Disadvantages of going to University – 2022
While there are many reasons why going to uni is a good thing, there are some arguments against it. Here are some reasons why becoming a student may be a bad decision:
1. University can be expensive
Possibly the biggest argument against going to university is the apparent cost of studying. Accounting for both tuition fees and your Maintenance Loan, many students will graduate with debts of more than £50,000. This is a huge figure, no matter which way you look at it.
In particular, if you’re unsure about what you want to study, the financial side of things is worth considering. One person told us on Facebook:
A lot of people go without being certain of what they want to study and it can be a very expensive mistake.
2. Having a degree doesn’t guarantee you a job
As great as it is that uni is becoming more accessible, the one downside (if you can even call it that) is that more people have degrees. And if more people have degrees, simply having one no longer makes you stand out from the crowd like it used to. So, with close to 50% of young people now going to university, it’s fair to say that getting a degree isn’t in itself a guarantee of getting a job. That’s not to say that a degree has no worth at all.
As we explained earlier, even job adverts that aren’t for graduate schemes will often ask for a degree. And it’s hard to deny that getting a first will impress employers, regardless of what subject it’s in. Really what we’re saying is: that you shouldn’t go to university and assume that just getting a degree will be enough to complete an amazing CV.
3. University could slow your career progression
While getting a degree could accelerate your career progression (as the quote earlier testifies), in some industries it could slow you down. If going to university isn’t considered important in a given profession, chances are there will be people who left school at 18 and went straight into the field. And, with a three-year headstart, these same people will probably be three years ahead of you on the career ladder.
This doesn’t have to matter if you don’t want it to. If you don’t need a degree for your chosen career, but you want to go to uni anyway, that’s up to you! But if you’re keen to get working ASAP, maybe it’s best that you don’t go to university after all.
One commenter on Facebook summed this up perfectly, saying:
So many people would be better off going straight into work or [the] apprentice route because what they actually need, and what employers want, is experience.
4. You may change your mind and want to drop out
There’s no guarantee that you’ll remain interested in your degree at uni. You may get a few months, or even a couple of years, into your course and decide it’s not for you. That could be because it was mis-sold to you as having a stronger focus on something else, you want to pursue a different career, or you simply aren’t interested anymore.
Or, you may struggle to settle in your new surroundings. Homesickness at university is a very real issue. While time and stepping out of your comfort zone can be the cures for some, for others the issues are too big to overcome. In these cases, your best option may be to drop out of uni – but there are some strings attached.
As one user on Facebook explained, if you don’t feel it’s a good fit, leaving uni early could be the best decision:
I started a law degree at uni but had a very difficult time and left. I felt completely lost after leaving, law was the only career I wanted and I thought I’d blown it. A few years and a lot of blood, sweat and tears later I am now a qualified lawyer. Uni is not for everyone and that’s okay!
5. University can be a stressful experience
The stereotypical university experience is one of drinking, partying and lie-ins. And yes, you’ll no doubt get your fill of all of these while you’re a student. But it’s not all fun and games.
As the old saying goes, nothing worth doing is ever easy. The same is true of getting a degree.
The style of learning required at university is far more independent than at school. To complete your studies, you’ll need to work hard (especially if you’re aiming for a first).
You may only have as few as eight hours of lectures a week, but most courses will recommend that you top that up to 40 hours with assignments and independent study. This is all in your free time, so you’ll need to be able to motivate yourself to work productively.