238,900 18-year-old’s ventured to university in 2016 and these numbers are increasing year on year. But is the traditional route always the way forward? One student took to student room, a forum site for students to express their feelings:

‘You weren’t really given any other choice at my sixth form. There was no information on other alternatives to university and everyone was pushed into going through UCAS from Day 1.’ – (Student Room, n.d.)




Before sending off that application to your chosen universities, here are some questions you should first consider:


1Are you going because your parents, teachers or society want you to?

Ask yourself whether this is solely your own decision, not your parents nor anyone else’s. Now is the time to learn how to take action on big decisions in your life. It is a skill that will become very beneficial in the future.


2What field do you want to go into?

‘Half of UK graduates do not work in their field of study’ – (Independent, 2014)

Ask yourself whether the career you want to go into specifically specifies that you need a degree because not all do. Professions like nursing, engineering, financial managers etc, tend to be the main ones that require a degree. Don’t expect to fall into your chosen career by choosing a random university course that ‘sounds’ fun.


3What could you invest £9,000 towards per year and achieve in 3-4 years?

Don’t underestimate how much you’re able to achieve in 3-4 years. Could you start up your own business with £9,000? Or go abroad and pay a highly successful and skilled person to mentor you? Does the thought of student debt put you off, you’re not the only one!


To Conclude:

You may firmly feel that university is the only route towards your dream job, but is your job already out there and waiting for you?

There’s no such rule against taking time out to decide. Most importantly, you shouldn’t go because you feel you’ll miss out on partying, or your parents said you have to go. Your future really is in your hands. If you feel like university may not be the right thing for you, take the time out to think of an alternative route to getting to where you want to be.

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