University Tips Blog
Image of a group of students sat chatting at university
A headshot image of the author, Erin Wilson

by Erin Wilson

Masters student, podcaster and education freelancer

posted on 6 Feb '23

A guide to why students might consider university

University is a big decision and one that students may have been re-evaluating during and since the pandemic. The deadlines, the time commitments, the money – is it all worth it?!

Whilst there are alternatives to higher education such as apprenticeships, employment or travelling, which may seem more appealing to students right now, I would always advocate the benefits of going to university; benefits that I believe, massively outweigh the costs. For me, without sounding biased, university was the making of me in ways that I never expected.

It is very easy to think linearly when it comes to higher education, for example:

Go to university = studying = graduating = job

Whereas, in reality, university looks much more like the below equation:

Go to university = studying = learning what interests you = facing failure = questioning the future = learning new hobbies = building connections = feeling lonely = personal development = learning to be independent = graduating = ???

As you can see from the above, there are many reasons to go university. Students do not have to start a degree with a job in mind; some sort of goal is good, but the end goal doesn’t have to be employment, that may not suit them.

Some other questions you may wish to explore with students are:
• Do they want to learn more about a subject they love and gain a new appreciation for it?
• Do they want to network and build connections with like-minded people?
• Do they want to undertake growth and development, both academically and personally?
• Do they want to explore the options a degree can give them and go from there?

Image of a student group in an informal lecture

All of these are good reasons to consider university and can all be goals to work towards. A degree does not have to have a job and a salary attached to it.

As you would expect, a massive slice of the university experience is taken up by studying. Your students might be aiming to study something they have loved for years and are inspired or intrigued by. Or they might be studying a new subject that has not been available to them until now. University can open paths in terms of what students can learn and what they expect from a subject and alter their path afterwards as a result. Or it may allow them to develop their interest in a chosen subject.

Another benefit of higher education may be the student life and university experience itself. I don’t mean drinking, clubbing, or staying out until 4am. I mean that if your students want to try underwater hockey without ever having played it before, they can, or just exploring a new town or city they’ve never visited before with new friends, and so much more; they can do all of this.

University means uncertainty and learning and unlearning what a student expected from themselves, their lives and from the university experience. So, to answer the question, “why might students consider going to university?” Easy: “Possibility.”

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