I spoke to the lovely Laura from cornishmaidblog.com all about her experience at University 9 years ago. It’s a little different to my normal posts but I feel it fits in well with my University series. I can’t be the only one interested in how the university lifestyle and experience has differed? Was it worth it?
Laura also raises the all important question, why are paying so much money to only be in lectures for a short amount of time (I certainly wonder that now too)? I spend more time procrastinating than I actually spend in University!
I hope you enjoy reading what Laura has to say and be sure to follow her on her blog and social media, linked at the bottom!
“I’m Laura, I’m 30 years old and I studied at Bath Spa University from 2006 until 2009. I studied English Literature with Media Communications. After I graduated with a 2:1, I went to Bristol UWE and did a PGCE (post graduate certificate in education) in Secondary English Teaching. Then I graduated again! After four years of working as a teacher, I decided it wasn’t for me. I now work as a Digital Marketing Executive for a small creative agency in Cornwall, writing my Cornish Maid Blog in my spare time.
The first few weeks of uni were quite overwhelming, I remember. Living away from home for the first time, meeting tons of new people and keeping up with all the studying alongside all the nights out! I only had to attend lectures and seminars for about nine hours per week. The rest of the time was allocated for independent study. This took a lot of motivation!
Sometimes I wondered why I was paying so much money in fees to have such limited contact time with university lecturers.
I also had to buy most of the books myself with my student loan which again made me wonder what the fees were for, I paid just over £3000 a year. I’ve paid some of this money back but am currently not earning enough to contribute much each month.
Was it worthwhile?
Despite my student debt, I think going to uni was definitely a worthwhile experience. Firstly, because the qualifications I gained allowed me to become a teacher and, although I’m not still in this profession, this looked fantastic on my CV when I decided on a career change. The jobs I have had within marketing don’t necessarily ask for a Degree. In fact someone who has a Marketing Diploma or has completed a relevant apprenticeship has just as much of a chance of securing the same role.
However, I have managed to learn about marketing ‘on the job’ and my skills in English, writing, research and independent study are all important qualities that employers have a lot of respect for. So I would say that going to uni can still put you ahead of the rest.
I also think that going to uni is about much more than just the education side of things.
I was quite naïve before I went, having grown up in the countryside. Uni taught me many different life skills. Being able to work with and live with different types of people, to learning to cook. It also taught me to look after myself, learning how to budget and be careful with money. As well as gaining qualifications, uni also provides you with a little life journey in which you grow and develop in many ways.
I think one of the main problems I’ve experienced personally is down to my career change. Whilst I was a teacher, four more generations of students went to uni, of which the numbers increased year upon year. It seemed like anyone could go to uni, no matter what grades they had before. More graduates meant more competition for me. Thinking of it, I read somewhere that over half of the younger generations now go to uni, which seems a bit absurd as there definitely won’t be enough ‘graduate’ jobs for everyone. I think this is why a lot of graduates end up working abroad.
Going to uni is a valuable experience but only if you know what you are going to do with the degree. I think now there are more options for young people which is good.
Otherwise it might be worth considering a different sort of qualification that will get you into the world of work quicker. When I finished my A-levels, there was no such thing as a Marketing apprenticeship. All of my friends were going to uni and it seemed like the only option.
Overall, I’m glad I went. For the qualifications, the life experience and the fun. The only downside now is my student debt!”
Make sure you check out the other posts in the series and in relation to university:
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part One)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Two)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Three)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Four)
Fresher’s Week, Friend or Foe?
University, 13 Years Ago; An Interview
University Alternative, MOOC; An Interview
University Saving Tips and Tricks, Part One
University Saving Tips and Tricks, Part Two
University Bookshelf Tour
My University Experience So Far