Before we even start, let’s nail a few common myths:
Myth 1: All universities are the same.
Myth 2: You’ll have a great time wherever you go.
Myth 3: It is possible to say which is the best university in the country.
None of these is true and the sooner people accept it, the sooner there’ll be no need for articles like this one.
But, fortunately for the people who aren't sure just who to believe right now, there’s still every need.
You want evidence? Well, nearly 15% of students in the UK flunk university. Yep, that’s what we said: more than one in seven drops out or fails their course.
Think of six other people who’re planning on going to university. The odds are that one of you won’t get a degree, and it could well be you. You might end up with the debt, the hangovers and the scurvy, but no degree.
Of course, every student that drops out has their own reasons for doing so. Perhaps they couldn’t handle the financial burden, perhaps they hated the whole thing, maybe it wasn't right for them, in some cases, they may have been struck by lightning.
However, as a rule, if they hadn’t believed the myths in the first place, they could have made the whole thing easier on themselves.
We’re going to come back to those but, for the moment, consider this: if they were true, would so many people drop out?
That’s why we need this article. The ones who drop out are just the tip of the iceberg. For every student who can’t face it any more, there are plenty of others who, frankly, could be having a better time.
Choose your university carefully by picking the place that’s right for you and... well, you may still be struck by lightning, but you're much more likely to complete your course and get more out of your time at uni along the way.
Not only will you earn a better degree, but the whole thing will be less of a drag.
If you remember only one thing we say, it's got to be this: No two universities are the same. We've said it before, we'll say it until we're blue in the face. No. Two. Are. The. Same.
Research the courses, facilities, accommodation, students' union, welfare, funding, and anything else you can think of. Go to open days. Don't be afraid to speak to admissions tutors, lecturers, and past and current students. Ask them any questions that pop into your head.
Please don't go into the application process thinking that, because you liked/disliked one place you saw, you'll like/dislike anywhere else. You just can't generalise.
The prospect of spending at least 3 years in a place you absolutely hate is a pretty grim one. So listen to us when we say that, with some research, it's definitely an avoidable fate.
Given that it’s all such a big risk, do you need to put yourself through it?
To be honest, er... no.
There is no need to get a degree. Not unless you’ve irretrievably set your heart on one of those careers that absolutely demand a degree.
Life won’t stop. The birds won’t stop singing. Londoners won’t stop supporting Man United.
In fact, there are plenty of other worthwhile things to do in life besides going to university. You could become an eco-warrior, join a convent or sweep the streets.
More attractive alternatives might include: getting a job; going to art college, nursing college, or drama school; travelling; working or studying abroad. Remember that you can wait for a while before making big decisions about university. You can always go later.
Many students simply don’t spare a thought for the other options. They spend all their lives expecting to go to university or having other people do the expecting for them, without ever really thinking about whether it’s right for them.
However, since you’re reading this, you’ve probably already thought about it.
Push just wanted to remind you that it’s your call.
And now we have.
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