The truth about university; stories from a recent(ish) graduate
Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. A very expensive one at that. About £23,403.52 to be exact. Only that I don’t have much to show for it. Unless you can count the never ending letters from Student Loans Ltd enquiring about my employment status because they have oh so kindly ‘noticed’ my circumstances have changed. How kind of them to care for my employment status. Can I just suggest Student Loans Ltd…how about you take the money it costs to send these letters and deduct it from my balance? OR maybe you could erase the debt completely? No? ok then don’t worry about my employment status I’ll pay when I can.
Now don’t worry. I’m not that bitter about university and I don’t care that deeply about the ‘debt’ either. But I had to give you a punchy opening to draw you in. Are you in? Good. Now let me tell you my experiences.
The idea of university was always displayed as the promise land (to say the least). A place where all your problems were solved after 3-4 years of study. A place where you would ‘find’ yourself, meet your husband/wife and secure a high salary job at the end of it. Don’t get me wrong university CAN be all of that and more! But what people don’t realise is that it’s not a given. You have to work hard.
I remember handing in my last assignment and the forceful reality hit me that uni life was over. It sank in quite quickly that life as I knew it for the past few years was over. My 3 years of little responsibility and false independence was done. All the blood, sweat and tears I endured writing about health and social care policies all came to an abrupt end. It wasn’t what I expected. Lecturers were soon to become unavailable and I no longer had access to the safety net student life gave me. The only way I can describe this feeling was ‘confusion’. I felt confused…I suddenly realised that things were not going to ‘fall into place’ as previously promised and that the real world was awaiting me.
I often think now with the rising tuition fees would I go through the same experience? Would I put myself in over £30k debt to study at a middle ranking university? Hmmm my first answer would be NO. But with deeper thought I would say yes! But not for the degree…for the experience. The university experience is second to none! I know it sounds cliché but I found myself at university. I realised that I was an intelligent and quietly confident girl and I began to embrace it. I learned to stay at home and enjoy my own company. I only said yes to the things I wanted to do and I said no to those things that didn’t add value. It was a big learning curve for me and at times it was difficult as I was concerned about ‘fitting in’. But I soon realised there was no point pretending to be something I wasn’t.
So as a recent(ish) graduate (class of 2012 in the house!) I would like to reminisce on my university experience. So this series has been written purely for personal reasons. I wanted to re live the times and put it in a format for others to see. I hope you will laugh with me (not at me), understand what I went through and hopefully gain some advice at the end.
Stay tuned for the next post…going live on Wednesday!