Studying, living and socialising at university can be a great experience and provides numerous memories and lifelong friends, but (and quite importantly) it is not for everyone.
So here are some pointers and some honest truths that should help with a decision as to whether you should study at university.
It is no secret that to study at university will cost you money; for students starting in 2017 the tuition fee will be £9,250.
You can receive funding from the government to cover the tuition costs and extra money to help towards living costs, but of course most of this money needs to be paid back. That said, you only start repaying your loan once you earn over £21,000 per year (Source: https://www.essex.ac.uk/study/ug/money.aspx).
While there are also scholarships, bursaries and salary from part time work it’s worth bearing in mind that you need to be committed to studying if you are going to be paying this sort of money.
But, oh, the joy of studying the subject you love!
There is something highly satisfying about studying the subject that you love. No compulsory studying of subjects you loath just because the government/school make you.
At university, you study the subject you want by picking a range of modules within your department (or a few from outside your department if you are feeling adventurous). That means by the end of the degree you have catered your course toward you own personal interests – thus helping you in your future career!
Living away from home
Both the most exciting and nerve racking time of your life whereby you leave home and move into university accommodation. But do not despair! You will be able to cook and clean for yourself (or perhaps find a nice flatmate who will do it for you!)
There is no guarantee that it will be an easy ride at first (thanks to homesickness) but it can be so rewarding and demonstrates great independence, especially if you become a domestic God/Goddess in the process.
Having said that, there is no harm either in living at home and travelling into uni if that is possible or if you prefer.
New opportunities aplenty
If you are committed to studying your subject, are willing to get involved and come out of your comfort zone, then you will find university will offer you so many opportunities.
You’ll be able to meet with people who share your interests (or have a debate with those who don’t); network with people from across the country and indeed the rest of the world; try new sports or activities (often at reduced prices); and even gain work/ volunteer experience catered towards your interests or which could prove useful in your future career.
Your connection with your university lasts long after you graduate, it is a life long connection which can help shape the person you are and who you become.
While university is not for everyone, it can certainly provide a great experience and memories that will last forever.