As you may have guessed, it’s my birthday! And it’s my 21st, so quite a special one too. Some of you might be thinking that being 21 and being a second year doesn’t quite add up. Well, you’d be right, traditionally if you went to University at 18, you’d be turning 21 in your final year.
But that’s only traditionally. Plenty of people take one or more years away from education. Some people go to University as mature students. The point is, the choice is yours. No one should be put off studying because of their age, University is a diverse place and there’s something for everyone – not just 18 year olds.
So, as you can tell from my age, I took a year out before I began studying at the University of Leicester. This wasn’t my initial plan, I did begin University at another institution as soon as I finished my A Levels, however it just wasn’t for me. I have touched on it in a previous post, but during my year out I didn’t do some of the amazing things that you hear people doing, like going backpacking across various different continents. As much as I would have loved to do something like that, I needed to prepare myself financially, but also emotionally, for starting University again.
Working full time gave me so much more than a solid income each month. Beginning University for a second time, I was aware of just how much more confident I had become. I learned a lot about myself during that year and it meant that I knew exactly what I wanted to get out University, which has certainly benefitted me in my studies! Of course, they money was a huge bonus too, I built up a good pot of savings which meant I was never short for money.
Of course some people know all of this about themselves already, and don’t need a year out. They can go straight into University at the age of 18 and get the most out of it that they possibly can. And that’s great. But if you’re not one of those people, please don’t be ashamed to say so. Don’t be ashamed to take more time to think about it, because I can assure you it will benefit you in the long wrong.
Although I had quite a bad experience at my first University, I wouldn’t change anything about it now, because it allowed me to gain some perspective on myself and my studies. It led me to the University of Leicester, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the experiences I have and here so far.