So…...you’ve decided that you want to go to university?? Well….like many of the 2.28 million students studying in the UK, every one of them has had to make the same decisions….or mistakes for that matter when deciding where and what to study at university. I can safely say that I was one of those people that made some mistakes when making my choices. Ever heard of the saying; ‘failure to prepare is preparing to fail?” well….coming from someone who has made those mistake I can safely say that preparation is absolutely paramount when making such a big decisions.
Going to university contributes an immense amount to young people’s lives and it can make or break your future. You make friends and memories for life and the experiences learnt are boundless. It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity which must be given due care and attention prior to choosing what university and degree to study.
Having made such impulsive and rash decisions myself when choosing my higher education I certainly don’t regret going to university but, with the power of hindsight I certainly regret not putting enough forethought and planning in to making such a life-changing decision.
In order to help my fellow Millennials make the most informed and educated decision i’ve drawn up a list of my; 4 Top Tips to follow prior to applying to a university and degree, in order to get the best out of your higher education and give you the best opportunity to thrive post-education.
RESEARCH!! RESEARCH!! RESEARCH!!
I genuinely chose to join Leeds Met whilst in an internet cafe in Fiji ‘Skype-ing’ my best mate who was also joining there. Although I don’t regret it, it certainly wasn’t the best plan. So make sure that you choose a university that YOU want to join. If you’re a ‘homebird’ and like the comforts of your own home choose a university close to home where you can either live at home, or travel a short distance if needed. If you know a particular course you want to study, research the best universities for that course. Draw up a list of 5 of your top universities and spend a day and night there - your schools and parents will support you in visiting them and it will really allow you to make a fully informed decision. Don’t forget that you’re going to be spending the 3 most important years of your life there so make sure its in a city you enjoy.
Choose a degree that you’re passionate about
In hindsight - choosing a degree because my best mate was studying it wasn’t the most well thought-out plan. This is where you really need to think about ‘WHY’ you’re going to university. In all honesty, in this day and age it doesn’t particularly matter WHAT degree you do. Prospective employers may ask for; ‘degree-level’ students, but they won’t ask what field you studied. For example my good friend studied Geography and is now a
Lead Trainer for the biggest Building Society in the world. HOWEVER; pick something that you really have a passion for. If you think GCSE’s and A-Levels were stressful, the stress levels of exams and dissertations is a massive step-up and so choose a degree that you feel passionate about as it will make your work/life balance so much more enjoyable.
If you have a knack for a particular field - look into vocational degrees
Vocational degrees are potentially a great way to reduce the burden of tuition fees. If you’re worried about finances and post-grad debt but have a specific field you want to pursue like engineering or healthcare you can apply for degrees that support you financially.
For example if you choose a healthcare/medical degree the NHS could subsidise a lot of your fees and dramatically reduce the amount of debt you have post-university. Not to mention that they usually have a placement year during studies and so the stress of job-hunting is also dramatically reduced as vocational degrees have a much higher employment rate than general degrees.
Look out for courses that have placements
One of the hardest and most challenging aspects of entering the post-grad world is job hunting.
By choosing a degree that has a placement year part-way through your studies, this dramatically improves your chances of obtaining a job. Having not chosen a placement year myself and seeing many of my friends snap jobs that were; 'pre-acquired' during a placement year is something I do genuinely wish I had considered.
(For tips on how to job-hunt please see this link)
From one Millennial to another, if you follow these 4 steps you will absolutely be able to make a much more informed and educated decision on your future studies. You’ve already made a massive life-choice to go to university so make sure you don’t scrimp on the finer detail, especially when choosing what university and degree to study.
This decision has the potential to set you up for life so make sure you put the requisite care and attention in to the decision making.
For more hints and tips on how to progress in post-graduate employment please visit our website: