What you need to do by yourself at University

Going to university is a time of independence and growth, but that is only because a lot of things previously done for you, you now have to do for yourself.  These things may not be done at first, but after a while, even those who enjoy neglecting them will eventually come to realise their necessity.  This is where the growth happens, and where you can be fully independent.

Washing your own clothes
This is not a difficult thing to do at all, and in fact many people are very concerned about having clean clothes and looking good, so pay a lot of attention to it, however it is almost certainly something that was done by most students’ mothers before coming to uni.

Although it is easy, it can take a fair amount of effort to actually get on with it and do it.  Buying the necessary products to clean the clothes is also something else you need to think about.

Managing money
This is a very important step to becoming independent, and although you would have organized your money before and would probably have had a job, having to buy things like food and perhaps rent are two very important areas which will need you to delegate money to certain essentials and work around this.

If you fail to properly manage your money you may just simply find yourself without enough money for food, which is a situation that many students find themselves in and lose a lot of weight.  After this the importance to be sensible with money becomes realized and people start to organize it better.


Perhaps most of you would have either eaten at school, had a packed lunch, or just ate out.  However, coming home to food being cooked by your parents is probably true for most.  Having to do this at university can become actually fairly trying, and having to cook every day becomes a chore.  Most people end up sharing food, which is not only cheaper, but more fun and less work.  Cooking and eating alone can be a chore and not very easy after a while.

What to Do at University

For anyone debating whether going to university is a good idea or not, the decision can perhaps be aided by considering what else university offers outside of the course, and aside from the specifics of the course. University life is a lot larger than simply the course you are enrolled in, and I will go on to talk more about this. During your time at university you have the chance to participate in many different activities that perhaps you would not have been exposed to otherwise.

Join the societies

The other significant part of university life is the number of societies that are set up by and run by students. These societies can be either fun or for academic reasons and hugely varied.

These societies allow you to participate in outdoor sporting activities such as caving, kayaking, climbing and other sports which organize trips, sometimes abroad, to do them. These are very exciting sports, and doing them outside of university can be expensive or just difficult to find.

There are other academic societies which allow you to expand your knowledge of a profession which you are considering going into but that is not part of your course. For instance, a law society is worth joining if you are considering a career in law but are not doing a law degree.

Other societies are plain stupid. They can descend to banalities such as just dressing up as pirates. These can be fun too, but it just illustrates the range of things to do while at university.


One of the older reasons for going to university is simply to create networks of people which can be of use later in life. This is not completely redundant today, and is still found in some universities; however, this only demonstrates how university is a social thing as much as academic, which is shown differently today.

The amount of people that you will be living in fairly close proximity with is in the thousands. All these people will be studying different courses, and are more or less all in the same position; just wanting to make the most of their time at university. The amount of different things this exposes you to is nearly unlimited, and not just what they are studying but also their interests and the rest. It is a very good chance to make some good friends.

Is a Law Degree Best For a Career in Law?

This is one part of a larger question as to whether vocational degrees are better than non-vocational degrees, and which puts re student in better stead for their working life, and life outside work. Law is a good example because it a career which is a profession which deals with people, minds and morals.

Fulfilling requirements

Aside from knowledge of the law, other requirements for pursuing law be largely gained from other degrees. I think that literature is a good comparison here because like law it requires a lot of reading, analysis, memory and logic, aside from other more non degree specific lessons such as time management and a hard working ethic.

Considering that the only thing lacking for a law career from a literature degree is a practical knowledge of the law, which can be gained from a year long law conversion course, what benefits are there from gaining another degree before starting a law career.

Benefits of a degree other than law

I have heard successful lawyers advocate the benefits of studying another degree other than law, and going further than that, actually criticizing a law degree, stating it to be insufficient preparation for a career in law.

One of the benefits of a degree like that in literature is the way it challenges to think their way through difficult moral issues out forward by some of the most famous names of human history. The unique factor in a literature degree is that individual interpretation is encouraged which is combined with a need for self-confidence and clear written and vocal explanations for your viewpoint. This is a hugely important part of a career in law, as some cases can be morally challenging and open to interpretation which you must believe in, and clear an understandable communications are extremely vital.

