Getting into university is no picnic. Once you’ve overcome the hurdle of choosing where you’d like to study, writing applications, personal statements and interviews, passing exams and finally securing a place you’d be forgiven for feeling that the hardest part was behind you. And there is no doubt you’ve climbed a mountain to get here, congratulations!
However, we hear from lots of you that university life presents a whole new set of challenges that can be equally if not more challenging to overcome. Here are a few that we hear time and time again and some of our thoughts on how you might start to cope and even overcome these.
My studies are costing the earth and i’m getting into a lot of debt, should I drop out of uni?
It’s true, university isn’t cheap and for many of us it involves a hefty loan and a requirement to pay it back over time once you’ve graduated. This amount of debt can feel pretty scary and a huge commitment, and if you’re questioning whether it is all worth it you wouldn’t be the first. It’s not an easy question to answer and people make a range of different decisions. Lots of students feel that the experience they get from such an intense period of study sets them up for life and gives them skills that will hugely benefit them in their careers but also throughout life. Others decide they would prefer to avoid the initial debt and jump straight into employment.
Thinking through your own career path and where you see yourself going in life is a good starting point to understanding what is best for you. Only you can make the decision about whether you want and need to study and of course whether you are going to enjoy the process too.
If you are finding it hard to cope financially at university it’s important to speak to someone at your place of study for some advice and support. If your studies are suffering because you are struggling with money your university should be able to find ways to ease the burden and to help you make the most out of your course. There are often lots of ways that universities can support you whether it's financially or with help to manage your time and deadlines whilst working. Some universities also offer paid study related employment and it’s worth exploring all of these options. There are also ways to study that are specifically designed to support you to work alongside them, like distance and part time learning.
Living on campus isn’t what I thought it would be like and i’m feeling really lonely at uni.
For lots of us going to university is our first experience of living away from home and it can be an intense and very different one. There are lots of additional pressures on our time-cooking, washing, shopping as well as meeting and forming friends