‘You don’t have to go to university to succeed.’
My name is Megan Elliott and I’ve recently started an apprenticeship at Kwintessential. I’ve been an apprentice for a week now and I can honestly say leaving university was the best thing that I could have done.
When I was studying for my A Levels, I remember there being such an emphasis on the importance of going to university in order to get ‘a good job’. It’s interesting to consider, then, that students in the UK applying to university for autumn 2012 has dropped by 7.6%. An article in the Guardian tells us that this is feared to be because of the fact that it could cost up to £9,000 a year. An extortionate increase when one considers that universities are already giving students a nice £30,000 debt to look forward to at the end of their studies.
University wasn’t for me for in so many ways, but I will admit that I felt the cost to play a big part in my decision to leave. I did not feel that the tuition I was getting was worth the debt that I would have to pay off for years to come. I studied Psychology, and after being at university for 4 months I honestly felt disappointed and upset that I had left my full-time job. I thought the lectures lacked any real energy or anything special to separate it from sixth form. Ultimately, there was nothing that made me feel better about the fact that I had spent all of my savings on a degree. When I was having doubts towards the end of my time at university, I had so many people tell me that “it’s the degree that counts”, but all I could think was, “but what does it count for, and what are my job prospects in getting a career in Psychology upon graduation?”
Despite the fact that people think university is about freedom and really ‘getting out there’, I couldn’t have felt more trapped. Having a very small amount of money compared to what I had been used to made me feel like I had less independence than I did when I was living at home. Essentially, I felt like I had no drive or desire to achieve or even try at university because I found the course and lack of routine or discipline so demoralising.
I knew that I wanted to leave university. I also knew that I wanted to continue to learn, grow and have someone that cared about my progress on a deeper level – not like the one-off chat you have with your tutor at university once a year. This is when I started looking for apprenticeships. After around one month, eight applications and two interviews, I got my apprenticeship.
I have no regrets about leaving university. After being at Kwintessential for a week I already know that I am in a far better place than I was 4 months ago. Most importantly, I know that I can succeed and progress within a career that does not require me to be poor for a large part of my life, or be filled with doubt about my progression and constantly asking myself, “is this right?” I know this is right and I cannot wait to see where I am this time next year. You don’t have to go to university to succeed and it is my intention to prove that.