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Nowadays, with more people than ever before getting university degrees, it is easy to feel under pressure to do the same in order to feel like you are not being left behind. However, deciding whether or not to go to university should not be a quick or light decision. For financial reasons, it is a huge commitment to go to university, so you should only do it if you feel passionate about your degree, rather than simply going to enjoy the university lifestyle.
Here are 4 main pointers to consider when deciding whether or not to go to university:
Before making any big decisions about the future stages of your life, it is best to first find your strengths and weaknesses. For a moment, try not to think about university, apprenticeships or the job market, and simply think about what you actually enjoy doing. If nothing immediately stands out to you, try going to careers fairs or looking at their websites so that you can browse possible options.
If you are unsure on a specific path, it is a good idea to think about these key questions: are you good at more practical things? Do you enjoy reading and writing? Do you thrive in exams? Are you motivated by money or would you prefer doing something you love even if it means a smaller wage? Do you like working alongside a team or do you prefer to work independently? All of these questions can really help to narrow down your options and help you think about specific career paths that would be most suited to you.
Gaining some hands-on work experience is one of the best ways to explore your options and gain insight into what it is like to actually work in a place. If possible, it is advised that you try and do at least a week, as only a few days is not really enough time to get a real feel for a place. The best way to find work experience is through doing a bit of research into potential jobs, finding something fairly local (for ease of transport) and sending out a few emails.
Ensure to get a few people to check both your CV and your cover letter when sending emails out, as spelling and grammatical mistakes often can be a big put-off for any employer.
Once you have a bit of work experience, this is a great starting point – evaluate your time there and make a list of pros and cons about the workplace you have just experienced. If you enjoyed it, it is a good idea to speak to some of the employees about what they did to get there. For example, did they do a degree? Are there any online courses they recommend?
If you do want to look into university, be sure to look into all of the courses and possibilities. In the past few decades, most universities have expanded their course options massively, with more practical subjects now offered alongside the traditional academic ones. Wolverhampton University is a great choice in the West Midlands that is fairly near to the border of Wales. You can view Wolverhampton's courses through here and see how it compares to other universities.
Other options are to schedule university visits. This way you'll be able to speak with professors, counselors, and students to understand if this is where you really want to pursue your education at. For instance, if you're interested in nursing and know that you will need to take the pance exam at some point, contact universities that offer support and have extra experience in the field.
One of the common problems of moving abroad is finding a suitable student home. Whether looking for student accommodation in Sheffield or Manchester, you should book your lodging beforehand to avoid missing out on good properties, paying high rent, or even housing frauds. It is always better to prepare things in advance rather than do them at the last moment!
It can be hugely pressurising for young people to make such huge life decisions very early on. It seems as though you suddenly jump from being a child to having to plan out your entire future, which can be very daunting, especially if you have not got any ideas about where you want to end up. But try and remember that even if you do make a decision about what to do with your future and then you change your decision, it is never ‘too late’ to switch.
It is usually most common for people to go to university to start an undergraduate degree between the ages of 18-20, but that does not mean you have to. There is always the choice to be a mature student at university (which is anyone who starts their degree over the age of 21) and this is very commonly done.
The most important thing to do is, to be honest with yourself when deciding what you want out of life, and what you truly enjoy. After all, you will be working until you are around 65, which is a huge proportion of your life, so it is much better to choose a career path that genuinely interests you, rather than basing it entirely on social expectations or on salary. If you are happy within your job, it is likely that you will be far more motivated to work hard, which will open new doors and different positions to you.
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