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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why did you choose to go to university?

Read Catherine's post on why and the benefits she sees in going to university.  

The world works in strange, cyclical movements.  Progression is made, only to find yourself back where you started.  And no, I’m not talking about the Earth’s orbit.

Remembering your first day at school is a fond memory.  It’s one that you often share with your parents while looking at an old picture of you in your little school uniform, everyone cooing and going gooey-eyed at this momentous occasion.  This is perfectly normal; I for one look adorable in my first-day-at-school-photo.  

However, what’s remembered less is the absolutely terrifying turn in your stomach when you walk through those school gates and realise that you are the smallest child BY FAR in the playground.  The same happens on your first day at high school, except that that first day is made slightly worse once you realise that your perfect uniform clearly singles you out for a few weeks of torment. 

I’m guessing you can see the pattern emerging.  University is yet another step into unknown territory and, once more, you are at the bottom of the pecking order.  As a history student looking for law work experience, it’s always frustrating when all the vacation schemes are for second or third years.  What’s even worse is that university was meant to be responsibility-free; we weren’t supposed to worry about real life and adulthood until after the fun filled, crazy years

So here we are, stuck in this pretty annoying cycle, and it all starts to seem a bit worthless. Often I can hear the grumblings of my flatmates – “What is the point of working all through university just to be told that your chances of getting a good job are slim?”  Debt, a long hard slog and demeaning prospects are never a good motivator

For me, university was never a question.  In that respect my decision was already made, and I never had to focus on the debates surrounding the benefits of a degree.  However, since starting at the University of Liverpool, I’ve realised the real plus points to being here.  Not only am I surrounded by people who have chosen to continue education and are willingly learning alongside me, but as a student I am being constantly encouraged to explore my future options and choices.  University has made me want to succeed and has shown me that I have so many different paths that I could take.  Having a degree is, of course, an integral part of my three year course, but so is learning to leave behind the seemingly never ending cycle that we feel stuck in.  I’m currently circling a massive roundabout, except I know now that I can get off it by more than one exit.  

Find her on Twitter @CatBatch