Ever since I attended primary school, my teachers have stressed the importance of going into university to gain more education and reap the benefits of a degree through high skilled jobs. In secondary school, they tempted us by saying the average salary of people who attend university is much higher than a person’s salary if they didn’t attend. In sixth form, they made us all complete a mock university application, even if you did not plan on applying to a university.
When my friends at home who are currently in employment ask me why I decided to go to university, I think to myself and wonder if there was ever a time in my life where I didn’t want to go university. I had my life set out from the way I was raised. Go to university, get a great job and make lots of money.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing, if anything, it’s great and I enjoy being in further education. The ‘brainwashing’ from my schools probably comes from the area I lived in and the high numbers of youths not doing anything with their lives. Which is another story for another day.
In 2011, it was reported that having a degree and going through university can add up to £12,000 in salary terms. In 2012, figures came out suggesting that the average salary of a graduate was around £26,000. These are some impressive numbers, highlighting positive reasons for forking out nine grand a year in tuition fees to earn a degree.
I am coming to a close on my second year in further education and about to embark on my third year on my undergraduate course. It is starting to become clear to me that education is not all as great as it is.
Sure there’s lots of money involved but I have to get a job first, and one quick glance at the economic forecast for jobs and it’ll leave you feeling depressed. Don’t forget about finding a place to live after your graduate, paying off tuition and maintenance loan and passing your degree.
The main thing I’ve realised is that I have come to hate exams and the whole process around it. Exams are one of the worst things ever invented and have no place in some social science subjects, since it examines how much dates, authors and theories you can remember. If it was an open book exam or weekly tests then I would be fine with it.
As I’m going through the last stages of my academic life, I am starting to wonder what will come of it. Will I be rich and successful in the media industry? Or will I be no better off than my friends who went straight into employment?
Time will tell.
But seeing as I hate that phrase, I like to think that I will end up in a decent place, with lots of experiences, friends and growth throughout my time at university.