Should I go to university: my story

Unlike my friends, I did not attend any UCAS or University related presentations or information events. I was positive that I was not going to attend university.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career when I came towards the end of my studies at sixth form and I knew I didn’t want to move away from home (which is something I know many students find difficult).

Instead, I attended numerous appointments with the careers advisor, to see if she could point me in the right direction in terms of employment. Despite the careers advisor’s best efforts, I was still finding it hard to browse through various job roles, which linked to the courses I studied at sixth form; Double Applied ICT and Product Design. I had no choice but to leave sixth form with my A-Levels and decide what I wanted to do in my own time.

Whilst all my friends were preparing to go to university and moving away from home, I still hadn’t made any decisions on what I wanted to do, and at this point I felt like I had been thrown into the deep end of entering the big working world on my own. In fact, it took me a whole 12 boring months, to finally decide what I wanted to do, which was to study a computing related course at university. This way I would be able to move forward with my A-Levels and therefore gain even better qualifications.

It was September 2016; I had a whole year of deciding what I wanted to do. I was still looking at potential courses that I could study when the University of Derby came to mind, only 12 miles away from home and easy to travel to via the train and bus. I was searching on the website for a computing related course, when I spotted the ‘Marketing (Digital)’ course. When I read the course information it sounded so interesting, especially with my love for advertising. That same day, I contacted the course leader, and arranged a meeting for the next week. Everything went so well, and I was so happy that I finally knew what and where I was going to study for the next 3/4 years.

So, what changed my mind?

  • The University website contains lots of information about all the courses, including a brief description of the course, module outlines and videos from past students of their experience
  • The course leader was very welcoming and supportive of me wanting to join the course. They gave me more in depth information about the assignments I would be doing, and I got any questions I had about the course answered
  • The University is quite close to home, so I was able to commute, rather than move away and stay in halls (something which I wasn’t ready to do!)

I just wish I had of known what I wanted to do sooner, like all of my friends, however I am very glad that I didn’t rush into my career. I don’t think I would be where I am now, just coming up to finishing my second year studying ‘Marketing (Digital)’, if I hadn’t taken my time to decide. I am loving it!

3 tips for any student that is unsure on the prospect of going to university:

  • Go to as many presentations or information events as you can
  • Browse lots of university websites that have courses related to your field of study (even if they do not match exactly – e.g. computing and marketing are slightly different but both were of interest to me)
  • Visit lots of open days, they would be very helpful as you would be able to look around the university to see if you like the campus’ as well as meet the lecturers.

As I said above, I didn’t attend any presentations or information evenings, or even visit any universities on open days, and I regret it, as I could be either on placement year or in my final year right now, just like my friends from sixth form. I am loving being at university and I’m so glad I took my time to settle on it being the direction I wanted to go.

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