Why Choosing To Avoid University Was The Best Thing For Me..

actually i can without university

University had always ‘the dream’.

“Andi, you’ll be the first person to go to university from our family! That’s so amazing, you’re so clever, you can do it!”

Throughout school, I based every decision on this idea; my options, my extra curricular activities, my life outside of school…

It finally came to applying, and I really did not want to do it.

When I was younger, I had hopes of Cambridge or Oxford. My passions changed as I grew up – from forensic pathology to journalism to law – but my focus stayed the same, and university remained at the forefront of my mind. I often went for visits and overnight stays at both universities, experiencing the lifestyle, and getting to see what life would be like as a student.

After every trip, I would come home and the questions would be the same… “How did it go? Is it the one for you?!” And after every trip, my feelings would be the same – and then something clicked, or rather, it didn’t…

I didn’t fit in, and it just never felt right – regardless of what course I looked at, or where I looked at going, I just didn’t feel ‘it’. I wanted to be in love with the whole notion so much, and I simply wasn’t – I felt like I had failed!

One of the biggest factors that contributed to this was the drinking culture that often surrounds higher education and university – I rarely ever drink, and binge drinking is something that really does not appeal to me – old before my time, people always tell me!

As well as this, even the thought of being poor for three, or more, years of my life is enough to instil panic and anxiety, and I dread to think how I would cope if it actually happened! I recently saved £10,000 to put towards a house at some point in the future, and I would hate to have to spend that, just in order to live…

I’ve learnt that university is not the be all and end all of life – there are so many different avenues, so many different options that can all lead to success, and there is absolutely no reason to feel like you have failed, simply because you’ve avoided university! It definitely took me a while to realise this, but I’ve also learnt that my own happiness should always be at the forefront of my mind!

I have to do what’s best, and for me, that simply isn’t university!

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  • I really liked this post! I think it takes a lot of courage to go against everything you’re used to but I’m glad you did what was best for you! x

    • It took a lot, but I’m at my happiest now! 🙊 x

  • It’s so hard to have a set plan for so long and then have to turn against it, it literally turns your life upside down and makes you question everything! You’re super brave for facing it though, a lot of people would’ve just gone with it and ignored those feelings!
    Alice Xx

    • It took a lot, but I’m happy now.. Who knows what might happen in the future, but for the minute, this is me! 🙊 x

  • I was completely in the same situation. My A level tutors couldn’t comprehend with my GCSE point score and 3 As at A level why I wasn’t going to uni. I now live in central London and am training to be a project manager and the only one of my friends who has moved out so it certainly worked in my favour!

    Chloe x
    Thengguidetolondon.co.uk

    • My exact position – I don’t want to put life on hold basically, I want to offfialy move out in the near future and further education just wouldn’t allow that! ☺️ x

  • I love this post! I can relate to it so well, there was so much pressure around me going to Uni as I was growing up. I hit a hard year when I turned 17 and felt that I had failed everyone. Then at 18 something clicked inside. I moved out, got myself a full time job, and now I’m actually going places! I’m happy for you! Glad you made the right choice for YOU X

    • You’ve not failed anyone, and you’ve done amazingly by the sounds of it! Seems like it was the right choice for you too 🙊 x

  • Great post! I felt the same all through school, but I did end up applying to do Primary Education. I’ve finished first year now, and unfortunately I’ve had to take a year out anyway due to illness, but I honestly don’t miss it at all and I don’t think I’ll be returning! I’ve fallen back in love with blogging, which had to sit on the back bench for a while, and now I’m looking at doing different things in the future 🙂
    http://www.roisinslatest.com

    • Primary Education was also an option at one point for me too! 😂 You just have to do what’s right for you, and if that’s writing, then it’s writing.. 🙊 x

  • KateAlice

    I did a similar post but I did end up going because of that ‘pressure’ and sort of regret it.. uni is not all what it’s cracked up to be at all! Loved this post and think it’s really honest xo

    • Aw, I’m sorry it didn’t fulfill your expectations! 😔 I hope you make things work for you in the end! x

  • I totally think that going to university isn’t the only why to better life. It’s great that you made the right decision for yourself. Forcing something just because of society is never a good option. x

    • I honestly believe I’m happier now than I would have been if I was going.. 🙈 Thankyou! x

  • hayleyxmartin

    I am 100% with you!! There are definitely other routes you can take to get to the same place – as long as you don’t want to be a doctor or something specific. Also, not everyone has the same Uni experience. I lived at home and went to a local uni – you could argue that I didn’t have the proper experience, but it worked for me. I worked a part time job – so I was getting my education and work experience at the same time. Sometimes I wish that I would have moved away – but I definitely would have stressed about money. I think it’s good to decide for yourself what you want – without the influence of others – there’s no point in doing it if you aren’t on all in! Great read

    hayley // hayleyxmartin.com

    • What was living at home like?! I imagine it would’ve been very different to the stereotypical idea of university, but I also bet it saved you a huge amount of money! Thankyou 🙊 x

      • hayleyxmartin

        Yeah that’s it! Best of both worlds really I made uni friends and still had the friends I grew up with xx

  • I graduated 10 years ago and the landscape has changed so much since then. I personally loved it but if my time came round again tomorrow, I wouldn’t do it. I think unless your careers requires it there is far more opportunity in apprenticeships and work based training.
    Hannah @ The Northern Writes | http://www.thenorthernwrites.co.uk

  • This is such a great post and I’m glad you’re doing it for you. Uni isn’t for everyone and it wasn’t for me either. James does go to uni but he isn’t any different to me! We all take our own paths, so you do what you need to do!

