School's out - is university in? - 8848

School’s out – is university in?

Our newest member of staff is 19-year old Kate Sanders. A high achiever throughout school and A Levels, she’s now given up on the idea of traditional university, opting instead for the world of PR mixed with Open University. Here’s why.

To uni or not to uni – that’s the question on many young people’s minds at the moment as they nervously await exam results.

In their minds will be thoughts of mad parties, surplus amounts of alcohol, eating what you want and no parents to tell you what to do. Also in there will be the realisation that this comes with huge student loans, exams and new found responsibilities. Is university really what it’s all cracked up to be?

Straight after A Levels, I took a year out to really think what I wanted to do. I now work while my twin brother goes to uni and will soon start his second year.

Throughout this year out, I’ve been through all the different options from first of all thinking about doing Open University while working, then considering going to university while living at home, and finally, securing a place at a university and living there. However I finally decided to work and went back to my original idea of Open University.

On the other hand, my twin has always wanted to go to university and live there. He got very excited about the thought of his new found freedom, living in a house with a bunch of mates and the amazing nightlife you hear about from former students. But the truth is, he is always broke, will owe tens of thousands of pounds and lives in a dump!

But do budding students get a bit carried away with all the excitement of it and not actually think about the cost and prospects of getting a job at the end of their three crazy years of so-called fun?

I personally decided that the overall experience didn’t justify the huge costs with £9,000 a year fees. With my start date looming at a great university, I do not regret my decision to cancel my application at all!

I’m a doer, and for me the best way of being good at a job is by actually doing it! When I started my new job at Connect PR my dreams of working in PR came true and I’m loving every minute of it! I did however really want to do my uni course and that’s why I’ve decided to do Open University as well. I work three days a week which gives me the rest of the week to focus on my studies.

It’s a lot cheaper, so my debt will be a lot smaller, plus I do not have to borrow money to live on as I am earning. But more importantly, I am gaining priceless work experience that puts me ahead of the game compared with my student contemporaries.

And when it comes to enjoying myself, I have much more money in my pocket to spend along the way on fun things. I am truly getting the best of both worlds!