Other benefits of a degree in literature

Not only does literature teach someone to be analytic, communicative, and hard working, it also exposes you to some of the most important texts of history, giving lessons in history, philosophy, politics, theology, and even jurisprudence from some of the greatest minds of the human race.

Not necessarily literature

Perhaps literature is not the only degree which can replace a law degree, even surpassing it, but it is very similar in the way it works, and for someone who is focused on moving into law after their degree it is a very sound degree choice. But there are others such as the sciences which are also good, it is a matter of what you like and how much you work it into a law career for afterwards.

How Can Formal Education Disadvantage Young People

Going to university has undeniably many advantages. However, there are disadvantages and some more obvious than others. They make prospective applicants think twice; the 2nd year student who just failed considers walking out instead of retaking; and those who have graduated or are nearly done walk as far away as possible from any other kind of formal education.


We are 18 years old and innocent and most importantly without any debt. In the midst of thousands of other life opportunities we chose to enter a world of debt and anxieties as soon as we begin to write our personal statement where the question ‘are you worth it’ requires answering it modestly. From here you begin a journey that will acquaint you well with the pretentious self and break your innocence at once.

Let’s talk disadvantages in numbers first. The least debt you can expect to come out after completion of a degree as from 2012 is at least £27,000. This is just the very minimum but consider the extras such as occupying a bed for 3 academic years, buying books and food. It adds £7,000 per year and +£21,000 for 3 years or better a total of -£48,000. It takes a 13 year old to distinguish between -£48,000 debt being a losing situation and 0 with the potential of (+) something being a winning situation.

Your costly purchase

Why then do we enter the world of debt so willingly? What are we actually acquiring or that’s worth the debt or ‘investment’?

We are paying for credentials and numerous contacts. A couple of letters added to your formal name and many contacts who are other students from wealthy backgrounds with contacts in the job world.

As far as tuition goes, a well-developed online course would cover essentials and the rest is up to you as that is what happens when you’re studying at university. It’s called independent learning and thinking – do it from home or from the library.

Resources and lecturers

When paying your tuition fees you are given access to all resources, books and journals through your student login: username and password. Some universities are not as rich in resources as others and yet they charge the same fees.

The same learning that happens through university resources can happen through your local library or a subscription to the university’s library (where you can also make some contacts). It really is more about how to make the most of resources available than of how much there is available. This point is valid also for contacts forged as friendships at university. It’s how you will use them in the future not how many of them you have on Facebook.

Uniformed minds

Your development between your late teens and early 20s is very much in the hands of the establishment and what they offer. You are going to be shaped whether you like it or not by its values and approach. Universities have rules and well established conducts on which they can continue to operate as they expand to become large. Their conduct surpasses common sense at times for the purpose of keeping things fair for all. To some extent people who go to university are trained to follow rules and fear failure and penalties therefore even the most independent mind is to a great extent uniformed.

There is hope however that a strong individual can wash the university uniform off post-graduation.


Real growth happens best in a natural setting rather than in captivity which for humans means anything but formal education.

Can your Local College Hold the Key to your Future?

If you’re looking to make a change to your career or simply open up more opportunities, your local college may be able to help you do just that.

Colleges are now becoming more diverse with regards to the courses they offer. It wasn’t unusual for colleges to offer a good range of full time courses and a very small selection of part time ones. Now things have changed and you can work towards a wide range of qualifications if you wish.

When I was at school all I wanted to do was get into nursing. This meant I had to go to the local college and study the relevant subjects. I was lucky as health-related courses were quite common, but there weren’t as many jobs around as there are these days. The good news is there are a lot more courses available because colleges know we all need a lot of qualifications if we want to get a job for life.

The key to your future

In this way, your local college may hold the key to your future, you just have to decide which course or courses you would like to take. My stint in the world of nursing ended when I realized I could make my dream of writing for a living a reality. I wasn’t able to study creative writing at college in those days as the course just wasn’t widely available. However, things are very different these days and you can study creative writing, get a degree or two if you wish and so much more.

No matter what you want to do with your life, your local college should have a course or two that will help you to get where you want to go. All you need to do is think about the courses you want to take and check out your local college’s prospectus to see what they have to offer.