- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Go to University
You can make your A-levels a horrible memory
It seems bizarre, but I found that the best way to move on from A-level results days was realising that I was venturing into the big bad world of university. When you're at university, nobody actually cares how you did in your exams. You were smart in secondary school, so what?
You'll actually be interested in what you're learning
At school, you have no say in what you get to learn but at university, you do. You don't even have to stick to the parameters of your course - I took a module in media studies last year. Because I could.
When we consider the long term effects of going to university, you can't deny that there are a few benefits. You're much more likely to be living it large one day. The average graduate this year earns a salary that starts at £26,000. That's 4% more than graduates were earning in 2009. Realistically, there's not really been a better time to study a degree.
The benefits you can bring to your country
The UK is, let's be honest, slightly deprived of skills, and is in desperate need of highly educated people. And university, well, it educates people... highly. So, by studying at university, you can tell all your distant relatives who have taken a sudden interest in their soon-to-be graduate relation, that you're working for Britain. Of course, don't let it slip that working means sleeping all day, dossing around and bringing severe damage to your liver.
It's the one chance you get to doss around.
If you're one of THOSE people who thinks that the benefits of leaving education and launching yourself into full time work is better than the student lifestyle, think again. Admittedly, the average wage that young people and students earn isn't all that, (and that's if you can even find a job), but weigh that against our way of life. It is a rare moment in my life when anyone in my house is awake before 9am. Your average boss wouldn't allow you to put your feet up at half past nine every morning to watch Jeremy Kyle, never mind the benefits of 1:25pm and 2:15pm viewings, which is a necessity if you, like me, are not awake until past midday.
Tell me what else you're going to do?
Without a degree, finding a good and well-paid job is tough. All your student friends will be calling you at 1am from a far, honouring you with drunken texts and telling you how much fun they're having. You'll still be living at home with your parents, with your curfew and rules. You might as well bite the bullet, and get going, either to move out or go to university. Or both.
Remember, it's never too late.
You don't necessarily have to be fresh out of school to be able to cash in on a student loan and go to university. I know people on my course at university who are nearing their thirties, (and doing a much better job than me at passing their degrees.) It's never ever too late to get educated.
Getting to meet people
The first day of moving into your brand new accommodation is one of the most exciting and scary days that you'll ever experience. Sharing accommodation with dozens of teenagers is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The kitchens will become rat-ridden, the sink will be piled high with crockery and there will be arguments about borrowed milk or bread, but you will make amazing lifelong friends. You'll learn how to do magical things called cooking, budgeting and being independent. And it's actually fun, especially when you're surrounded by like-minded people to either sympathise with you or to laugh at when things go wrong.
You'll have crazy experiences that you can't find anywhere else.
Since being at university, I've joined the student newspaper, history society, photography society, media society, French society... So maybe I haven't been involved with all of them, but that's just because I've been making friends, working and watching Jeremy Kyle. I've made last minute decisions to sign up to societies that I know I wouldn't be able to be a part of in a million years, like cheerleading or vegetable appreciation groups. I've stayed up chatting until dawn and won an awards. I've stayed in clubs until closing time and even had conversations with hobos at 4am. Student life will offer you opportunities that go way beyond education.
There's a very small chance that you'll 'go down in history.'
By the time that you graduate, it may turn out that your course has inspired you into new found greatness. It's the ultimate reason to go to university: spending three years meeting new people, enjoying yourself and figuring out who you are might push you to work out what it is you want to do with your life.
So, if I were you, I'd go for it. If you're going to university this year, good luck! And if not, well, good luck for if or when you do decide to go.