    Jessica & James | http://www.foodandbaker.co.uk / http://www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

  • I’m halfway through my uni education ATM and literally I am going through this phase ATM. I’m questioning again whether it is what I want to do again and I hate financially struggling, but I am hoping my hard work will pay off! People should realise that success can come without going to university so I totally agree with everything you have said here xx

    • I have to do what’s right for you at the end of the day, but I completely commend you for sticking with it when you’re uncertain! 🙊 x

  • altspeaking

    This is so true – everyone needs to find out what works for them and University isn’t always the key. I went, and now I’m 31 and back in College… My baby brother went right into the skilled trades, and now he makes a great living!

    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca/

    • I honestly think there’s become such a stigma around not having a degree, and people thinking you won’t get anywhere in life without one, and it simply isn’t true! 🙈 x

      • altspeaking

        Definitely not – mine isn’t getting me anywhere and I have one haha

  • YES! I actually tweeted something very similar to the context of this post yesterday about how if you went to university and got a degree then that’s brilliant. But if you didn’t, that’s fine too. And it doesn’t make you any less successful, talented or smart than those that did. Everyone is on their own path; it’ll benefit some, not so much others. Some people will love it, some will hate it. And whichever way you swing, that’s totally fine. No one way is better than another xxx

  • SimplyBeki

    I know how you feel! I always felt pressured to go to Uni because all of my friends went, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life at that point, and I didn’t want to spend 3 years of life doing something I didn’t want to do! And like you I’m super happy now that I haven’t gone! I know what I want to do with my life now, I’ve had the chance to think about it and try different things. I also hate the whole drinking thing too haha

  • This was such a lovely post.
    It’s so nice to see how you showed that either going to university or not, so long as you’re happy and moving forward. It’s a good decision!
    x

  • It’s important to do what’s right for you, university will never be for everyone! As long as you’re happy x

  • I really love this post!! I always felt pressured to go to university when I was in school but I knew it wasn’t for me and not what I wanted to do with my life so I made the decision not to go and I couldn’t be happier about it!

  • JadesCreativeRamblings

    Loved this! I know how hard it can be to not do something everyone else wants you to do, or what you think is expected of you. I’m so happy everything worked out well for you! xx

  • ohheywow

    This is a very brave post and one I think that could benefit many people. It’s hard to go against the grain especially when school/university is the topic. It’s not for everyone and that doesn’t get said enough to the right people. Good for you! 🙂

    • I always thought that the other options after GCSE’s were never really spoke about, so it’s great to start having conversations about apprenticeships and others avenues! 🙊

  • That’s such a smart choice. Sometimes I feel like some people only go to university for the job prospects but so many more industries are welcoming apprentices and school leavers instead. Congrats on staying true to yourself xx

    • Thankyou, fingers crossed it works out for me! 🙈 x

  • GirlMasked

    Great post! Glad to hear that you did what felt right for you, thats so important!

  • This is a great post! A lot of people think uni is the only option when it isn’t, as it’s not for everyone. I hope a lot of people read this post and that it helps them figure out what they really want to do 🙂 x

    Kirsty
    http://www.corinneandkirsty.com

    • I really hope that talking more about the other options after education are spoke about more openly and more often! Thankyou! 🙊 x

  • Although I went to university and enjoyed it, I could always see how it isn’t for everyone – and that is ok! I believe that you should always do what makes you feel happy and comfortable. I am quite introverted and some of my friends aren’t and I know there are some things that they like to do which I don’t, and I am now at a place when I can accept that it’s ok to not do everything that everyone does!

    • I’m glad you’ve reached that place! I’m sure university life has become a lot easier, or at least manageable, since that decision, congratulations! 🙊 x

  • Thankyou, I hope you’re enjoying university 🙊 x

  • Thank you for such an honest post! A few of my housemates at uni dropped out because it simply wasn’t for them and that’s completely okay! You’ve got to do what’s right for you! xo

    Hanney | http://www.blogabouthanney.com

  • Loved this post! I feel like it’s good to realise success is relative and can be achieved in different ways ✨✨

  • This is such a reassuring post. I’m currently going through the struggle of whether I wish to work full-time, earn money and experience or to go to university and do that after. I feel like university is almost holding me back in a way, but then I’ll also not know how it’ll benefit me unless I go through with the process! It’s a struggle of a decision to make, but your post certainly made me feel a lot more relaxed that I’m not alone! x

    • You’re most definitely not alone – look at all the comments on this post, and you’ll see so many people have struggled just as you are, or we have! 🖤

  • To be honest I never really wanted to go to uni and instead I wanted an apprenticeship which I have actually achieved today! The thing is though schools push uni and don’t tell you about these different avenues.

    • I completely agree, there needs to be so much more of a conversation!

  • Alicja

    Lovley post, I really enjoyed reading. I had simmilar doubts before starting, but I loved my course so it was only the social side of things. I think the drinking side springs from kids eho have bad relatoonships with their parents, which also result on them not being able to move out and learn simple things like meal planning that could help. I’m glad you found a way to be honest and true to yourself, I think that matters more than any degree. I still get lonley at uni, but thankfully I have a boyfriend to support me. You look around at most people and don’t understand why they’re there. So many are crass, insular bullies. You’d think they grow out of it. The social side is definetley a pain, for anyone who is a reasnable person and not part of the “lad” culture (in men and women). Ok, I wrote a lot sorry xD

  • Zoe

    Wow – took the words right out of my mouth! I was intelligent enough to go to uni and often wonder what it would have been like to have a degree now that all my friends are graduating. But I have years of work experience, no debt, plenty of savings, and avoided all social pressure around the drinking culture (21 year old grandma and proud). There are other ways to be successful. Kudos to the people who studied hard and earned their degree – but it is not the be all and end all if we don’t have one.