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O/T Uni

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by simpleton7890, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. simpleton7890

    simpleton7890 Karting

    Apr 10, 2006
    244
    Global
    Hi guys,

    COMPLETELY offtopic so forgive me/ mods delete thread if you want.

    Im 17, final year of A-Levels. I just made the decision to not go to university. I believe that to some extent we are all nurtured towards the ideal that university
    is a requirement or we will get no where. Im thinking i would rather regret not going to Uni and then do something about it next year/year after, then go to uni, hate it and regret going.

    In this day and age, will i regret it? Is there a real alternative?.

    Anyway, sorry about that but would be great to hear some non-parents/teachers views on life in the real world.

    Regards
     
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  3. alsaautomotive

    alsaautomotive Formula Junior

    Dec 9, 2005
    410
    Wales, UK.
    Full Name:
    Al
    Hi Jack, I left school with 8 'O' levels at 16 years old to join the RAF as an engineering apprentice.
    I've never regretted my decision, I don't earn a hell of a lot, but I'm doing a job I love & am privelaged to be able to work on the cars I do.
    Not a day goes by without me appreciating just how fortunate I am.
    Just my experience & please remember everyone's different.
    Good luck, Al.
     
  4. simpleton7890

    simpleton7890 Karting

    Apr 10, 2006
    244
    Global
    hey thanks for that. you wont believe it but joining the RAF as an officer was one of the options being considered.
     
  5. francisn

    francisn Formula 3

    Apr 18, 2004
    1,820
    Berks, UK
    Full Name:
    francis newman
    Jack

    I wasn't really in tune with my A level subjects and although I qualified to go to Uni I went a Polytechnic instead to study my real love, photography, as a practical course, and that has served me well for my subsequent 36 year career. I don't regret that at all.

    Now, of course, all the Polys have turned into Unis, so it's hard to say.

    My son went to Uni and loved it and has a good career as a web developer.

    His cousin, 2 days younger, dropped out of school and leads the life of a traveller. He flits between Spain, UK and various East European countries. He busks, picks fruit etc., has a lovely girlfriend and is very happy. The two cousins get on really well and see each other regularly.

    So there is no simple answer.

    Do what you feel right for you and have no regrets.

    Good luck.
     
  6. simpleton7890

    simpleton7890 Karting

    Apr 10, 2006
    244
    Global
    thanks again.

    Im studying Business, Accounting, Law and already have my AS in English Lit. The problem is im nowhere near focused enough and in trouble all the time tbh lol.
    Had i had gone to Uni i perhaps would have studied Quantity Surveying as a means to an end, but what i want to do in life i have no idea.
    Anyway apologies for the offtopicness but i need to vent a bit and get ideas. Thanks!!
     
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  8. jarthur05

    jarthur05 Karting

    Mar 22, 2006
    146
    Wiltshire, England
    Full Name:
    John A
    Hi Jack

    I'm currently in my second year of a law degree, and my advice would be that if you aren't sure, don't go. A degree is something you can always pick up and do later on in life; and it is better to go to uni and appreciate it than go there and not enjoy yourself. I am at uni because I have to get a degree to do what I want to do. I like living away from home, and I love the social side of it. But contrary to popular opinion, it is a lot of hard work and it helps to be really enthusiastic about the subject you are studying. It is not essential to get a degree: it is a lot of time, money and effort and it doesn't guarantee you a job when you graduate.

    On a seperate note, and without wishing to sound condescending, I doubt the RAF will let you in as an officer at 18. Although this is the 'minimum' age for entry, they do seem to prefer you to have a bit of life experience first. This was what I was told at my local AFCO anyway, don't know how far in the recruitment process you have got.

    Good luck.

    John
     
  9. simpleton7890

    simpleton7890 Karting

    Apr 10, 2006
    244
    Global
    hey, thanks for the advice. im glad to hear that from somebody at uni. Im not far at all down the recruitment process, its just an option. ive been to the afco a few times tahts about it.

    regards
     
  10. renmure

    renmure Karting

    Dec 13, 2006
    86
    Scotland
    Full Name:
    Jim
    Hi Jack.
    I am a bit of an oddity since I seem to have spent a fair chunk of my life as pretty much a perpetual student. (2 undergraduate degrees then a post-grad one, plus currently doing a part time one).

    However, in addition to that lot I actually dropped out of my 1st university degree and bummed about for a year. (I think they call it a Gap Year now :) ) I had felt pressurised into going to Uni straight after school since I was fairly academic and thats what my family probably expected and thats what all my mates were doing anyhow. In the event I ended up doing a Course that didn't really enthuse me. More importantly, I was a realitively immature student, living away from home, and not particularly well prepared for making the sort of career/life decisions that needed to be made. It actually took me until 2nd year to drop out. Looking back, the wasted year at Uni was more wasted than the bumming year that followed it.

