This blog post is specifically about MY experience of university. Although the end result for me was good I did struggle quiet a lot. Also, (and I am not saying that others lie about their univeristy experiences) I personally found it completely different to how I had imagined it to be.
Why did I choose to go to university?
I’ve never been a person who has enjoyed education or school, in fact I struggled quiet a lot and had to work super hard to achieve good grades. However when it was time to start thinking about exactly what I was going to do with my future I wasn’t sure. After thinking long and hard, talking about it with teachers, family and friends I made the decision to pursue with further education and attend university, looking back now whether that was the right choice or not i’m not sure, but I will go into that later. So to answer the question it was because I thought it would 1) buy me some more time to decide exactly what I want to do in the future and 2) further my education more in the mean time.
What did I study? What university did I go to?
After looking round a fair few universities I decided to put Brighton down as my first choice and it’s where I ended up going. My main reason for choosing Brighton was because of the course itself, Media Studies. Media was something that I had previously enjoyed studying at A Level and also I liked the fact that it was a broad subject, meaning that after university I would have many different options of different career paths to follow. I also liked Brighton as it isn’t too far from home, but far enough to have some space too. I also really liked the city itself.
Did university live up to my expectations?
No. Although I made some great life long friends, made some funny memories and attained a degree, I don’t think my experience personally was as good as I thought it would be. Firstly, I struggled a lot with stress. I found the lectures difficult to understand and the workload tough. A reading that my friends seemed to just understand straight away would have me close to tears, I found myself googling nearly every other word in the readings because they were too complex for me to understand. As I mentioned before, i’m not overly academic and the sheer workload and amount of effort required at university hit me like a tonne of bricks. So for that reason I just found myself stressed and unhappy most of the time. Also, and I am just purely speaking on my experience, but when I would go to lecturers for support I was often faced with “we can’t help you because then we would need to help everyone” which would frustrate and stress me out even more as I literally felt helpless.
Furthermore, I am a sociable person and I love meeting new people. However, due to Brighton being such an in demand university there are not enough campus’ for all the students to live on and I unforutnately could not live in halls and had to live in a house. Luckily, one of my best friends from home was in the same position as me so we lived together with three other girls. The other girls were not people i’d particularly want to live with but I guess thats the same luck you have in halls anyway. However, living in a house you are seperate from all the other students so it was very very hard to make friends. Ofcourse I ended up making friends through my course and through friends of friends but I don’t feel like I had a massive circle like some people do at university. However, the friends that I did make I was (still am) extremely close to and consider my best friends so to be honest i’d rather have a few close close friends then a big group who i’m not that close to.
What degree did I leave university with?
I graduated with a 2.1 in BA Media Studies. I am so so proud of that and it is one of my greatest achievements to date! After struggling so much in my first year, I can hand on my heart say I worked SO hard to get that grade and I did it all by myself, in regards to having no support from my lectures.
If I could go back in time, would I still have gone to university?
Honestly, I am not sure. Part of me thinks no, basically due to being stressed out non stop but the other half thinks yes due to the fact that I did in the end manage to get a degree.
What advice would I give to people starting university?
THINK long and hard about if it really is the best situation for you. If you want to get into something whereby a degree is not necessairly needed then maybe consider another route.
Also, do not let the thought of the debt put you off. Yes you end up with thousands of pounds debt but it is different to other kinds of debts, you only pay it back once you start earning over a certain amount and it is so little at a time you don’t even notice.
Hope you enjoyed, let me know if there is anything I can elaborate on or if I have missed anything. Here are also some photos of my graduation day!