I choose university!

By student,  Emily Baulf (17)

Teenagers do nothing all day, they have nothing to worry about, they are self-concerned and lazy- right? Wrong.

This period, (moving into upper sixth)  is possibly one of the most stressful I will experience; the rest of my life could depend on the decisions I make this year. One of those decisions is university.

With so much choice, it’s easy to be anxious. I am.

Stepping up from GCSEs to A Levels seemed hard enough, and now a degree?!

The first major issue is choosing your course - something that interests you enough to study every single nook and cranny for the next three or four years.

When I was 14, I wanted to be a teacher- something about the 6-week summer break and weekends off appealed to me. But, when I was 15 I changed my mind and I wanted to become a lawyer. When I reached 15 and a half, I wanted to be a photographer, and finally at the very last minute on my college enrolment day I chose to study media, and fortunately I found my passion.

For me, it isn’t easy trying to figure out what I want to do in the future, and the only way I’m getting through it is to think about what I love. I love marketing.

Even when focusing on this, the choice is still overwhelming, but I have managed to thin some options out – I’ve got a manageable number and can research which universities have achieved the best results for marketing related courses.

Emily Baulf .jpg

"If freshers’ week doesn’t make up for the jaw-dropping tuition fees, I don’t know what will."

I’ve narrowed down the 395+ providers to five favourites: Coventry, London College of Communication, Portsmouth, Oxford Brookes and Newcastle.

I live in Hampshire; London is about 90 minutes away, Portsmouth about an hour, but Newcastle works out at a 5-hour train journey. Alternatively, return flights to Newcastle round out to about £500 (cheapest for two people), and what if I don’t like it? Or what if I do?

One of the incentives of university is being independent and moving away from home, but do I really want to be that far away, from all my friends, my family? Going to a unfamiliar city with nobody that you know, that’s one of my biggest worries. Yet I’ll meet so many new people, and universities have so many activities in place to help everyone get to know each other, and if freshers’ week doesn’t make up for the jaw-dropping tuition fees, I don’t know what will.

I read an article recently that student debt has risen to a record high of £51,000. I don’t even want to imagine what that debt feels like. University is branded as an ‘investment in your future’, which makes enough sense for me to buy.

Graduate prospects have risen drastically, with some universities claiming up to 98 per cent of their students finding graduate employment or moving on to even higher education within 6 months… but there’s still that 2 per cent.

Perhaps I’m being too negative, universities offer amazing opportunities to enhance career prospects and increased earning potential, and it’ll be great to add my MA to my Instagram bio.

6th Form, UniversityWeb editor