My Big Mouth: Is university really the best option for me?

By Amy Betts

As thousands of students across Greater Manchester received their A-Level results last week, it seems that people think a degree at University is the only route to success.

It’s almost like the government has neglected half of UK A-level students who opt not to go to University and only aim to help those who want to go.

Many teenagers are not made aware by schools or colleges that there is a wide array of different schemes and options available.

Training schemes are becoming more popular than ever with many young people on higher apprenticeships becoming the most desirable when it comes to jobs.

But with 32% of parents still thinking people on apprenticeship schemes are less academically able than those at university, it is clear to see why these students have certain preconceived ideas.

I don’t think it is said enough that it is perfectly acceptable to be a little unsure of your career prospects.

Some people may not feel ready to leave home while others will not know which career path to follow.

And there is absolutely no shame in that, this concept that if you do not go to university then you are a failure is complete nonsense.

I do not know where the idea has come from that university is for everyone as we all have different dreams and aspirations with what we want to do in life.

There are no right or wrong decisions so why should we feel pressured to follow an option that isn’t right for us.

It is also important to recognise that with our current unstable economy the stakes are so much higher now.

With the dramatic rise in fees and committing yourself to a whopping £27,000 worth of debt it seems a no brainer to explore other paths.

By taking a gap year you can have time to clear your mind and properly think what you want to which can lead to unique opportunities such as travelling the world or gaining vital work experience.

So why do people think gap years are a waste of time when they can provide a lesson of independence and create maturity for life?

You may think that University is the only option out there for you but honestly by doing some research you will realise there are so many different routes you can take.

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs did not attend university such as Richard Branson, and it doesn’t appear to have held them back in life.

I hope that more vocational support and advice will be given to those considering the alternative options to university.

Everybody is unique and has different aspirations they want to achieve in life, so if University is not the right choice for you then that is perfectly alright. 

Picture courtesy of University of Denver via Flickr, with thanks.

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