, but it doesn’t make them a better person than you. Don’t feel belittled because you don’t go, and don’t feel pressured to go to uni because it’s seen as the “norm” these days, or because everyone else is going. Make decisions based on yourself, for you and for your future. Across social media, I have seen people posting about their uni offers. For some people, this can be quite a crushing time because they’ve may not had any offers, or don’t have the grades to get in. Either way, you shouldn’t let someone else’s offers affect you. You do you, work for yourself and you will get somewhere. Trust me.

By no means am I saying don’t go to uni, of course it’s some people’s dreams to go and that’s fine. All I’m trying to get across is how uni doesn’t always mean success, and that alternative pathways do exist which may be more beneficial for you as an individual. Some people may really want to go to uni yet don’t have the grades to get in, so college is the route from them. Once they pass their course, they may be able to attend uni if they wish. Some go for both, not because they don’t have the grades to go to uni, but purely as a stepping stone, because they may feel there is too big a gap between school and uni.

Do I feel as though I’m missing out by not going to uni? Absolutely not. And I’m certain there are many more individuals out there who feel the same as me. You can be successful and you can do well in life without a degree. Just don’t rush into things because your friends are doing it. Take a gap year if needed. Prioritise you and think what’s best for you. Just because your best friend goes to uni doesn’t mean you’re not successful in life, and don’t ever base your success on someone else’s. We all take time.


  1. It makes me so angry that we're all forced to consider uni as the be all and end all. At my schoool we weren't really told about any other options. I went to uni and so many people I knew were utterly miserable. I'm so glad you managed to say no to the pressure and do what's best for you!

    Steph -

    1. I totally agree! I was the same, it's basically uni or nothing in the schools' eyes. Yes exactly like people go to uni but it just isn't for them!! x


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