    I think if you know what you want to do in life and if that requires a university degree, then it is a fairly straightforward and neccessary "career step" to go through the process and collect the degree. Obviously professional careers fall into this catagory.. legal/medical/engineering/etc

    If you dont know what you want to do then there is the option of doing 'nothing' and considering uni in a year or two. One real 'problem' with this is that once you start doing 'something' and earn some money then your life does start to take shape, and the money you earn helps to shape what you do. It is actually quite hard to go from earning nothing (at school) to earning real money in a Gap Year... and then making the decision to go back to Nothing-PLUS-Debt at uni.

    Another option is doing a General Degree at uni which you can either specialise in 2nd/3rd year/hons year.. or even transfer course after a year if you are inspired once you are there.

    In general, university life is great. Having a big collection of intelligent individuals in a fairly confined environment who are all bringing something to the mix is a good thing to be part of. In reality folk should talk less about going "to' university and more about going 'through' university since it is a process and you come out of it with far more than a bit of paper.

    sorry for the ramble.

    Jim
     
  11. francisn

    francisn Formula 3

    Apr 18, 2004
    1,820
    Berks, UK
    Full Name:
    francis newman
    Excellent post Jim :)
     
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  13. simpleton7890

    simpleton7890 Karting

    Apr 10, 2006
    244
    Global
    thanks jim, great reply. what did you do at uni if its not to personal a question? to do that much education you must have a pretty deidcated field?
    regards
     
  14. renmure

    renmure Karting

    Dec 13, 2006
    86
    Scotland
    Full Name:
    Jim
    Started off doing Sports Science/Physical Education but dropped out.
    Then did a BSc in Physiotherapy with a hons major in Sports Medicine.
    Continued my interest in sport by staying on and doing BSc in Exercise Physiology.
    Went off at a slight tangent (since I enjoyed research) into doing a post grad masters in Bioengineering (anyone remember the $6 million dollar man type bionics??)
    Currently aiming for LLB (scots law) degree purely for brain stimulation and to be a smart a$$ :)

    Nope. Very strange career progression... just after submitting my masters thesis I was sitting at my desk wondering what to do next. I picked up one of the local papers and decided to look at the Sports pages before the jobs pages. There was a tiny article mentioning that one of the Premier League footie teams had sacked their physio. I wrote a brief, handwritten letter on a scrap of paper on my desk and sent it off saying that I was "available" and would do the job for nothing since I had no experience to offer. I did say that I would look for a proper job as well but could commit for 4 months till the end of the Season in order to get some experience. Total brass neck!!! :) Got a phonecall within a few days, got an interview and got the position. Great fun was had then I got offered a proper research job at Uni and went to see the Chairman and Manager at the end of the season to thank them. I must have made an impression since they then offered to pay me!! I was given a blank paper to write down what I wanted as payment, perks,benefits and Bonuses as a starting point for negotiations. I wrote it, they read it, and agreed in full to everything there and then! That was a bit deflating in a sort of "oh bugger have I sold myself short" type of way. Did that for about 8 yrs then sort of slipped gradually from Sports Medicine to Occupational Health and now work p/t 12 hrs/week as a BUPA Consultant. Semi retired now at 42.

    Still should have done Accountancy tho!! ;)
     
  15. simpleton7890

    simpleton7890 Karting

    Apr 10, 2006
    244
    Global
    good for you mate, all the work has paid off. do you believe you could have got as far (financially/ career-wise) without your degrees?
     
  16. renmure

    renmure Karting

    Dec 13, 2006
    86
    Scotland
    Full Name:
    Jim
    No.

    I never really had any talent for being creative in the way that would create wealth. I also was never so much better at what I did that I could command tons of money irrespective of whether or not I was qualified.

    I think unless you are entrepreneurial (or completely off the wall) then you are likely to fit into one of lifes little boxes. That usually means that you work within a structure and that means that some folk will earn more than others or progess further. You mentioned the RAF and thats a good example.... the higher up the career path you are, the more you earn. The best airplane mechanic will never earn more than the worst pilot. The best pilot will always earn less than the ex-pilot in the office commanding the squadern.

    In general obviously some jobs just pay more than others. The nurse will earn less than the teacher. The teacher will earn less than the doctor. Further up the tree the Hospital Matron will earn less than Head Teacher. The Head Teacher will earn less than the NHS Consultant. That means for most of us the more qualifications we get the further up the tree we go so the more money we get paid.

    One of my best mates is a potter. He rents his cottage and has a small workshop at the back where he makes cups, mugs, jugs etc. He probably earns less than the average University Hardship Grant but is as happy and content as a pig in the proverbial ****. His only regret (genuinely!) is that he didnt go to uni ... not so he could end up as anything else, but just for the experience of having done it.
     
  17. simpleton7890

    simpleton7890 Karting

    Apr 10, 2006
    244
    Global
    ha, thanks for your input, its appreciated. i think ill just get january exams out of the way and take it step by step. no use planning my life ahed. Sorry for the offtopicness just need to clear my head a bit. cheers all
     

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