Sunday, 13 October 2013

Why come to university?

Odd as it may seem, I am a little envious of 17 year olds right now. With school having just restarted they are approaching the most exciting time of their young lives – the exploration of universities, trawling the country for that perfect institution which can offer all the opportunities they want. If they want it. That is the big question that everyone is asking these youngsters – do you want to go to university? And their immediate response should be a resounding yes.
My own days of applications seem like a distant memory now, occurring almost four years ago as I prepare myself for my fourth year of Primary Education at Reading University. The past three years have been a whirlwind and this decision remains to be the best I have ever made. I chose to study Primary Education because I wanted to do something more than simply sit in a classroom (which I had been doing for the previous 14 years of my education) and within the course, I had a range of practical placements as well as the traditional lectures. Nowhere else could I have gained the breadth of experiences (both good and bad) that I did, which all helped me to grow into the adult that I am today. It is here that I am finally beginning to find out exactly who Charlotte Coster is. I thought I knew her pretty well by the time I’d left school, but over the past years she has continued to change in a way that surprised me. And she has done things, I never thought her capable of.
This is what university is all about – finding out who you are. It is so easy to look at the £9,000 fee and say ‘That is so not worth it, for a piece of paper.’ Which is completely true. It’s lucky that university is so much more than your final degree classification. It’s about finding a subject you love and doing it to death. It’s about doing an all-nighter because you’ve left that essay until the last possible second. And then getting the next one in a day early because you don’t want to give yourself any more grey hairs. It’s about finding a group of friends you can’t live without. It’s about learning to place more than vodka and pot noodles into your shopping basket. It’s about making mistakes and fixing them. And, most importantly, it’s about learning to live. And to be honest, that’s something that money can’t buy.
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