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My University Alternative

My University Alternative

As high school draws to a close many students start thinking about life out of education or potentially in further education. This was a decision I had to make last year and it wasn’t quick or easy to say the least. In this blog post I talk about why I’m not going to University. 

In the United Kingdom you fill out an application on UCAS for different Universities across the country, you write one essay that would then get sent of to show your interest in the chosen course as well as describing a bit about yourself. You apply for this in the last year of school, which is a very hectic time as it is without including exams and revision stress. Not to mention trying to find a University to go to for the next 3-4 years, isn’t a cheap investment either. At £9000 a year you need to find a place you feel happy at and somewhere that suits you best. It is such a stressful time in any young persons life.

I didn’t want to go to University but I chose to apply anyway just to keep my options open. It wasn’t a decision I was excited about and I felt it wasn’t right for me at the time. A lot of my friends and people in my year group was choosing to go to University and I just couldn’t see myself going there at this point in my life. People have this expectation of you going to University and you are almost scrutinised for choosing a different option. But everyone is different and it is important to find something that suits you and not what you think is a good choice to please others.

In the end, I chose to defer a year, giving me the opportunity to learn valuable life experiences in my chosen career industry, Graphic Design. Whilst still having a University to go to if I change my mind in 12 months time.  I will have a chance to complete an apprenticeship or become trained as a junior designer while I am earning money and gaining knowledge. Taking a gap year is great for anyone who needs more time to find something that interests them, or is in need of a year off from education to take time to do things that matter. There are advantages and disadvantages for any option you pick so you will need to weigh up the options.

By not going to University at this current time in my life doesn’t mean that I will never go, its just not something that interests me. I would rather gain valuable experiences and deal with real life scenarios that tests my creatively. I’d like to see where things take me and if I feel like I need to go to University to further advance my career then I will but it is just one of the many options that I can pick.

I have only mentioned Apprenticeships here as another option to University but there are so many choices ranging from Taking a Gap Year to Starting a Business or even Open University so you can learn in your own time, which is also a more affordable option.

So to conclude this, I would love to do an apprenticeship in Graphic Design as this is a field where experience is very valuable, and hopefully by the end of the apprenticeship it would lead me to a job with the company I was being trained in. University is really an option B for me, I might consider Open University so I can still work at the company whilst furthering my Education if I felt like my career needs it. But we shall see where things take me.

Have you gone to University has it helped in your career? If you didn’t go to University what made you pick that option?

Adell x




  1. Avatar 24th June 2017 / 4:54 PM

    Good thought
    You can also get degree in graphic design .

  2. Avatar 24th June 2017 / 5:28 PM

    i love the idea of a gap year. i didn’t even know what it was until i had finished college, but looking back, i might’ve taken that. i think it’s a great idea for some people for so many reasons, one of them being what you mentioned, about taking a year and gaining experience in your career field. or perhaps spending a year to travel. or perhaps spending a year to grow up a bit, earn and save some money…and so many other beneficial things to a gap year. it’s a shame that some people do look down on those for not choosing to go to university right after high school. but to each their own, why should we all follow the same plan?

    • Avatar 25th June 2017 / 12:28 PM

      If you could go back and make that decision again to take a gap year what would you have done with that year off??
      I couldn’t agree more though, why do we need to follow the same plan we are all different so one path doesn’t suit us all.

      • Avatar 25th June 2017 / 5:43 PM

        i wouldve worked and traveled with my year off. possibly found a travel based work-study opportunity so that i was gaining experience in my field choice while also working and living abroad.

        i think a gap year is great, but i can also say that it may not be for everyone as well. there are a lot of things going to university has to offer. i suppose if u know exactly what u want to do and u need a degree/license for it then maybe going to school immediately after high school can be the better option? i think it depends on the person and career choice. but ultimately it should be the choice of the individual and no one should shame a person for his/her decision.

  3. Avatar 25th June 2017 / 12:24 PM

    This was a really interesting view point and I loved hearing about your experience. I love when people don’t follow the expected norm and just take some time to figure out what they want and what suits them – so important! Xx

  4. Avatar 25th June 2017 / 4:50 PM

    I found this post very interesting to read. It was nice to hear from someone who has experience in what it is like.

  5. Avatar
    27th June 2017 / 7:22 AM

    As one of your older readers I can say that yes I went to university, also did a Masters, yes it helped me gain a career (although not so much now) but do I wish I’d done it, no. Hindsight is an amazing thing, the person I am now is a direct result of the choices I have made previously.

    I think you are making the right choice, if you aren’t sure about going to uni then you shouldn’t be going.

    Use your year out to gain experience, to make yourself stand out from the crowd. It’s no longer enough to have used the year to have travelled you need to show you have productively done something with your time. I say this as a Manager, when I’m looking at job applications I want to see someone who has broken the mould. Be different.

    Life is long, if you can find something you love doing you are already winning.

    • Avatar 28th June 2017 / 6:25 PM

      Its nice to hear the opinions from someone who has had more life experience and gone through university and the path that has taken you, so thank you for sharing. What did you do your Masters in? How did you find the University Experience was it something that you enjoyed?

      That is really good advice with the gap year and spending that time productively to do things to help advance your experience.

      • Avatar
        29th June 2017 / 7:46 AM

        It’s funny you say life experience as that is the one thing I feel I don’t have and I think that’s partly due to uni. Warning rambles ahead!

        Now granted my experience of uni is just one experience but I know others who feel similar. I went to a uni in Wales for my BSc and then off to Newcastle for my Masters in Town Planning.

        Whilst I did have fun and make friends it was pretty bad at times. I was flat broke, I lived in a place where the outside wall was collapsing and the damp was so bad there was black mould on the walls. I could go on.

        Uni is even more expensive now, I and my boyfriend (now hubby) had so little money (despite working) that a treat for us was a bag of donuts. The idea that you can go out and party and live a wild, movie like life, nah doesn’t exist. Well it can if you don’t want to eat. You also have to think its now £9K a term, can you afford to fail?

        I wouldn’t say I didn’t enjoy uni there are some key memories that stay with me. One of my closest friends was made at uni. Also I grew up, I became an adult at uni because I had to. You have to take charge of your bills you have to ensure that you do your studying etc.

        But the memories that are most precious to me I don’t think are uni specific. Yes they occurred because I was at uni but not because of uni, if that makes any sense. They are memories that are little, simple; getting caught out in a thunderstorm, sitting on the beach with friends, things like that.

        I would never say you should or shouldn’t go. What I would say is look at the other options, is there another way you can reach where you want to be. If you even have an idea of where you want to be then you are already winning, I didn’t when I did either of my degrees and I still don’t!

  6. Avatar 9th July 2017 / 12:20 PM

    Deferring a year is a really good idea and probably something I should have done too before university. Because it’s so expensive and it seems that it would make more sense to attend when you have a better idea of what you want to do. When I was in college I had only a vague idea of what I wanted to do and thus it was hard to get good grades without having a real, feasible goal in mind. I ended up taking two years off after college before dental school! And it was the best decision I ever made. Not only was I more mature but I had my goals set and it’s made me strive even more and be more successful where I am now. Anyways I think it’s good not to always follow the status quo and do what’s best for you!! Plus I did a ton during my 2 gap years and got to live a little and take a break from academics while I was applying to dental school.

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