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Articles > Life October, 17, 2012

But what if I don’t want to go to university?

Charlotte Bourne
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What If I Don’t Want To Go To University? Tough. You’re still applying. Tough. That means we still need a personal statement. Tough.

Not going to university

Recently I have been having serious doubts about my application to UCAS. I am in my second year of A levels and this
pressure to make such a huge (and it is huge!) life decision is causing me serious stress. I mean, I have my whole working life ahead of me, what’s this big rush into uni?

My college literally gives us no other opportunities or even ideas for not going to uni. As an A grade student I’m asked, ‘what uni are you going to?’ not, ‘what are you thinking of doing next year?’ Myself, and many others, feel that we are being forced along this academic path with little input in the matter.

I almost feel obliged to go, but then I stop and think to myself, NO! No, I am not going to feel pressured at this
moment in time to stress myself out going through the UCAS application only to change my mind.

I think everybody needs to feel able stop and reconsider a few of the pro’s and con’s of university:

Pro’s:

  • Good education
  • Looks good for future employers
  • Shows you can work hard
  • Meet new people
  • Mature (sometimes)

Con’s:

  • Student loans affect your chances for loans/mortgages in the future
  • Excessive drinking will probably halt your studying
  • Being poor is not enjoyable
  • Stress
  • Leave and go back to living at home
  • Still unable to get a job after

Also, why is it if you don’t go to uni the first year after college they try and call it a “gap year”? I didn’t say I was going to go next year either, did I?

I hope I’m not the only one who is experiencing this pressure at the moment and I would be very interested to
hear other people’s ideas for their “gap years”.

FYI, this is a very useful site:

http://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/

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  1. Britannie Corssfield

    I’m 18 and i’m not going to university either. i’ll do a hnd or hnc at a local college then do an apprenticeship or top up year for a degree. Everyone is gobsmacked when I say i don’t want to go to uni because they all belieive its the right thing to do. Not for me! Good luck whatever you want to do!

  2. Bekky

    I was pushed into Uni at 18, I wanted to apply to a local collage that would have trained me, plus I would have had a job in the field so no student loans etc. My father was persuaded by the school that I should drop my thoughts of a local collage and go to Uni, and from then on I was fighting a losing battle. When I went, I was really unhappy and ended up dropping out in second year when it failed to get better after first year. If something isn’t right for you right now then you should feel free not to do it now. My only note of caution is it can be harder to get into if you leave it a few years – trying to apply last year I found myself with precious little information about the choices I was making, and I ended up going to the Open University instead because it was easier for me than trying to juggle my life as it is.
    Have you considered deferring your entry a year? When I first applied there was the option to take a gap year – during which you can work out what you want to do without the pressure of the school. I think if I’d have taken a year out, with what I could have done in that year I’d have been on much better ground to have done what I wanted to do.
    Best of luck with whatever you decide to do πŸ™‚

  3. Kirsty Grinham

    Although I have just started my first year at university doing mental health nursing, i can honestly say i agree with this. From the start of secondary school I felt like my life was planned out for me: you will do your GCSE’s. A levels and then a degree, get a job and move out. When actually now I am quite jealous of my friends who are already working or travelling the world. I wish I had seen this post earlier as for me it felt like I had no option but to come to university. That is not to say that I’m not enjoying being here but that I wish I had a bit more “life” experience. I think it will soon become a common trend that people wont go to uni straight after A levels, as already I am the youngest on my course as the only 18 year old. the majority of my cohort are 25+ and now looking at it, I kind of wish I had waited a bit before applying.

  4. Carrie Trimby

    Well, this may have been said before, but your uni loan will never effect any loan you want to take out in the future and uni’s aren’t evil places, there is loads of support (financial and otherwise). The drinking thing is a bit silly.. loads of my friends drink now (I’m at 2nd year of college) and mess up college but if you’re silly enought to drink every night then you really shouldn’t be at uni. Surely it’s the same if you don’t go to uni, there are always loads of temptations.
    There are loads of good things about uni and although it does seem like we’re forced into it, the teachers are just trying to help even though they can be pushy!
    I am a bit … bombarded with everything uni related but I hope you work it out πŸ˜€

  5. Elizabeth Mullenger

    I’m 26 and have just started going to uni! I get a bit of stick for it, but it was the right decision for me. I left school at sixteen with no clue about what to study at uni, so decided to not waste money going for the sake of it. instead i worked and now have ten years experience of ‘the real world’ to draw on, so i have dealt with living away from home, bills, debts, jobs, stress etc and it makes sense to now take a break from all that, and study something I’ve become to enjoy as a hobby over the past few years (photography) . Why go until you know you want to? already someone has dropped out of my class because they didn’t want to be there, and I guess he was just following the path his earlier career advisors had lain out for him.

    Go when you are ready, not when your teachers are. Good luck x

  6. Maria T

    your still young, you have plenty of time to decide. Goodluck πŸ™‚

  7. Rosie Foulger

    I’m gap yearing it this year, I will go to uni in 2014. I agree with this article, it’s always just GCSE, A level, Degree, Job, Marriage, Retire, Die for me too.
    One thing I want to point out is that student loans definitely do not affect other loans or mortgages later on. Check out 14 and 15 on this site. http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes

  8. Jade Robinson

    hello! just thought i would mention that i am 23 and just started uni this year! i was in the same boat as you!!! everyone expected me to go straight to university from college but i just didnt want to! i worked from 18 till now and have had some wonderful life experiences!! my advice to you would be to go to univeristy when it feels right for YOU11 not just because others think you should go πŸ™‚