University is great, but in many cases it isn’t all it’s made up to be, especially not in this day and age where simply having a degree on your CV wont be getting you a job!
1. You’re going to have the best time of your life!
This is probably the biggest myth. If you, like I did, have extremely high hopes for university you may be disheartened. Yes, it’s great getting away from home, making so many good friends and enjoying your new found freedom. However, university can be tiring, living with people can be hard, alcohol doesn’t have the same appeal after a ridiculous amount of hangovers. There are even books written about it! It’s kind of like when Japanese people go to Paris and are so disappointed because it isn’t what they thought it would be they have to have counselling (I’m not kidding – Wiki)
2. First year doesn’t count.
I’m guilty of not only believing this one but also advising freshers that they didn’t really have to put the effort in because first year doesn’t count. I was wrong. First year may not count towards your overall grade but it is vitally important to learn the skills your require to do the best you can in second and third year. It’s a good way to begin to understand the style expectations of your writing, what is expected of your work and how each lecturer marks your work. It’s a practise year and you will get back from it what you put into it.
3. People have matured.
I, and quite a few people I know, was excited about getting away from secondary school. Moving on to university was an excellent way to break away from the immature drama that was rife in my secondary school. I believed that people would have grown up and most of the immaturity would have disappeared. Oh, how I was wrong! Some of the gossiping, drama and immaturity is simply magnified because you live in such close quarters with others and everyone knows everyone… I can safely say I don’t have the same high hopes for the workplace!
4. Student loans mean you can afford university.
It doesn’t at all. I was luckily enough to have extremely supportive parents who were prepared to pick up the bill when my student loan fell £500 a term short of my accommodation fee. Yes, you can get a job to help with all of the costs university imposes on you but with text book fees, club sign up, accommodation, deposit and many other hidden costs it can all pile up.
Yes, there is a lot of help which the university can provide in order to support students who can’t afford to go to university but sometimes this can be extremely tight depending on your individual situation.
5. You’re NEVER going to get a job.
When I talk to most people, students and real life working people alike, it seems to be universally agreed that the current employment situation in England is horrific and it is unlikely a student with a decent degree will be able to find any sort of decent employment. However, I personally do not agree with this. I do believe that just having a degree under your belt isn’t enough these days. Degrees should be a basis on which a student builds their employability. Joining clubs, teams, volunteering and taking part in internships will show any future employers you have what it takes. Moreover, you will stand out from the crowd of desperate students hysterically waving their 2:1s in the interview room.