With all the controversy over the recent change in student fees, the obvious con to attending university is starting adult life with a possible debt of £27,000. This is a daunting thought, but are the fees really as bad as they seem? As a first year student at Leeds Metropolitan, I will give my perspective on university life and answer the question many young adults who are considering going to university, are now asking themselves, ‘is it worth it?’
Before I begin, I will say that university life is not for everyone. As well as a lot of drunken nights out there is actually work and studying involved. For many, full time work or apprenticeships is the best option. However for those of us, myself included, who are not quite ready to become a fully-fledged adult, university seems like the best option.
When I was looking to apply to Uni it was announced that fees were to be raised to possibly £9,000. The thought of beginning adult life with a debt big enough to buy a BMW was too daunting. My current fees (£8,500) will leave me in £25,000 debt and that’s just tuition fees alone. However once doing my research it was clear to me that the fees are less daunting than appear at first glance. If you reach a pay level of £21,000 a year, you do not have to pay back large sums of money at a time, rather it comes out of your wage, similar to a tax, however your student loan can be written off after 25 years.
Some family members have asked me if I think all the debt is worth it. My answer is always yes. I have gained skills at Uni that I never would have gained living in my small home town in Gloucestershire. I can’t speak for everyone, but most students I know comment on how much their confidence levels have grown since attending Uni. The diverse amount of people you meet at Uni allows you to build on your social skills and prepares you for work life, in which you will have to deal with a range of different people.
I also have more confidence in my ability; I now will get up and do a presentation in front of a class of people, without hesitation, whereas before I would have cowered at the back of the room, hoping to be picked last. You don’t realise it until you are in a work environment, but each step you take at University mentally prepares you for the years to come.
I would suggest living in student halls during your first year as you will meet such a diverse amount of people and learn how to deal with so many different social situations. I feel this is a skill you can only gain, if thrown into a flat with 4 strangers. I do know a few people who have had problems with their flat mates, but from my own experience I can say that I like every one of mine and can’t wait to move into a house with them. Go in with an open mind and you’re much more likely to make some great friends.
Money aside, I think university is completely worth it as the skills you learn will be ones you never forget during adult life, although how to down a pint in eight seconds may not be entirely useful. As cheesy as it sounds, you’ll meet some amazing people there and make life long memories.
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